Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters with vaginas. What will they think of next?

Who you gonna call?

SPOILER BUSTERS.

Because…spoilers.

BQB here with a review of the revamped Ghostbusters.

I can’t think of another movie that inspired so much hype, controversy, nerd rage and socio-politcal debate.

So rather than an all out review, I’ll anticipate and answer the questions of my 3.5 readers.

WAS IT GOOD?

Yes.  It was your pretty standard summer movie.

WAS IT BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?

No, because that was too perfect.  “Alexander wept because he had no more worlds to conquer.”

As a movie-goer, I weep because there’s very little Hollywood can do to wow me. All the special effects tricks have been discovered, CGI has been around forever, every line has been crossed, every boundary has been pushed.

The original film mixed special effects, action and comedy into something no one had ever seen before. I was wowed when I saw it as a little kid. Thirty some odd years later, I’ve seen it all now when it comes to movies.  I suppose there won’t be a new boundary to push until they create some kind of immersive virtual reality movie or something.

Millennials, you’ll never experience the awe I did as a boy sitting in a theater with a crowd of people who had never seen life like ghosts on screen for the first time.  But don’t feel too bad because all that really means in the grand scheme of things is I’ve got less time before I become a ghost than you do.

DID HAVING AN ALL FEMALE CAST RUIN THE MOVIE?

No. Anyone who takes up the Ghostbusters gauntlet has taken on a massive challenge.  “Oh yes. Let me remake the movie that every adult remembers fondly from their childhood.”

No. No pressure at all.

But they did about as good as anyone could under that pressure.

They were funny. They played their characters well.  In my opinion, Kate McKinnon as wacky inventor Holtzmann and Leslie Jones as “keeping it real” Patty stole the show.

I’M A WOMAN AND I FEEL THAT I AM DISCRIMINATED AGAINST DUE TO MY OWNERSHIP OF A VAGINA. WILL THIS FILM STOP THAT?

Probably not.  McKinnon and Jones, as well as Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig were all believable as three scientists and a New York history buff turned paranormal investigators and eliminators.

They didn’t really do anything to overtly point out that “hey we’re lady Ghostbusters.” Instead, they went through the same difficulties the original Ghostbusters went through i.e. trying to figure out the science of ghost busting without blowing themselves up while the fate of the world is on the line.

That’s a lot of pressure for anyone, whether they have a penis or a vagina.

There was a running gag where they post their ghost footage to YouTube and have to deal with crackpot social media comments, an obvious dig at the online backlash the film went through.

WAS IT RACIST TO HAVE MADE LESLIE JONES’ CHARACTER THE ONLY NON-SCIENTIST?

Hmm.  Well, I doubt that was the intent. Her character is a subway worker who in her spare time studies New York City history, thus her knowledge of what lies underneath the city and its history becomes essential to the team.

In other words, she wasn’t a scientist but she wasn’t dumb either.

WAS IT FUNNY?

There were times that I laughed. There were jokes that fell flat. Funniest moments came from Holtzmann, Patty, and the gang’s super dumb man-secretary, Kevin (Chris Hemsworth.)

For me personally, there were not any of the gut-busting, uncontrollable “I can’t stop laughing” laughs which is what you’d like to see in a Ghostbusters movie.

WAS IT JUST A REHASH OF THE ORIGINAL?

Yes and no.  There were many repeats and homages to the fans’ favorite jokes and/or scenes.  I’ll let you watch and pick them out on your own.

Plot wise, there is a lot of similarity.  Scientists create inventions to catch ghosts. Because they are breaking new ground, they make mistakes along the way. The public can’t comprehend the existence of ghosts so they think the Ghostbusters are charlatans. They butt heads with the Mayor and the government. Oh, and Slimer.

The ghosts look great with modern CGI/special effects but again, something about seeing all that in 1984 when it was new made it more awesome.

But – there was a lot of effort to redevelop the plot.  Without getting too spoilery, the villain, Rowan, is a big nerd who wants to get back at the world for all the bullying he went through by unleashing ghosts upon the world.

Most of the original cast members have fun cameos.  Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts stop by, not as their original characters but as random folks the new Ghostbusters meet along the way.

Sadly, Rick Moranis didn’t stop by though that would have been cool.  Even sadder, Harold Ramis is no longer able to stop by but there was a touching nod to him.

AM I A HORRIBLE ANTI-FEMALE PIECE OF SHIT IF I DIDN’T LIKE THE MOVIE?

I don’t think so.  You may have not liked it for any number of non-female hating reasons. Maybe you think Hollywood is filled with hacks who can’t come up with original ideas anymore. Maybe you loved the original so much you think it was blasphemous to create a new one (newsflash – the original one is still available and you can watch it anytime!)

You might even argue that as fans, we have long waited for the Ghostbusters to do something new. Yes, this is new but I mean new as in, don’t save New York again but perhaps delve into the myriad of possible threats that a team of ghost investigators might face.

In fact, given that three out of the four original Ghostbusters are alive and in relatively good condition given their age, one wonders if, in the right hands, a movie where we see what the old Ghostbusters have been up to for the past thirty years before they pass the baton to a new team might have been possible. Then again, I have to remind myself that would have only been interesting to anyone under 35 years old.  Sorry over 35 crowd, but Hollywood just considers you a waste of space.

I liked it.  I didn’t LOVE it. It isn’t something I’ll want to rewatch over and over.  But as summer movies go, it did satisfy the prerequisites – i.e. I got to escape my problems for two hours and I had a good time.

BUT IF I DIDN’T LIKE THE MOVIE, IS IT DUMB TO SAY THINGS LIKE “OH MY GOD THIS RUINED MY LIFE” OR WHATEVER?

Yes. It’s just a movie.

WAS THERE SOMETHING AS AN ASPIRING SELF-PUBLISHER THAT YOU’D LIKE TO POINT OUT?

Yes. Abby (McCarthy) and Erin (Wiig) begin the film as estranged friends who once co-wrote a book about the existence of ghosts.

Years later after going their separate ways (Abby wanted to keep chasing ghosts while Erin wanted to pursue a career as a serious professor), Erin’s efforts to secure a tenured physics professor position become threatened when Abby puts their ghost book up for sale on Amazon, so she seeks out Abby to demand that she take the book down.

Self-publishing made it into a Ghostbusters movie!

WHAT STATUS DO YOU GIVE IT?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  And due to the CGI ghosts, worth seeing on the big screen.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. […] via Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016) — Bookshelf Battle […]

  2. KarenM says:

    Reblogged this on Movie Reviews and News and commented:
    I am looking forward to watching this movie.

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