Ghostbuster (2016) Review


Synopsis: Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.


The new Ghostbusters reboot/remake directed by Paul Feig has been the center of some huge controversy ever since it was announced from the casting choice of an all-female cast to whether such a classic should even be remade at all to pretty much every decision made in the production but we finally get to see whether all the complaining and arguing was worth it. This movie is sort of a difficult movie for me to review, as a huge fan of the entire franchise from the original two movies, The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series and the 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game this franchise holds a very special place in my heart. So let me start off saying that I did enjoy my experience watching this movie as a comedy/parody film but as a Ghostbusters movie this movie completely fails and kind of insults the incredible legacy the franchise created. 

It’s tough to look at this movie on its own without comparing it to the 1984 original so I’m not going to even try. If someone were to go into this movie with no knowledge of the Ghostbusters or were able to separate their love of the series they would probably enjoy this movie as a silly parody comedy much like Paul Feig’s other movies like Bridesmaids, Heat and Spy. All are very good at turning each specific genre on its head and making some silly comedic moments out of them. (I recommend all three by the way) I say this because every aspect of this movie is an absurd exaggeration of the original. Take the story; it is almost an exact copy of the original with some exaggerated differences. All the characters are pretty unbelievable as real people because they don’t act like real people, they behave and make decisions that no normal person would ever make. The original Ghostbusters you could actually believe they were all real scientists that believed in what they were doing and acted like somewhat believable people. It really takes away your ability to relate to the characters in some way and thereby removing some of your investment into the movie. Take Holtzmann, Kate Mckinnon’s character, I get that she is the eccentric genius but it seemed like she was drunk or on something the entire movie making weird faces at the camera. The biggest example of this is Kevin the receptionist played by Chris Hemsworth, he is just stupid beyond belief to the point where it’s like how is this person alive and functioning but oddly he was hilarious probably my favorite part of the whole movie. That’s just it... If this was a parody movie these over the top exaggerations would work but as a Ghostbusters film it feels totally out of place. The main villain Rowan was never really developed or explained very well. His backstory and motivation is that he was bullied all his life for being weird so he wants revenge on everyone in the world by bringing about a paranormal apocalypse. However at no point is Rowan ever imposing or scary as a villain even when he gets his inexplicable god like powers which there is no explanation for at all either.

The tone of the movie is the biggest issue I have most of all, the original had this serious almost horror-like tone and what created the comedy was the smart dialogue between the Ghostbusters. The new one is so silly with some really low brow humor. The first real joke in the movie is literally a fart/queefing joke… That set the tone for the rest of the movie like the constant sliming of Erin, Kristin Wiig’s character or the weird running wanton joke throughout the movie feels really out of place. Then there are the multiple layers of commentary this movie tries to be addressing. This movie had a huge controversy of supposed misogynists hating on this movie due to the all female cast and this movie seems to go out of its way to make every male character an idiot or useless. This movie also tries to poke jabs with not one but two scenes seemingly aimed directly at all the Youtube hate the trailers got. It’s not subtle at all and it’s actually really distracting and take you out of the movie experience. Speaking of distracting. The many call backs and cameos from the original film feel incredibly forced and not genuine.

Visually this movie is also a mixed bag I loved the action and the ghost busting scenes, although very few and far between, were awesome. The four Ghostbusters really kicked butt when they really got into it. Again it was a little unbelievable that they were so acrobatic and proficient with the proton packs so soon but it looked awesome! The problem was the ghosts themselves they looked so bright and very neon they weren’t scary or intimidating looking at all.

Bottom line is this movie is not very good but there is some fun to be had with it. The visuals of the ghostbusting tech was great and the main leads gave great performances even though the writing for their characters were very over the top. If you're a fan of the original Ghostbusters just don't go into this movie expecting anything similar to it and you might have a good time but bad writing and jokes combined with an invasive obsession with nostalgia that's very distracting will prevent it from being a must see movie. So there you have it what did you think of Ghostbusters? Let me know what you thought in the comments.

Should You See It: No

Theater Worthy: No

Final Grade: C-