Film Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters

Title – Ghostbusters (2016)

Director – Paul Feig (Bridesmaids)

Cast – Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey

Plot – With paranormal activity on the rise throughout New York City, the newly formed Ghostbusters led by old friends Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) find themselves in the thick of a potentially deadly plot to unleash ghoulish mayhem on the unsuspecting citizens of the great American city.  

“I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”

Review by Eddie on 22/02/2017

There has been so much said in both the lead up and aftermath of the release of Ghostbusters, Paul Feig’s female orientated re-doing of the beloved 1980’s comedy property, that it feels as though there’s almost nothing else to be said about it.

Regardless of all that has been said, both from the haters (who get mentions here), those on the fence and those that have found this reimagining to be the entertaining comedy rush they wanted, this 2016 version of a bunch of ghost hunting misfits patrolling New York city as a collection of nasty ghouls run amok is neither humorous enough, engaging enough or even imaginative enough to even be held up to the high flying original released in 1984 nor the rather so-so sequel from 1989.

Falling into the recent traps of modern day big budgeted events, the biggest problem Ghostbusters encounters is creating a decent story (which isn’t even worth talking about) and with the film neither being a direct sequel or a remake, Feig and his co-writer Katie Dippold have created a rather uninspiring plotline that throws our talented female cast into a world of green slime and celebrity cameos but forgets to engage us along for the ride.

A majority of the films laughs come from either jokes made at the expense or remembrance of the old films or from Chris Hemsworth’s dim-witted office clerk Kevin, while the cast who’ve all plied their trades in various comedy enterprises over the year struggle in what was likely a case of the studio holding back their rather bizarre antics in hope of keeping the film as PG as possible for the widest audience available.

It’s a shame the cast weren’t given total free reign to take this material somewhere new and exciting as it’s not enough to just change the demographic from male to female orientation and while it’s refreshing to see Melissa McCarthy be dialled back a notch or two after a string of ADHD like performances, she fails to make a mark while Wiig and SNL’s Kate McKinnon get short shrift leaving the films last big four member Leslie Jones to take up slack with her loud mouthed Patty Tolan taking home the teams major wins.

At the end of the day it feels as though this repainted Ghostbusters was neither a film many wanted or called out for and failed to show any of the haters wrong with a film that is neither a win in the comedy stakes, the originality stakes or the entertainment stakes.

Whilst perhaps not as bad as many feared, Ghostbusters biggest crime is a waste of a ready-made brand name in its creation of a film that is instantly forgettable. Something that was never the case when we first called the Ghostbusters all those years ago.

2 cans of Pringles out of 5

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12 responses to “Film Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. On this occasion, I disagree with you. I saw it with a bunch of women and we all loved the inventiveness and female focus of it. We laughed ourselves silly. Can we agree to disagree, this time? And I know you are in the majority of opinions on this, but I just adored it.

    • I really wanted to like this one more Greercn but I just found to many flat jokes ruined the overall experience and the actual story was quite poor. But its hard to always find common ground so I’m certainly glad you enjoyed this one 🙂
      E

  2. You say it’s inferior to GB2, yet give it two stars? You must have liked GB2 a lot more than I did. And if this film is really worse than that one, hard to see how it could break one star. I’ve had it ready to view for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe that’s no bad thing. But I do hear some people say good things, like some of your fans here, so I’ll probably watch it at some point. Anyway, thanks guys.

  3. The film has one major flaw. It doesn’t know if it wants to take the concept of ghosts seriously. On one hand, I doubt anybody involved in making the film believes in ghosts. On the other hand, a major premise of the movie is that men are sexist because they want take women at their word when they report having seen ghosts.

    The first film (which was honestly not very good either) had one strength. It didn’t take itself seriously. Thus, it didn’t matter if we believed in ghosts or not. They were just as funny either way. The 2016 ghostbusters descends into a muddled conflict between women who believe in ghosts and men who don’t.

    The screenplay is similarly confused about Chris Pratt’s character. Is he a male bimbo, or is he just an asshole. He might have been funny in limited doses. Similarly, the film might have been funny had they consistently established Kristin Wig as the “straight man” for the other three women. But the last 30 minutes are so convoluted and so confused that it’s almost impossible to stay with it.

    The coercive advertising campaign (“see this film or you’re a sexist”) should have been a dead giveaway.

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