Film Review: "Ghostbusters"

"Ghostbusters" theatrical poster courtesy of Columbia Pictures

"Ghostbusters" theatrical poster courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Ghostbusters” (2016) is directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” “Spy”) and stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as the newest Ghostbusters. The idea of “Ghostbusters 3” was planned for a long time, but with Bill Murray not very interested and the death of Harold Ramis, the decision was made to just reboot the series instead.

This reboot to the original 1984 “Ghostbusters,” which is held as one of the greatest comedies ever made, is popular from its tremendous hate that it’s earned even before it came out. Its official trailer is the most disliked movie trailer of all time with over 942,000 dislikes on YouTube.

People were quick to judge the film negatively solely on the facts that the film doesn’t star Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and the rest of the original cast to have the film be the long awaited “Ghostbusters 3,” and that the leads are new, female actresses. And it didn’t really help when fans heard that the original cast will appear in the new film as cameos and not their characters.

Being a minority of the general feedback, mainly to the misogynist individuals, it felt that everyone bashing the film forgot or don’t realize that the director has directed solid comedies like “Bridesmaids,” which has a large female cast. Having that thought in mind and that the film stars some of the best female comedic actresses out, this film felt like it was going to live up to the original 1984 “Ghostbusters.”

It’s also unfair to judge the new one so poorly because the haters praise the original, and even though it’s a good film, it’s got problems (dare I even say, a little overrated). And the same team behind the first film also made “Ghostbusters 2,” which is a complete mess compared to the original, and everyone seems to purposefully forget it.

With all that in mind, does this reboot really deserve such hate?

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures 

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures 

The strongest element of the film is its main leads, which is the most important aspect in a “Ghostbusters” movie. Even though Wiig and McCarthy could’ve been a lot funnier, they still manage to bring in laughs. It’s also good to see McKinnon and Jones getting bigger roles in Hollywood as they’re two of the best actors on Saturday Night Live, and were the stronger Ghostbusters in the film.

Even with the controversial decision to make the film centering around female characters instead of the traditional male leads we’ve been accustomed to in the “Ghostbusters” films, the reboot is not hindered from its main female cast. Having Murray, Aykroyd, and many from the original film saying they enjoyed the movie is also a huge compliment to the new “Ghostbusters”.

Scenes such as the team catching their first ghost and the climax are a lot of fun to watch. They get to show off how they take down the ghosts with the classic Proton Pack and riding around New York City in the Ecto 1 as well as new weapons created by McKinnon’s character. And the scenes where they throw in the original “Ghostbusters” cast are, for the most part, highlights as well.

While those elements are definitely worth seeing the film, there are issues. Most of the supporting cast are forgettable with either bland performances or not engaging characters. The only one worth noting is Chris Hemsworth as the team’s receptionist, but he’s annoyingly ditzy. He brings in laughs a few times, but his jokes wear off quickly.

A remake to the original “Ghostbusters” song is made for the reboot and is a complete insult to the original. The original song sang by Ray Parker Jr. is one of the most iconic theme songs in film ever with its ‘80s feel and extremely catchy vocals and instruments. Fall Out Boy sings the new version and it sounds like a bunch of obnoxious instruments playing while you try to make out the words horribly sung by Patrick Stump.

The visual effects are also not a strong point for the film. They’re not terrible as a lot of the ghosts have creative designs to them, but definitely not as impressive as the original movie’s effects, which mostly still hold up today with its blend of practical and computer generated effects. The new ghosts always look like they’re just CGI and obviously fake.

Wher the newest “Ghostbusters” falls the most is its writing. It takes about 20 minutes for the film to pick up and be an enjoyable time. It begins painfully slow, with scenes that are trying too hard to be like the original film or just not being funny at all. Even great comedians like Wiig and McCarthy couldn’t make it enjoyable.

It’s also shockingly not as funny as one might expect to be. It’s not that the jokes are all bad, but it’s almost as if it’s not trying to be as funny. Wiig and McCarthy characters have a background with each other that felt pointless because it really didn’t add much to their personalities. If the history was aimed more to make us laugh, then maybe it would’ve been better.

Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures 

Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures 

One of the cameos also was a huge miss from the target as it felt almost hypocritical for the actor to be playing the cameo character in the film. And there were also moments, particularly towards the end, that had scenes that didn’t add up at all.

In the end, there are honestly not enough positives for people supporting the new “Ghostbusters” to say that the haters are completely wrong while the ones bashing the film can’t necessarily say that it’s complete a waste of time. It’s definitely got issues, mainly not having enough jokes, but there’s more than enough for anyone interested to go see. This is worth a sequel if the writers can workout some tweaks, and hopefully makes enough money, because the new Ghostbusters team is a lot of fun to watch on screen.

While not as strong as the original 1984 “Ghostbusters,” the 2016 “Ghostbusters” is still worth giving a look at. So grab a Hi-C Ecto Cooler drink, re-released for the film, and give them a call.