“Ghostbusters (2016)” Movie Review

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For so many fans of the classic 80’s smash hit of the same name, the wait is finally over. Or for some, the dread? The Sci-Fi genre is used to having new releases inflated with anticipation and preemptive judgement. But GOD DAMM did this movie get some manure flung in its direction purely based on a trailer! So can the nostalgia be re-captured, or was some of the worry justified?

And ‘ye know what? I’m not even going to linger on the chatter and negativity before this film’s release. It doesn’t serve any benefit to the review (unless if it was validated). So let’s crack on with the story, and one that is as thin as a nanowire. Keeping it simple, a group of nobodies on their last throw of the dice take up the one area n their lives that had once given them a drive – the science of paranormal beings. In a last-ditch attempt to set up business, they open the Ghostbusters, having cracked the means to bind and capture ghosts and ghouls. Which is a lucky thing – as spooky appearances are on the up within the city, and it seems their new-founded tech is the only way to bring about some peace to the situation.

 

So to put it in simpler terms, it is in essence the plot of the original, with a few little tweaks here and there. But I was actually happy to see them not veer too far from the source storyline, they had to draw in old fans as well as new audiences, so sticking with what works was the best plan. Paul Feig steps in to take the directorial reins, and being someone who is familiar to the comedy world, you can kind of guess where the jokes will go in terms of tone. Slightly raunchy, very fast, and happy to have fun with the classic comedy stereotypes. This isn’t quite up there with the likes of “Spy”, but it’s a good attempt by him all the same. But I’ll get into that nitty-gritty later on.
The main cast are all well suited for taking this on – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. And SHOCK HORROR…. having a female lead cast doesn’t ruin anything. They work superbly well together, helping pull even the mediocre material up a bit. There’s just a sense of energy and fun to almost every scene they’re in together, from the moment the group was formed I knew that it would be very hard for things to go downhill. They all have a nice, unique character to them as well, with Kate McKinnon definitely having the most bizzare and fun of the lot. It would have been nice if Leslie Jones had a bit more written for her, but it isn’t the end of the world that there isn’t.
I like too (and this is something I realised at the end) how even though the characters are kind of written as losers, they are still very smart at what they do. And bad ass as well – all cheesy one-lners and so forth, but still cool. This is helped along by the gadgets being expanded a little, and in the last act these get their moment in the light. It was a nice touch to add, even if I can see some fans finding them looking a bit too odd. Other aspects like the car thankfully don’t get a fully modern makeover. It still looks old and beat up when we first see it, and then gets turned into something… old but cool. If it had been a Hummer or something like that I would have walked out of the theatre right at that instant.
And then there is the space oddity that is Chris Hemmsworth, umm…. how to explain it? He is the clumsy character included just for laughs, but instead is the idol that is Chris Hemmsworth. Once you step back and think it over, it is a funny take on the usual stereotype, and I bet he was having an absolute riot on set. I’m sure that some of him moments won’t be anywhere near as funny as they were on the first viewing, but fuck it, they had me giggling a lot throughout. It was like an Internet reaction video compressed into the film of the movie. Just the strangest decision, and yet somehow, they make it work.

 

So, I’ve been talking a lot about what I liked and enjoyed so far. But that isn’t to say there aren’t problems here either. As mentioned at the start, the plot is ridiculously thin, there is almost nothing on a secondary not here to read into or follow. It was a blessing that there wasn’t any unnecessary romance arc but come on guys – just SOMETHING would have been welcome. Then there’s the inconsistency of the CG, in the beginning it looks fine but by the final monster it looks like trash. Just that muddy, dark effects that I’d thought we were well past by now. Sony Columbia can do so much better than this. The motivations of the villain only reside o the surface and lack depth, and the remix Ghostbusters song used in here? What a piece of shit.

 

Still, even with all of these flaws that in another movie could really drag it down in terms of score, they didn’t have that effect here. I had a really fun time watching it, and after going into it with a lot of apprehension it was a big relief. It probably won’t hold up well to a second or third viewing, but being a crowd pleaser on the big screen feels like what the studio was aiming for all along.
This version of “Ghostbusters” may not be the sweeping success that the original was, but even the likes of “Star Wars” can struggle to re-capture the fire of the source material. On this occasion, I think they did a pretty good job, helped along by some great casting and a crew that looked like they were really enjoying this production. At the end of the day, it is a bit of fluff – a lovely, bubbly bit of fluff at that. If you’re still holding off on seeing it, give it a chance. I’m not saying you’ll be howling with laughter in the aisles, but you’ll have a good giggle all the same.

 

(7/10)

Thanks for reading!

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