TL;DR – If you have never seen a Ghostbusters film then you should really enjoy this, if you have, it will take a bit to get use to the cast, but by the end you will be all on board.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
P.S. there is a post-credits scene
Ghostbusters as a movie is really quite simple, you have a bunch of people that stop Ghosts. The title of the film pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the story before you go to see it.
Now, of course, this is not our first Ghostbusters film, with the original coming out in 1984, with a sequel in 1989, and since then there has been a third film that is always coming but never here. As I mentioned last week with Tarzan, reboots are all the rage in Hollywood at the moment, and given people have been trying to get a Ghostbusters 3 off the ground for a very long time, and since the passing of Harold Ramis has made a Ghostbusters 3 movie a nonstarter, it was only a matter of time before we had a reboot. So why is this reboot such a controversial movie?, well the only clear answer is that not only did Hollywood have the gall to reboot a beloved movie franchise, they recast all the male leads as women, scandal, because you know Hollywood’s never done something like that before *cough* The Magnificent 7 *cough*. Like seriously who cares, well we know who cares, probably the same subset of the movie community that freaked out when Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall in Thor. So it is a problem that they rebooted Ghostbusters with an all-female leading cast? Sorry, that’s the wrong question, the question should not have been ‘ought Sony have dared to gender swap the cast’, but instead ‘is this new Ghostbusters a good film’, and well in my opinion it is.
So this next section is for those of you reading this who watched the first films. If you haven’t seen them, firstly, how have you not, secondly, you can probably skip down to the next paragraph. So how does it compare to the first film, well you need to come into it with the view that it is not going to be telling the same story as the first Ghostbusters, more it takes the Star Wars: The Force Awakens approach of hitting the same beats with different content in-between. When it comes to the cast, it will take you a while to warm up to them, for me I got on board when Patty arrived, and I still didn’t get on board with Holtzmann until the end, but by the end of the film, you will be rooting for them. Also, there are a lot of callbacks and nods to the first film which you may get a kick out of.
Ok now everyone is reading, does the new cast work as the next generation of Ghostbusters, well, in my opinion, yes they do. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has that boundless enthusiasm and energy that you need to drive things forward, Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) brings the levelheadedness … most of the time … and comes from a more scientific background, so she is the sceptic and cipher for the audience to help us engage with the premise of the film, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) is the engineer of the crew and is one complex techno-babble away from the destruction of a city block, and she has a certain zaniness that many will like, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) is the normal person on the team, but her boring job left her time to read, so she knows more about New York than anyone else in the movie, she brings the heart and the sass and she is amazing, finally Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) who is the perfect cute stupid person, but it is nice to see they let him have a bit of an Australian accent, and who knew Chris could dance like that. There is a good supporting cast, and the big bad played by Rowan North works quite well, though I don’t think Jennifer Lynch (Cecily Strong) worked as a character.
When it comes to the presentation, all the CGI is top notch, the ghost effects are all really good, which really helps sell the movie. They all have a certain style and colour scheme that really works for what the movie is going for. The music is really good, using the Ghostbusters theme sparingly to give accent to the action. As far as the pacing goes, bar the first 15 off minutes (I’ll get to that in a moment) it moves quite well, they switch things up throughout the film to keep the story pushing forward.
While it is a good film it is not without its flaws, which do detract a bit from the final product. Firstly, ok yes there will be product placement in films, we get that, but can you at least work it in so it does not slap you in the face, it makes you look tacky. Also just about everything before the first ghost at the start of the film is just so bad, the dialogue is clunky, the jokes fall flat, the rest of the film is really good, so I’m not sure why this made it to the end product.
So, in the end, I really enjoyed this reboot of Ghostbusters, it had a great cast, a good story, and some memorial ghosts, and I look forward to seeing how they push the franchise forward in the future.
Directed by – Paul Feig
Written by – Katie Dippold & Paul Feig
Based on – Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis
Starring – Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Cecily Strong, Charles Dance & Andy García
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: PG; NZ: PG; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13