Tuesday, 19 July 2016


The new take on the Ghostbusters, the film that every fanboy has loved to hate since its inception and the most disliked trailer on youtube (really guys?), has finally landed and it’s definitely a mixed bag that, as a massive fan of the original (who isn’t?) left me ultimately feeling a mix of nostalgia and conflict. Ghostbusters (a.k.a. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call) is directed by Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the new face of the busting crew. After a falling out in their teenage years, Abby Yates (McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (Wiig) reunite to investigate a haunting at a local historic house that, in turn, leads to the pair combining forces with Jillian Holtzman (McKinnon), Abby’s kooky and slightly unstable assistant, with Patty Tolan (Jones) joining them along the way. From here, the group must attempt to stop a full-scale spook-pocalypse from descending on New York before its too late.

The positives: As a person who (unpopular opinion!) had no problem with a female-lead Ghostbusters cast, I really enjoyed the character’s relationships and the quick, witty banter between them was well written (nice to see a film with a lot of positive female friendship that didn’t involve someone getting jealous about a guy). Standouts by far were Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon who brought the thunder for this movie and ultimately gave us the most entertaining characters, which is ironic as I was expecting that from the big names of Wiig and McCarthy. There were definitely a few chuckles here and there, and more than a few homages and cameos from the original cast that pop up when you least expect them to, which was a nice touch. The special effects were well done and the spooks were much, much scarier this time around. I particular loved how the film took jabs at the fact that it had such a negative reception from die-hards fans, especially those who had a problem with the fact that they were women, and doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. As a side note, the new ghost-busting equipment is also seriously badass.

The negatives: One of the big issues that I had with this film had to be the villain. Although I understood the premise of why he was written i.e. to be a foil against the Ghostbusting group, he essentially could have been played by anyone and was overall pretty bland. The final end standoff that we saw in the trailer was really the only time he shone. While the film was on the whole funny, some of the humour lost its flavour by being taken that one step too far, for example with their receptionist Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth). We know he’s a bit of an idiot (okay, a lot of an idiot) within the first few moments of his character’s arrival, and I liked that he was a parody of some of the ridiculous characters women get cast as in order to be eye-candy, but Kevin’s cartoonish actions can only entertain an audience for so long before it starts to get old and I’m not entirely convinced Hemsworth was the right casting choice. My last concern has to do with the pacing in this film: it tended to lose its momentum in places and lose my attention, however when I tuned back in not much had happened, which isn’t the best sign for such a highly anticipated film.

The film is ultimately nowhere near as bad as people were wanting it to be, but also not nearly as good as I was hoping it would be, and would possibly have been better as an homage in itself to Ghostbusters rather than a fully fledged ‘busters movie. It had its funny moments and I loved the whole girl power aspect (I’m sure there will be many tiny Ghostbusters this Halloween) but there was definitely room for revision and improvement and I wish that it had been able to stand on its own a little more. On the plus side, the kids are gonna love it and let’s face it, its no longer about our childhood, its about theirs.  

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