Review By Kevin Bartram
The new Ghostbusters film is something that has no need for all of the controversy surrounding it. It doesn’t ruin the original by any means and it is a big step up from Ghostbusters 2 (1989) but I wouldn’t call this movie great. I found this film to be entertaining in most parts with some very well-timed and funny jokes, it’s considerably a pretty good time at the movies and nothing more than just a decent film. But watching through it, I had this feeling that I don’t want to just go right ahead and pay a load to go watch it again. But when I’m watching the original it feels like I would totally love to pop this right back in and give another whirl. The rewatchability factor is just not really that apparent.
The cast in this new film is loaded, with Paul Fieg’s typical players like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy and some newcomers including Kate Mckinnon and Leslie Jones. They all bring their A game and most of the comedy is done extremely well. There is a point around the middle of the movie where I felt the comedy was very minimal and a lot of big science words were being tossed around. That was the point where the movie kind of lost me for a little but quickly sucked me back in with some proton pack action and some witty one liners. Kate Mckinnon’s character is the wild card of the film, to compare it to the original she’s a coked out Egon Spengler which is something rather interesting. A lot of her scenes had me a bit concerned for her character because it was so out of the ordinary. She was fun to watch but I definitely wasn’t dying of laughter at most of her quirks. Most of the humor came from Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy who did a fantastic job.
Kristen Wiig’s awkward shtick is always a delight to feast your eyes upon. Chris Hemsworth as Kevin was vastly entertaining. He played a person with the IQ of a six-year-old in Thor’s body and he made me laugh. For me he was one of the scene stealers because to be honest, who doesn’t love a little stupid humor every once in a while. And personally he gave just the right amount of the dumb to leave me chuckling and smirking for the span of the film. The problem with the casting is just about all of the random ass cameos. They are so unneeded that it’s literally mind-boggling. Bill Murray isn’t really given much to do or say he’s just a quickie without a giggle. Dan Aykroyd was a minimal cameo and he at least seemed to be having fun but his cameo left me with questions that will never be answered. Sigourney Weaver was just there, but I much preferred her in Finding Dory. Annie Potts was almost unnoticeably pointless. And finally Ernie Hudson was pretty much the highlight of the cameos because he had just about the same amount of lines in this film as he did in the original 1984 version of Ghostbusters.
The soundtrack uses the original theme in the beginning of film which was very nice to see. But then during a montage scene that god awful version that was made by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot was thrown in there. The good news is that song eventually does come to an end. But other than those two songs the music was almost kind of a bit forgettable, but the fact the only two memorable songs is a strongly hated song and the other is the original classic Ghostbusters song doesn’t really mean much for the soundtrack.
The story of the film doesn’t go beat for beat by the original so it does add a couple new little turns so we don’t constantly feel deja vu for the whole movie. The villain Rowan North played by Neil Casey is a bit of a cartoon character who bares a striking resemblance to Sigourney Weaver’s art teacher Dr. Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters 2. By the third act of the film there really isn’t as much an emotional stake compared to the original where Dana was being taken over by Gozer. Dana was emotionally attached to Peter Venkman so there was much bigger stakes in that film compared to the new one where it’s more of a random guy who just doesn’t like anyone. But he was still fun to watch because of his creepy comedic monologue segments.
The effects work is pretty great, but the last act pretty much turns into more of a universal theme park ride rather than an actual comedy with green lights flashing everywhere and ghosts flying around like they own the place. It’s pretty nice eye candy but the fact that the first two acts had some pretty great comedic moments made me really miss them in the third act. That’s not to say there is no comedy in the third act it’s just less rapid fire like in the first two. There is also one point in the third act that they really tried to be heartfelt but it was much more of an eye roll and a chuckle rather than anything else so I just couldn’t buy into it. But I by no means intend to crap on this movie because in all honesty it’s a fairly decent flick, dare I say pretty good. There is minimal problems and it is not as good as the original film. But as much as I compare it to the original it should stand on it’s own. It’s really just human nature to compare things. To go deep into it, I think I laughed much harder at this film than I ever did at the original. The thing the original has going for it is that it just feels more snappy and rewatchable, thus more accessible to anyone.
I very much enjoyed the majority of the Ghostbusters reboot, all of the main cast was very funny and their chemistry was very fun to watch. Paul Feig since Bridesmaids has still not made a bad movie in my eyes. He is one of the best modern comedy film makers and I honestly can’t wait to see where this new Ghostbusters series goes. The 2016 Ghostbusters gets an 8 out of 10. As much as there was a lot of elements that could have been stronger I couldn’t help but thoroughly enjoy myself and be laughing with and at the cast throughout. Their chemistry was tight and the humor was quick. This movie is miles ahead of what the trailers were teaching you to believe.