Directed by: Paul Feig
Written by: Kate Dipold, Paul Feig
Starring: Kirsten Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
It’s here, the movie attached to the most disliked trailer in YouTube history Ghostbusters with Girls! (seriously how did Pixels escape that fate? That whole thing was fucking awful!)
Shock and disgust was the internet’s reaction when director Paul Feig announced an all female cast for the reboot as our favourite proton packed protagonists. It touched a nerve with the die hard fans of Ivan Reitman’s 1984 classic that all remakes or reboots often do when they mess with the formula that made the original so memorable (I’m looking at you Karate Kid with Jayden “Fucking” Smith, you were learning kung-fu?!?).
Then the first trailer came and, boy, was that a steaming sack of “How Not To Do A Trailer” focusing on slapstick comedy, a focus on the CG and even a confusing link to the original that the director blamed on the marketing department, I was not impressed with it either but people really hated this thing…
Okay we get it over 925,000 dislikes later and the film has now come out, so what is my verdict?
It’s not terrible
Maybe I went in with low expectations but I quite enjoyed Paul Feig’s latest testament to girl-power, it definitely has his fingerprints all over it. It’s as if Feig was directing a student remake of Ghostbusters with his friends, won the lottery and financed it better than Columbia Pictures could the first one.
Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) play estranged friends/colleagues who fall back into each others lives when ghostly apparitions start appearing across New York City. Yates is working with bonkers engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and are joined by subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones) when she gets caught up in the spectral hi jinks. The foursome gel very well (just like Murray, Ackroyd, Hudson and the late Harold Ramis in the original) and have a sense of spirit and team work that plays for laughs as much as storytelling. One of the best things I can say about the film is they are strong characters where the “gender issue” is only played for a few basic laughs, Wiig flirting terribly with Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin for example but playing on the stereotypes that women get a lot in entertainment. Speaking of Hemsworth, he’s there for the majority of the films stupid laughs, considering he hasn’t appeared in many comedies he plays the role of stupid air-headed himbo quite well.
Now to the Ghostbusting itself, this is where the film lacked for me a bit, the originals charm came a lot from its early special effects and model work, what we have here is CG ghosts that lack charm character and a physical entanglement to the world, the same thing I felt when watching Independence Day: Resurgence. The over reliance of Hollywood to produce painted on visual effects for financial reasons takes away what made a lot of movies from the ’80s, ’90s and early ’00s their heart, imagine a CGI E.T. pointing that finger at Elliot, I’d tell the director to fuck off and get me a puppet!
I digress, Ghostbusters (2016) is an enjoyable family friendly film with a good cast, entertaining humour and if you enjoyed Feig and McCarthy’s other collaborations (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy) you will no doubt find something to enjoy in this. It’s a summer popcorn flick and that is not a bad thing, it’s even a fair Ghostbusters movie but it is forgettable, if this was the first Ghostbusters film made it would not maintain a legacy of fandom like its namesake.
Don’t be afraid to see these Ghosts!
7 Ghosts out of 10