Ghostbusters (2016) Review

Director: Paul Feig

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Neil Casey, Chris Hemsworth

This review is spoiler free! 

The Overview

Unable to shake the “Ghosts of her Past”, Erin (Wiig) teams up with brainiacs Abby (McCarthy) and Holtzmann (McKinnon), who, along with street-smart Patty (Jones), decide to investigate the increased paranormal activity in New York City. 

The Good

The defining feature of this film in the lead up to it’s release has been the fact it has a female cast. The internet haters went to town on the trailers, making it the most “disliked” movie trailer on YouTube. The fact that this has been an issue for many who have already written this film off long before it’s release, deeply saddens me; yet it also saddens me that it is a talking point which is difficult to avoid! 

It also meant that everyone who had slight concerns over whether this movie would be good or not had to try and justify it by saying “oh no it’s not that it’s a female cast that bothers me, it’s [insert other reason here]!”. For a film to be so universally panned before its release is almost unheard of, and as much as I didn’t want to dwell on this too much, here I am prattling on anyway! So on with the movie… 

I liked this movie. There I said it! I don’t feel guilty about this, and yes, I am sure about this! This movie wears the comments of the keyboard warriors like a badge of honour; proudly and unabashedly acknowledging the issues some people had with “female ghostbusters”. 

In the grand scheme of things, the female casting is such a non-issue, and indeed the cast is one of the strongest things about this film. It assembles some of the best comediennes in the business, and it’s the fact they work so well as a unit, as well as being funny individually, which makes this highly watchable! 

The supporting cast are great as well, particularly Chris Hemsworth who is delightfully dippy as hapless receptionist, Kevin. He raises the most laughs and is a pure joy to watch. I enjoyed the role reversal of the women running the show, and a guy playing the receptionist. It’s not exactly breaking ground, but it’s very entertaining. 

A lot of people worry that comedy trailers show all the funny bits, but let me reassure you, as someone who was thoroughly underwhelmed by the trailers, they barely scratch the surface of the jokes in this film. It is genuinely funny in places, with a little bit of something for everyone. 

The effects, whilst a little overdone (we’ll get to this!), are pretty good on the whole. The ghouls are scary, but still just about colourful and kid friendly enough to ensure there shouldn’t be too much screaming! It does deserve its 12a certificate though so bear that in mind before choosing to take the very young. 

Whilst paying homage with some well-placed cameos and nods, this film has enough to stand on it’s own feet. Parents will give a knowing look to each other as familiar faces appear, but kids will be none the wiser as they watch the new generation of ghostbusters kicking butt! 

The Bad

It might be sacrilege to say, but I feel like this film could’ve done without the cameos, as subtle as they were. As mentioned, it does have enough to stand on it’s own, but there’s moments where it feels shackled to it’s legacy, rather than being completely let loose. 

Some of the jokes fall a little flat, and the villain’s subplot feels a little like an afterthought as there’s much more emphasis placed on setting up the main group, which works wonders for their dynamics and chemistry, but leaves everything else a little “meh”. 
The effects are a little overdone, particularly in the CGI-heavy final act, which could’ve been turned down a couple of notches! There’s one very well known Ghostbusters ghost that feels completely shoehorned in and I definitely could’ve done without what felt like unashamed fan service. 

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too. It’s not without its flaws, but for the most part this is a good film. It’s big, silly, fun entertainment, and absolutely doesn’t deserve the backlash it had before anyone had even seen it! The only thing that is an “abomination” about this film is the new theme tune; honestly it’s awful! Do go and see it, make up your own mind whether you like this movie or not. There’ll be those who hate it of course but no one should judge a film without seeing it. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised, I know I was. 

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below! 

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4 comments

  1. Nice review ! At first I was excited to watch the movie because of the strong comedy cast but I was very unimpressed with the trailer. I’m quite surprised with all the positive reviews for this movie, now i’m excited to watch it & i’m happy the movie turned out good, so now all the internet haters will be annoyed haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I totally agreed with you on the whole Now You See Me 2 debacle, so maybe I’ll give this a go, as you found it to be good. 🙂

    I really don’t have an issue with it being female leads, it’s just the fact that there was no real need for a remake in the first place, IMO. Not a big fan of remakes, in the main… can’t see any reason for doing them (and that very much includes ‘westernising’ foreign films to open them to a wider audience, as the people who will watch them will probably not even know it’s a remake, and certainly won’t seek out the original (usually) subtitled version – a la “Let Me In / Let The Right One In”, “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” etc.)

    Rant over. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I totally agreed with you on the whole Now You See Me 2 debacle (MrFilmFan on Twitter), so maybe I’ll give this a go, as you found it to be good.:-)

    I really don’t have an issue with it being female leads, it’s just the fact that there was no real need for a remake in the first place, IMO. Not a big fan of remakes, in the main… can’t see any reason for doing them (and that very much includes ‘westernising’ foreign films to open them to a wider audience, as the people who will watch them will probably not even know it’s a remake, and certainly won’t seek out the original (usually) subtitled version – a la “Let Me In / Let The Right One In”, “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” etc.)

    Rant over.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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