Ghostbusters (2016) – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
If you didn’t hear last year, someone thought it would be a good idea to reboot Ghostbusters…. but they did it with all girls! Oh no! Okay, I have no problem with female leads, strong female characters, or any of the stuff that seemed to get people all up in arms about this movie, but I do have a few problems with reboots in general, and Ghostbusters is no exception to that. Being someone who loved the original Ghostbusters I don’t know why they couldn’t have just made this more like a sequel than a reboot. They could have had pretty much the same story if they made it exist in the same “film universe” as the original film. Say that the original Ghostbusters have retired, and franchised out the name or something. By rebooting it the way that they did, which kind of “erased” the original film, Ghostbusters (2016) had dug a deep hole from frame one.
Overall I enjoyed parts of the film but still found it a little disappointing. It was funny, but at times it failed to deliver the humour too, and I think that was both the fault of the director and caused by having too many “comedians” involved. Watching the bonus features kind of confirmed this to me, they didn’t really seem to have a hard script to stick to. There was a lot of improv with the lines and the jokes, which causes some scenes to go on for too long, and actually ended up losing the humour they were trying for. There was one scene in the actual film that was really just a “line-o-rama” bit where the characters just bantered back and forth making more and more one liners, and that kind of killed it for me. Leave that stuff for the bonus features, trim your script down, keep your story moving, and stick to your script. (Now, I watched the extended cut on Blu Ray, so I don’t know if all that I saw was included in the theatrical edition or not.) If they had stuck more to a script, I don’ think the film would have felt as disjointed as it did to me. There was one scene towards the end, where the team is in trouble and shocked when Erin (Kristen Wiig) comes back and saves them. The team is amazed and thankful she is back, and seem to be acting like she quit the team, but the night before when she was last on screen she just said she was going home and she’d “see you tomorrow”, so what was going on here? Is this a prime example of where the soft script failed the movie that made it to the screen? Again, if that played out differently in the theatrical cut let me know!
My other problem with this “reboot” was that they still used a lot of ideas and jokes from the original, which certainly didn’t help it to escape the shadow of the 1984 classic. Having the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man appear (even it was as a parade balloon) was a little weak, as was a scene in a restaurant that reminded me of both Rick Moranis’ from the original and of Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver’s date in Ghostbusters II. And having them resolve the final crisis in a very similar way by crossing the streams of their proton packs was very weak in my opinion. If I wanted to see that, I’d just watch the original movie again. I did enjoy the cameos from the original cast (which once again, may or may not have helped the film escape that original film’s shadow), and there was even a subtle nod to the late Harold Ramis.
To me, Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann character and Chris Hemsworth as Kevin really stole the show. I’ve really come to appreciate the talents of Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live lately and Hemsworth made me laugh more than the comics did. Every time he was on screen was gold and hilarious. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones were funny at times as well, but they weren’t as funny as the action star was. Maybe this will open more doors for Hemsworth, who knows, his Thor’s Vacation video was pretty funny.
Bottom Line: Decent attempt, but had some flaws that it shouldn’t have had, given the incredible amount of talent and skill involved with the film. Don’t mess with the classics, I guess? Also, decided to change my stars to moustaches for my ratings. Why not?