Ghostbusters Review: I ain’t afraid of no reboot

Chad White
Loves: This cast, especially Chris Hemsworth
Likes: Cameos and references
Dislikes: Metal music
Hates: Mish-Mashed scripts

Ain’t no bitches gonna catch no ghosts.

The Ghostbusters franchise is one of the most beloved series that has ever graced the silver and small screen. From the original two films to the two cartoons (and that one shitty knockoff) and several okay video games, Ghostbusters took over a large amount of everyone’s childhood. Now, a reboot that’s been in the making for decades (that came in place of a third movie) has been chastised for admittedly asinine reasons and not given the proper chance to shine. Sony over advertised as tensions between them and an uninterested audience grew. But those idiots that blew off a part of their early life because of a sex change are idiots. Ghostbusters (2016) is a wonderful love letter, flaws included.

Erin Gilbert’s (Kristen Wiig) tenure is [fought against] and subsequently ruined due to a past project that she and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) worked on years prior. Soon, the two are off to find real ghosts with the help of Yates’ new lab partner, Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon). The three are joined by non-scientist but equally funny New York subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). And who can forget their super hot yet super dumb receptionist Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth)? They must stop the city from being overrun by ghosts that Rowan North (Neil Casey) is bringing back from the spiritual realm.

If you’ve seen a Paul Feig production, then you know what to expect from every aspect of this movie. The character actors, story beats and muddied action all hit familiar patterns. But there’s a Ghostbusters skin over all of it. This isn’t The Heat; it’s far less funny than Spy. Ghostbusters is new territory for the director who hasn’t dealt in the supernatural territory. This movie does fall closer to the McCarthy and Sandra Bullock but only by so much. Feig is able to follow the action competently so that everything on screen is viewable. There’s no shaky cam to ruin a shot and ghosts have varied colors (mostly shades of blue) so the audience has an easy time spotting them. Shots linger on some jokes to get the classic comedic beat. To say the least, Feig did a decent job.

The script is a mixed bag though. Feig cowrote it with Katie Dippold, who has done work for Parks and Rec and The Heat. At points, the movie slows down -- much like The Heat -- but then the action kicks in and things get good again. Similarly, as with every single comedy movie, jokes fall flat but are eclipsed by the bigger, stronger versions of themselves. For instance, the subhead of this review was one of the bigger laughs that had a smattering of smaller, less intricate jokes from the 117 minute movie. And the villain’s actions and reasons for bringing ghosts back were never thoroughly explained. There’s no real tension throughout making it difficult to get attached to any one of the characters. The action, as mentioned before, is good though with it all building towards a real spectacle in the end. It made for a frustrating time. This third baked script (higher than half) coupled with the slippery but equally baked directing ultimately made for just an okay movie.

Should you watch Ghostbusters?

If you’re a fan of the franchise, go and see this movie. Even if it’s a matinee on a Sunday, go see it. There’s nothing more childish than a pouty fan that doesn't want to “ruin their childhood” because they don’t agree with the politics of their favorite franchise. That’s stupid. If you’re not a fan, you too can have equal fun at this funny yet forgettable film.

Notes

  • The original Ghostbusters cameos (sans Ramis - RIP) were fantastic. Less Aykroyd, more Murray, and a very welcoming Hudson. We’re definitely going to see more Hudson and Aykroyd. Not so much on the Murray front. Sigourney Weaver was great too.
  • Why were there so many “of the era” ghosts? Like, pilgrims and whatnot? I’m not bothered but I watched a review where one of the speakers mentioned it. It’s probably because Rowan wanted to bring the Earth back to the glory days.
  • Cecily Strong did so well with her part. We’re sure to see her again in the sequel too. She, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon kicking ass in this movie should make any current SNL fan happy.
  • Ed Begley Jr. popped up and I could only think to myself “Is that Ed Begley Jr? Boy, Ed Begley Jr. sure does look like an Ed Begley Jr.” Whatever that means.
  • I don’t want to sound mean but Neil Casey was a strange casting for the antagonist. He’s a very funny guy in everything he’s done but, still, strange casting.
  • Seeing Steve Higgins flick off Wiig and McCarthy was a true highlight.
  • Today on Zach Woods Watch: Zach Woods knocks it out of the park. Nate Corddry was in here too.
  • I hope to God Slimer and Slimmette somehow escaped the portal.