Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Movie Review: GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

When the very first trailer for this Ghostbusters reboot hit the web, so much hate and vitriol flooded the internet, and I couldn't understand it, because I actually enjoyed the trailer.  Yes, it wasn't great by any means, and yes, some of the jokes fell flat, but overall it got me excited for the film, and rightfully so.  Now, like most people my age, I grew up with the original films and the animated series (which I absolutely loved), but to me they're not so sacred as to make me despise any sort of remake/reboot, unlike so many others out there.

No matter if this film is amazing or utter trash, it has absolutely no effect on either of the previous two films or the series.  They still exist, you can still go and watch them, your childhood has not been destroyed.  Luckily for me though, I actually had a good time watching this film, from the open credits all the way to the fantastic post-credit scene, which I'll talk a little bit about later.  So without further ado, here's my review.


Ghostbusters opens with a scene inside an old house that is said to be haunted, though we discover that the tour guide is actually creating a hoax, but to his shock, a ghost is actually residing there.  This scene wasn't a very strong start for the film, and probably caused some skeptical viewers to lose interest.  Some of the dialogue, which seemed like it was supposed to be funny, fell flat, and even though I did have a smile on my face while watching, I didn't laugh throughout this scene.

The film does establish that it's a horror/comedy right off the bat, with a bit more emphasis on the horror, and that is something that I was really hoping for.  We also got a taste of the original Ghostbusters theme song, which really helped set the tone for the film.  We then meet the first of the new Ghostbusters...Erin Gilbert, played by the very talented Kristen Wiig.  She starts off as a college professor with a sordid past as a paranormal investigator.  During this scene we actually get a glimpse of a bust of a young Harold Ramis, who wrote and starred in the original two films.  This was a fantastic little cameo, which made me really excited, and put a huge grin on my face.

The next two Ghostbusters we meet are Abby Yates and Jillian Holtzmann, played by Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon.  Holtzmann is one of my favorite characters in this film, and McKinnon's performance was amazing and really made me laugh at multiple points.  At this point in the film, though, I noticed some of the jokes just weren't working, and it seemed like the timing was just off.  This happened a few times throughout the movie, and I think it's because both Wiig and McCarthy, and director Paul Feig, normally work in the R-rated spectrum, and it felt like they were holding back too much.  My hope is, if they do get a sequel, that they aim for a harder PG-13 rating, riding that line to get as much humor from this talented cast as possible.

Chris Hemsworth (who plays the dim-witted secretary, Kevin) and Leslie Jones (as fourth member of the team, Patty Tolan) soon arrive, and both bring great comedic flare with them.  It's not often you get to see Hemsworth in a comedic role (the last one I remember was Vacation, which wasn't great, but he was great in), but when you do, he seems to do very well.  The only thing I didn't care for about his character was just HOW dumb they made him, because at certain points I felt like it was just a bit too much, which caused the comedy of those scenes to fall flat.  If they do get a sequel, I hope they reign that back a bit.  Leslie Jones, on the other hand, was great throughout, and her interactions and banter with Kate McKinnon were some of the absolute best parts of this film.  Jones and McKinnon were, without doubt, the standouts.  I found myself laughing at most of the scenes where those two shined.

One of the other great things, though, was when they all first come together and they're looking at online comments, one of which was "Ain't no bitches gonna catch no ghosts."  This was a clear jab at all the internet haters that torched the film before it ever even came out.  It was one of my favorite parts because the amount of hate speech thrown around for a damn movie was, and still is, ridiculous, and it was nice to see the filmmaker call them out on it.

There were three standout scenes to me that I loved, which either made me laugh quite a bit or were just badass.  The first was the proton pack test scene.  This is the one time I felt that McCarthy really shined and was able to bring her comedic sense to the table.  I really wanted to see more of that from her throughout the movie, and hopefully they'll get the chance in a sequel.  Next was the metal concert scene where the Ghostbusters have to capture a dragon/demon-looking ghost.  This is one of my favorite Leslie Jones scenes, of which there were many, and I personally really liked the visual effects.  Several people complained that it all looked too much like it came out of a video game, but that style was what drew me in from the trailers.  The ghosts in the original films looked fake as hell, but we all accepted and loved them, and the same goes for these ones.  And the third scene was the Holtzmann solo fight scene toward the end.  It was the perfect display of McKinnon's character's personality and ability, and she kicked major ass while being funny as hell.

Some of the other things I enjoyed were the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scene, which was an obvious throwback to the original, all the new upgraded tech and various different proton blasters, which gave the film a nice, unique touch, and I even liked how they explained why Rowan's ghost took on the form of the Ghostbusters symbol, which was something I was initially worried about.  I also enjoyed the various cameos from almost all of the remaining cast members of the original films, some of which were better than others.  

Though, the film is not without it's flaws.  For one, I noticed a few bad edits throughout where one scene would abruptly jump to the next.  It only happened a couple times, but it was definitely noticeable.  As I said before, I wasn't a fan of how dumb Kevin was at certain points in the movie. It just seemed like a bit too much.  Another thing was the character of Rowan.  As the "big baddie", I was hoping for a bit more substance, maybe a bit more of a back story, but like many films, the villains tend to come up short.  And finally, I didn't like that they made Slimer as malevolent as they did, with him going as far as to try and kill the Ghostbusters with their own car.  It's not that big of a deal, but it did bug me a little.

Overall, I had a really good time watching this movie, and would recommend people go check it out.  You may hate it, you may love it, as is the case with every movie ever made, but you won't know unless you check it out for yourself.  Oh, and be sure to stick around until the very end of the credits for a great reference to the original film, and possible setup for the sequel.

The Merc's Score: 7.5/10

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