Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016) (No Spoilers)
I've seen both previous works but have little to no experience regarding any of the other supplementary works. To be frank, I was not that impressed by the trailers and I'm not a big fan of Melissa McCarthy's latest work. However, I tend to stay away from the naysayers who discredited the film for featuring an all-female cast, even if I'm not truly a fan of some of the actresses myself.
Whoever was in charge of creating the trailers for this film should be fired.
Moving on, I was quite impressed with the film. It's not perfect sure, but it's by and large quite enjoyable. It's fairly fast paced, never lost my interest. There's a ton of humor attempts and while not everything lands, I come away having chuckled more often than not. Also, similar to my experience with the original film, there are several scenes that delivered a chilling atmosphere and a handful of jump scares. Plot was more or less inline with the first film but it feels fresh with new characters that are not caricatures of the previous cast (which also feature in plenty of cameos). I won't say it's as good as the original when I first saw it, but man this film was pretty darn good.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) tries avoid her past as a ghost hunter, only to be roped up with her old friend-colleague Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and her newest and eccentric colleague Holtzman (Kate McKinnon). During their hunt for actual ghosts, they are joined by subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones) as they seek to prevent the apocalyptic plans of one misfit, Rowan North (played by Neil Casey).
It's very serviceable, moves quickly, changes locals a lot. But you'll be more interested in the actual actors. Chris Hemsworth as Kevin steals every scene he's part of. I feel he's going down the route of Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum, being featured exclusive in one genre until they get to play a different part where they can act like a dork and the audience loves them for it.
McKinnon follows closely behind as Holtzman, a quirky weird woman who looks at literally everything as something to to physically integrate with (ie. sex). Wiig does a solid job, and McCarthy surprisingly plays a lowkey, almost down to earth core of the team. Leslie Jones does a fine job as well as her most annoying bits are all shown on the trailers (strangely enough). The rest of her humor is quite appealing, even if she is a bit stereotyped.
I wish I could say something good about Neil Casey's character, but I really can't. More on that later.
As a reboot, there's a certain quota to uphold. In order to acknowledge its own existence, there are so many easter eggs. You've likely seen the Stay Puft marshmallow man in trailers, known about all four of the original Ghostbusters cast reappearing in this film (You might blink and miss the bust of Harold Ramis, the old Ghostbuster who did not live to be part of the filming of this movie). Also expect to see Slimer, and quite a few other familiar faces and references (there is an after the credits scene, but most of the credits are worth watching to see Chris Hemsworth dance).
My Biggest Complaints
How do I balance out my praise for this film? I'll start with the awful, awful music. The original theme song is a classic. Having Fallout Boy cover it with their own angle...not so good. I cringed the entire time listening to it. The original Ghostbusters track worked so well when it was first released. Trying to spin it into some new, trendy thing does not work well at all. A handful of the other songs caused me to frown as well, but the Fallout Boy rendition was particuarly awful (I'm kinda meh to their current music as it is, but I'm far from hating it).
There's also some kind of action scene towards the end of the film. Sure, it gives us a reason to see all the different tools they've been playing with, but the choreography and dismantling of ghosts en masse feels misplaced. We've spent a majority of the film to see them struggling to catch one ghost at a time, and when the big bad hatches his plan and there are hordes of them, they fall victim to the conservation of ninjutsu. It feels more silly than cool.
But the worst part is...they replaced the main cast with women (just kidding). While every time a sexist remark about them being women comes up in the film I roll my eyes (I've heard less complaints about the new team being all female compared to how many people who claim to be defending said movie and choice of gender), the main issue is the villain. He literally decides to create a ghost apocalypse because he's weird and people don't like him. That's his whole motivation. You have no sympathy or interest in this guy at all. Furthermore, he's given an enthusiastic high five by a concert attendee, a welcome greeting if there ever was one, and wishes he could usher in the end of the world much faster. He's lame and you never really care about his place in the film at all except as a plot device.
There's some scary sequences (please don't bring your kid if they're scared of the original film; this is a good test) and a few jump scares and loud music. I think there's light cursing, but next to no sexualization (there's a drawing of a ghost logo with big boobs and I think that's it; certainly no ghost blowjobs as was the case with the first film). There's a reference in farting with female anatomy, but I hardly think children will catch it.
Otherwise, things may occasionally dark and somewhat intense.
I really enjoyed this film and my time seeing it. Honestly, I'd recommend it to about anyone. It's fun and entertaining, exactly what a summer film should be. I'm not a Ghostbusters purist and don't hold the originals on a sacred pedestal, but there's so much support in this film (especially when considering all the cameos). If you're looking for a film to watch, you should consider this movie.
- Trailers do not do this film justice
- All the works jokes are put in the trailer, leaving plenty of humorous things
- Chris Hemsworth wins this film with Kate McKinnon running second
- Captures the tone of original film and boasts a bevy of cameos
- Awful music and terrible villain
- Technicolor dementors everywhere