Ghostbusters


★★

Directed by Paul Feig Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth Film Review by Chris Olson Okay, elephant in the room, yes reboots generally suck and mainstream cinema has been verging on a creative vacuum lately unless you like your films with superpowers or franchised. All the trolling in the world doesn't seem to be able to stop the green light for remakes of beloved movie classics, so let's deal with this like adults and stop all of the childishness.


Kristen Wiig plays a clever clogs college lecturer whose possible tenure is jeopardised when an embarrassing book she co wrote about the supernatural appears for sale on Amazon, put there by co conspirator Melissa McCarthy. After confronting her old pal, Wiig's character is dragged to a supposed site of supernatural behaviour, and a ghost appears, before sliming her good and proper - and on camera. The video is leaked and discredited (the latter by Bill Murray of all people) causing Wiig to lose her job, but solidifying her and McCarthy's resolve to pursue these ghouls, now that they have confirmation that they actually exist. Far from reinventing the wheel, Ghostbusters (2016) seems to have got caught up in all the hysteria as much as the fanboys and girls. It suffers massively from a lack of identity and the result is a wish-washey, childish affair that is more disappointing than demonic. There are so many nods of the head to the previous films that this movie starts feeling like one of those dashboard figurines - kinda fun to look at but pretty cheap and the novelty quickly wears off. There has been a lot of talk about the cast of this new Ghostbusters film, and whether or not they rise to the challenge - immense as it was. The fact is that no opportunity was really given to them. Like an Olympic athlete competing on a diet of stodgy egg McMuffins, you cannot expect success with a script this clunky. Very little of it is funny and the visual spectacle is given so much preferential treatment that many lines literally get covered up by noise and clatter. That being said, this reviewer very much enjoyed Kate McKinnon's comedic performance, her anarchic spirit and detachment being palpable, and entertaining, throughout, and Leslie Jones turned in several chucklesome moments. Chris Hemsworth is funny to a point, and then becomes a victim of the film's scrambling to find jokes, relying on his character's buffoonish antics too heavily.


Comedy anchors Wiig and McCarthy do their best to enjoy the silliness and the fun, but seem so self aware that they barely engage with Paul Feig's lukewarm endeavours. They seem so self aware that any chance of originality gets lost in the endlessly scrolling comments section of YouTube videos. Tonally, this film is a mess. The jokes land irregularly and the continuity will probably get the biggest, yet sardonic, laugh from audiences. In one scene it takes all four Ghostbusters just to grab hold of one ghost, and yet by the end we see each character pretty much playing ten-pin bowling with them. There is fun to be had here and writing as someone with no real attachment to the originals I can safely say I was completely unbothered with the taking of this premise or these similar characters. However, why make this movie?! What was the point of struggling through all of the cyber hate and trolling just to roll out a poor imitation of the original without any real improvements? The cast was there, the director has a proven track record. It all feels like this was an exercise in movie digital marketing and who could kick up the biggest stink...well bravo.


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