REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Sony Pictures Releasing
Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing

The following is a review of Ghostbusters (2016) – Directed by Paul Feig.

A few months ago, I went back and rewatched the first two original Ghostbusters films and reviewed them both. I still loved the original film, but I absolutely hated rewatching the sequel. Now, I did all of this to prepare for the remake that came out this year. Unfortunately, I missed it when it was in theaters. Now, however, I’ve had the chance to see it on Blu-Ray and here’s my knee-jerk reaction: it’s fine.

Ghostbusters follows Dr. Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig) and Dr. Abby Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy) – two physicists that once wrote a book on paranormal phenomena. However, Erin and Abby no longer work together at the start of the film. Erin has since disowned the work they did together, and she thought the book was no longer available. Much to her surprise, though, someone brings it to her attention that the book is available online.

Erin fears that the book will cost her her job at Columbia University, so she meets with Abby, who has since teamed-up with an engineer – Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (played by Kate McKinnon). Holtzmann, Yates, and Gilbert soon become a team, and later an MTA worker – Patty Tolan (played by Leslie Jones) – who has seen a ghost in the subway of New York City joins them. They are the new ‘Ghostbusters.’

There’s a lot to like about this movie. Like, I genuinely like the new Ghostbusters team. While I didn’t hate the trailers, I didn’t love them either, but I actually think that all four actresses do a good job here. Leslie Jones is super funny here, I think Kate McKinnon’s character was fun to watch (even if I’m not sure she was in the right movie), and I liked both Wiig and McCarthy.

I also think it was a brilliant move to make Chris Hemsworth’s character a male version of the old dumb blonde stereotype (even though the secretary in the original Ghostbusters film wasn’t that type of character). Hemsworth was the standout performer in 2015’s Vacation remake, and I think he’s even better here.

I enjoyed myself with most of the film. Not all of the jokes land, but most do. The character cameos aren’t all great. Actually, I think that they will only hurt the film when you rewatch it. I would’ve rather not seen the old cast in this film, than to see them used like they were here.

So yeah, there are problems with the film, and those problems don’t end with the cameos. I thought the CGI was overused, I wasn’t all that wild about the action sequences, and most of the scenes that look bad in the trailers actually are. It’s also just way too long.

The new Ghostbusters film is fine. It’s okay. It’s not particularly good or bad. It’s not the disaster some people wanted it to be, but it isn’t particularly memorable either. It’s just okay. That also means that this film is much better than 1989’s Ghostbusters 2, and that makes me really happy.

6.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. This was just such a missed opportunity – so many talented people who’ve all been better in other things (except maybe Chris Hemsworth). And your description of Kate McKinnon is spot-on – I felt the same way but really couldn’t put it into words.

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