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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Ghostbusters (2016)


Chill out, geeks. It’s all good.

Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) have had a pretty rough relationship in the past few or so years. While Yates has been about tinkering around and playing with her toys, and finding out more about the paranormal in a slightly more silly way, Erin has been approaching the subject in a far more serious, relatively esteemed way. She’s trying to make tenure at the college she’s been teaching at, but she can’t seem to take herself away from that past-self of hers that loved spooky ghosts and communicating with whatever ghost-like things were out there. Now, the two are back together and figuring things out when strange apparitions appear in Manhattan. Along with them to find out more about these ghostly creatures, is engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), a slightly odd gal who loves the hell out of her cool gadgets and toys, and Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of inspiration, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square, as they not only hope to save the world, but also still seem legit in the long-run.

Go-go gadgets!

Go-go gadgets! Oh, wrong reboot/rehash/remake!

Okay, everyone. It’s time to shut it. Yes, the new Ghostbusters movie is totally forgetting that the first one ever existed; yes the new Ghostbusters features women in those iconic roles everyone remembers from the original; and yes, it’s actually an okay movie. A lot of people couldn’t handle the fact that their beloved childhood treasure was going to be changed for the sake of putting a new spin on an old story, and well, of course, more money. It’s not wrong to think that, and after all of the terrible trailers, it’s fine to get a little worried, but have no fear, as the new Ghostbusters is the kind of movie you’d expect from director Paul Feig.

Except, well, not as good.

That isn’t to say that the new Ghostbusters is a fine and fun movie; there’s plenty to like about it, without ever thinking too hard about anything really. The comedy works when it’s just a bunch of these characters goofing around and ad-libbing whatever Feig doesn’t feel like trying to write to paper; the call-backs, of which there are a whole bunch, are fine and do have that perfect balance between sentimentality and nostalgia that’s not always seen in reboots/rehashes/remakes of this kind; and yes, the performers are quite good.

However, while watching the new Ghostbusters, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a pretty big step back for Feig and co. Ever since Bridesmaids, he’s been building himself as one of the few incredibly reliable directors in comedy who, yes, definitely knows what’s funny and what isn’t, but also seems to be growing. Spy may forever be his giant leap from just being, yet again, another “comedy director”, to someone with hopes and ambitions to be something bigger; while it was essentially “a comedy”, it also had a lot of fun, twisty and exciting action to go along with it, all of which Feig seemed to film perfectly.

Here, with the new Ghostbusters, Feig seems as if he wants to bring all of that fun and excitement he had with that project, over to here, but there’s almost too much for him to do and work around, that makes it all seem like a bit much. The callbacks and popping-up of old characters can tend to be a bit draining (especially when a few of them aren’t even funny); the exposition and plot begin to take over to where it takes away from any actual fun that could still be found in this plot nowadays; and yes, it’s PG-13.

Sure, it may not seem like much, but it totally is.

After all, Feig is perhaps best when he allows for his characters and his cast to just run wild with material, whether scripted or not, and just see where everything falls. Of course, he has to keep the improvisation limited to a few scenes and he also has to remember that there’s a plot that needs to be pushed, die-hard fans who need to be serviced, and a rather more family-friendly crowd to have in-mind, especially when picking and choosing what comedy bits to use.

Lesbian, or nah?

She may be a lesbian, but please, let’s not add anymore fuel to the fire.

For Feig here, it seems as if he’s not as loose and wild as he once was – now, he’s got people really looking at him, making sure he doesn’t miss a beat or screw something up. I’m pretty sure that’s how it was on his past few films, but here, it appears like it got to him a bit, where some of the interest from his other movies seem to be lost. He’s not “selling out”, obviously, but he’s also not gaining anymore cred, either.

Either way, it’s an okay job on his part, as he gets everything right, but at the same time, it also feels like he wasn’t allowed to be his full-fledged self here.

That said, his cast is talented and they more than help him out. McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, Strong, and yes, even Chris Hemsworth, are all funny, even if their characters feel a tad bit thin. McCarthy, Wiig and Strong seem to get the most development, but unfortunately, McKinnon doesn’t. Her character, if anything, is just there to do and say, weird and crazy things for no other reason, except to be weird and crazy. The movie never makes an attempt to really go any further into her background and while it’s a shame we don’t get it here, I do have the feeling we’ll get it some time soon, in the sequels, if there are any.

And yeah, Hemsworth is perfect here. He’s funny, stupid, chiseled and as masculine as you can get without dying of devouring five T-bones in one sitting.

Basically, he’s perfect. More of him, please kind sir.

Consensus: Better than everyone expected, Ghostbusters is funny and charming, but also feels like Feig and his crew are being held back a little by the well-known franchise, and all of the extra baggage that comes along with it.

6 / 10

They're here. They're gals. And guess what, they're going to stay. Deal with it, nerdos.

They’re here. They’re gals. And guess what? They’re going to stay. Deal with it, dorks.

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire

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11 responses to “Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. mikeladano July 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Question: In every trailer, every line of dialogue is YELLED. In the movie, do they YELL all the time? Or do they actually talk from time to time? That was my biggest beef — all the yelling in the trailers.

    • Atticus Tsai-McCarthy July 15, 2016 at 11:34 am

      They talk like people (save for Holtzman) do. Most of the yelling is reserved for the moments they’re dealing with ghosts and are slightly panicked. This movie was marketed horribly, but it’s at least worth paying the matinee price.

      • mikeladano July 15, 2016 at 9:17 pm

        So many times I go see a movie, I say to myself “I could have done the trailer a zillion times better than they did, and I don’t get paid the big bucks to do so.” A shame!

  2. Courtney Young July 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I didn’t really care about the all-female cast concept; the problem for me was that the trailer seemed extremely dull. Don’t think I’ll see this one :\

  3. Tom July 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    How can you say it forgets the first one existed? What about all those cameos, the music, the energy, the ghosts? Did you just miss all of that?

    • Mary July 22, 2016 at 5:09 am

      What he meant was that it’s a complete reboot. It’s not a sequel like the trailers implied with the “30 years ago a team became ghostbusters now a new team answers the call”. It’s a true blue reboot and people didn’t seem to realize that.

  4. Craig M July 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Great review. I’m glad you liked this about the same as me.

  5. 1caitlin1 July 18, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Sorry – just pointing out that you forgot to say that Patty Tolan was played by Leslie Jones.

  6. Mary July 22, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Good review. Decided I came to follow you lol It’s anywhere from average to just above average. But there will be those who just don’t like it. It doesn’t tarnish the original….When Hollywood remakes something it’s high time people remember that they’re not taking the original away….that it will always be there for people to enjoy. It gets a 4/5 from me. 🙂

  7. Wendell August 6, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    This review is pretty much exactly how I feel about it.

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