“Ghostbusters (2016) is a better version of Pixels which was a ripoff of Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters is the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise that started in 1984. This film has been in development since the second film was released in 1989. It has seen many changes before finally finding a director in Paul Feig. Feig and screenwriter, Katie Dippold, settled to go for a complete continuity break and start fresh. Thus brings about the new Ghostbusters which is an all female crew. The four Ghostbusters are played by Melissa McCarty, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. So how is this film? It’s okay.
The plot of the film is basically the same as the 1984 film. This is a new team composed of two people who are versed in the paranormal but shunned, someone who shares in their belief and somewhat oft kilter and a layman who all join forces to take on the new threat to New York City. This was pretty much a safe bet and hard not to see why they did it but it still feels like something new could have been done. Though like the original film, the chemistry between the four helps elevate the film than what it could have been.
Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig have the best chemistry out of the two. This is probably due to working together before in Bridesmaids and also having the same director from that film in Feig. Melissa McCarthy was the biggest question mark to me as I have never been a fan of her work and she has a noticeable gimmick that is unfunny to me. But she plays it straight along with Wiig which was something unexpected. Unfortunately they really have nothing to do after the first act but they are solid performers. Leslie Jones was probably the biggest surprise as I have only seen her in bit parts outside of Saturday Night Live. She works really well with the rest of the cast and has much more to do compared to her counterpart in the 1984 film. Kate McKinnon is the only one who didn’t sell me completely. I didn’t think she was bad but she seemed to be in an entirely different movie which sometimes work and sometimes didn’t.
The rest of the cast also falls in line with McKinnon as they are all broad and outlandish. Chris Hemsworth gets the noticeable role as the secretary to the new Ghostbusters who is a complete idiot. It’s subtly implied that he’s gotten by in life due to his good looks. It was refreshing to see Hemsworth’s comedy chops but his character is a little too dumb sometimes. Andy Garcia as the Mayor also shows his comedy chops and makes you wonder why he hasn’t had too many comedic roles in the past. In fact he gets one of the biggest laughs towards the end of the movie but more on that later. The rest of the cast are just there and not worth much. In fact the villain is entirely forgettable and going into the movie I did not even know who the villain was and leaving, I realized why. He’s just a nothing character. Though the form the villain takes does answer a big question I’ve had about the Ghostbusters for some time.
So where does the problem start? About halfway through the film, once the Ghostbusters become an official team. After that, the movie is formulaic and and predictable. The third act is a complete mess. It rips off the ending of the 1984 movie and has destruction that is seen in superhero films. Paul Feig is a talented comedic director but when it comes to action, he probably should have gotten a better second unit director. It just becomes a series of computer generated ghosts and clutter. What doesn’t help is that there are no set rules for how to deal with ghosts like in the 1984 film. The third act is not very fun but Andy Garcia’s Mayor does get a moment where I found myself laughing.
Ghostbusters is not a bad film but it is also not a great film. I am not a big fan of the original film in 1984 so I can say that I did not have a bias going into the film. The cast helps elevate the film as you can easily see where it would fall apart if it a lesser cast of Ghostbusters. If there is a sequel, you can see where it would shine as most of the hard work is out of the way now. If you are a fan of the Ghostbusters in general or the four women, I will think you will enjoy this. But I can’t highly recommend it myself.