Ghostbusters (2016)

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Rated PG13 (for supernatural action and some crude humour).

From the moment the first trailer was released for the new Ghostbusters reboot, the film was facing an uphill battle.  Quickly becoming one of the most down-voted videos on YouTube, it was surprising how great the vitriol was from the internet, claiming that the four female leads were an affront to everything that Ghostbusters stood for.

So when I finally got a chance to see the film, I was curious to see if the movie was going to crash and burn like most of the internet was predicting, or whether (shock horror) the internet was just overreacting to a piece of marketing.

Melissa McCarthy;Kristen Wiig;Kate McKinnon

Starting off pretty much like the original film, Ghostbusters introduces us to the titular crew before they start on their paranormal crusade, following them on their journey as they slowly build up their supernatural know-how and take it upon themselves to kick ghostly butt.  And just in time too, as there’s something strange afoot causing an increase in ghostly occurrences in New York City.

So by and large the story doesn’t bring anything new to the table. There are more than a few nods to the 1984 film, with cameos from the original stars and direct call-backs to the catchphrases we all know so well, but the chemistry of the four leads playing off each other does help breathe some fresh air into the script.

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Playing scientists Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates respectively, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy have a real life friendship that carries through into the film. Coupled with subway worker Patty Tolan’s (Leslie Jones) larger than life personality and Kate McKinnon’s over-the-top antics as engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and you have a group of protagonists that are easy to hang around with and ultimately root for. 

But the real scene-stealer of the movie has to be Chris Hemsworth as the dim-witted but ever so good-looking Kevin.  Hemsworth really commits to Kevin’s simple-mindedness and whenever he was onscreen he had the audience just bursting into laughter.

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Watching the formation of the Ghostbusters and the steps they go through to eventually form the team we know and love was a fun experience.  The pacing was brisk, and the story beats kept the momentum going, the banter of the leads ensuring there wasn’t really a dull moment. Sure, there was a lot of hokey “science” terms being thrown about, but I don’t think anyone went to watch the film for its hard science. The ghost effects themselves were well done, with some of the apparitions truly being spooky and yet at the same time, oddly mesmerising.

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Things started to falter a bit in the film’s third act.  The movie had been building to the showdown with the film’s big bad, but when the climactic battle did eventually arrive it felt oddly uneventful.  Even though there were a few action set-pieces they didn’t really have the impact they needed, and everything seemed to resolve itself rather quickly.

In fact, you could tell that some bits had been cut out of the final scene in order to save time, and you sort of get to see some of the scenes that were cut out in the end credits.  Seeing those cut out clips made me wish that they had left the sequence in the main film, but I understand why it was removed.

In Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

I think it’s telling that the most memorable part of this movie for me was the Ghostbusters theme song from the original film 32 years ago.  All in all, the Ghostbusters reboot is a fun watch but it’s not anything that is going to really stick around in the public consciousness.  It lays the foundation for a new franchise, and I dare say that it’s going to make enough money at the box office to warrant a sequel.

I give Ghostbusters a 7 out of 10 and oh, do stick around until the end of the credits.

P.S. Speaking of the Ghostbuster theme song, check out this link.

7 Score

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