4YE’s Big Movie Binge: Ghostbusters (2016)

Credit: Sony Pictures

I am still behind two movies but here I am with another Ghostbusters film to round out the trio for 4YE’s Big Movie Binge!

The all-female reboot of Ghostbusters was… it’s difficult to explain. I am a huge opponent of remakes. I absolutely hate a grand majority of them. Sometimes, movies and TV shows don’t need to be remade. Look at Dirty Dancing and last year’s The Mummy. Yes, I realize the 1997 version of The Mummy was a remake itself, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. Ghostbusters is not one of them.

Ghostbusters was one of those films that never should’ve been thought of in the first place. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for feminism, girl power, seeing women being friends, and uplifting each other while kicking bad guy butt. Dang, this film was horrible. The special effects update was much needed and the climax of the film was spectacular. Ultimately, the jokes were horrible and, to be honest, the cast had no chemistry.

Instead of me shredding the film to pieces, let me first focus on the things that I liked. Special effects wise, the film was beautiful. There was clever forced 3D as many of the ghosts, ghouls, the streams from the proton packs went up and over the cinematic black bars that signal the film is in widescreen format. That was rather clever and I liked that. Many of the specters in the climax of the film were individually and fully formed personalities. Gone was the goofy animations of Ghostbusters 2 as well. These ghosts were scary just as they were intended to be. It worked for an audience who have gotten used to the idea of the supernatural being scary instead of kooky.

That being said, the climax of the film with Erin (Kristin Wiig), Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Patty (Leslie Jones) kicking butt in the middle of Time’s Square while all the men were frozen in funny dance poses was incredible. Honestly, that was the only point where the film really felt like it hit its stride. The girls were really rocking the proton packs and their burgeoning… kick-assery (for lack of a better term for it). This was also the only point where it felt like the four women were in sync with each other.

I think that this film is an exercise in the pitfalls of having four very strong comediennes with different styles trying to come together in a film written primarily by a male and directed by a male. It simply doesn’t work. All four comedy routines clash and clang together in discord with each other. Not to mention Paul Feig (the writer and director) has his own style of comedy as well. The result is disjointed. Quite frankly, the film should’ve ended about forty-five minutes earlier than it did. This film drags more than Ghostbusters 2 did. I could’ve done without the toilet humor and all the girls frequently making over the top jokes.

Another thing I didn’t like was the story itself. It made no sense to have a male antagonist as the one opening the bridge between the human world and the supernatural one. It was an unneeded stepping stone and the antagonist’s motivations are never really clear. The only reason there was a male antagonist was to utilize Chris Hemsworth’s character, Kevin. Kevin, bless his heart, deserved so much better. I understand the idea of Kevin was to flip the tables on the “ditzy secretary” trope, but dang. It was so forced. Poor Hemsworth gives it his all but it constantly falls flat. The reason for that is mostly the poor writing.

My advice is simple. If you’re looking for a good film on female empowerment and chemistry, then look to a different film because you’ll be disappointed if you watch Ghostbusters.

Shelby Arnold
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