Ghostbusters is the probably the most talked about film of 2016. Yes, I’d put it above Star Wars: Rogue One and Suicide Squad. Paul Feig’s reboot of a comedy classic had all the possibilities of not sucking, despite the general outcry of “we don’t need another reboot” which I agree with.
I will say this as many times as I need to, it wasn’t the ladies who disappointed, it was the script. The modern awkward humor doesn’t suit the story, and they completely lost me with the first mention of poop/potty humor. That doesn’t belong in a well rounded comedy, it just doesn’t, and nothing will change my mind on that. Motivations were hollow and the pacing was a mess. The 1984 film had tons of situational humor, which WORKED for them, and the script didn’t feel like like it was forced. 2016 Ghostbusters did.
The new Ghostbusters story has some promise, professional women coming together to study something they all have interest in. The dialog is boring and not funny, the majority of laughs come from the repetition of someone else’s lines and Chris Hemsworth’s character being completely inept. I get that this is meant to be a big biting of the thumb at the normal thing of having a hot ditzy secretary, but Janine in the original wasn’t this stupid.
Comedian Neil Casey plays the unmotivated villain Rowan North, a disgruntled (I guess?) bellhop from the Mercado hotel. He builds giant Tesla-esque machines in an effort to supercharge the ley lines of New York City, which will cause the barrier between the spiritual realm and the current realm to crash down, releasing ghosts in droves. We never find out WHY he wants to do this, although it’s implied that yes he’s crazy, and yes he’s been bullied and picked on. He has no real REASONS why he wants to do this thing.
Kate McKinnon is the best part, mostly because the camera loves her face and her scenery chewing skills are magnificent. She COMMITS, and despite everything else happening, you actually believe in her abilities and knowledge. The rest of the Busters team is made up of comedianns including Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones. I’m actually looking forward to seeing a gag reel to see how the ladies did off script, because I bet it’s more entertaining than the actual film.
The cameos are plentiful but hollow, except for the mid-end-credit appearence of the First Lady of Science Fiction. If you don’t know who that is, SHAME. All of the original (living) Ghostbusters team make an appearance, and Harold Ramis is not forgotten.
But is this really the best an all female leading cast film can deliver in this genre? Yes, we know there has been an alarming amount of petty hate leading up to the release JUST BECAUSE there are women wielding the proton packs, but we really didn’t need five different scenes talking about it in the movie. This should have been a slam dunk for everyone involved, great casting and a solid premise. But it really really wasn’t anything resembling good.
When the ladies ARE bustin’ those specters, it’s AWESOME. The effects look great, the ladies move well, and I enjoyed it. Sadly, these scenes only account for maybe 6 minutes of the run time.
SCORE: 4 OUT OF 10, non 3D screening
I have to think this reboot was well meant, that Feig’s heart was in the right place. It just didn’t deliver on any of the expected fronts. See it in a group, see it after having a few Ghostbusters themed cocktails (if you’re 21+), maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did.
SONY’s Ghostbusters opens worldwide on Friday, July 15th.