We Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts in our “Ghostbusters” (Movie Review)

Ghostbusters (2016)
Sony Pictures

Written by: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mckinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth

The Good:
The chemistry between the characters stands out throughout the film. They each are able to have their own identity and comedic style for the entire movie. Kristien Wiig and Melissa McCarthy delivered the same performances as we’d expect, but the more interesting characters were probably that of McKinnon and Lesile Jones.

McKinnon was so weird, but in a good and funny way. She easily had one of the best scenes and almost steals the movie. Her role as the engineer was by far the most intriguing. Even for Ghostbuster fans who consider themselves purists, her ingenuity with various gadgets was a wonderful upgrade to the Ghostbusters overall.

Leslie Jones slightly exceeded my expectations. What I personally appreciated was how she didn’t completely fall victim to playing a generic stereotype. Matter of fact, I think she had the most normal reactions to some of the crazy situations the Ghostbusters faced. Best of all, I really appreciated how they highlighted that she was more than just a transit employee that knew about New York City. She was incredibly valuable and resourceful to the team.

The plot felt a bit stitched together, but it’s not like Ghostbusters is known for its deep story-lines. I think that the film overall did a nice job of paying homage with the numerous nods to the previous the previous film. You’ll get more than enough nods to the previous Ghostbusters films. You can probably also tell from the trailers that this film has some nice special effects. The visuals were definitely a sight to see as they keep your attention whenever a ghost is on the screen.

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The Bad:
For the entire duration of the movie, I struggled to figure out what tone this movie was trying to portray. The film felt like it had two different halves. The first half was nice, subtle humor. The second half seemed to try and juggle a sense of urgency and corny goofiness. For many instances, for me, the goofiness was a little distracting.

I won’t say who, but many of the cameos in this film just never really felt natural. They felt like they were just randomly thrown in just for the sake of seeing a familiar face. The cameos were misplaced and sometimes forced. My biggest issue with this film was not that it was a reboot or remake, rather that this film could’ve simply just been a warm hand-off from the old Ghostbusters. This Ghostbusters erases the previous movies, but still tries to tap into the previous version by doing various things to call back them.

Given the fact that some of the characters are from Saturday Night Live, you almost get a sense that they tap into that same comedic style. Now for some people, that may be fine, but for me, it’s problematic. Just like in Saturday Night Live, some of the jokes in this Ghostbusters were just milked a little too long for me. After the fourth or fifth time of seeing that funny thing, it starts to lose its’ punch. For me, the movie’s jokes were chuckle-worthy, but not laugh out loud funny.

The Reason:
So it’s not breaking news that there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding this film. I was one of many people who were somewhere on the fence about it. So I came in with low expectations and an open mind. The movie was not “trash” nor was it “great”, in my opinion, it was “digestible.” In other words, it wasn’t black liquorish, nor was it a Snickers Bar. It was just a peanut. Yes, a peanut. Why a peanut? Because peanuts aren’t really bad. However, when you think of the rampant hate by some internet people who vowed to never see this movie, you’d think they’d avoid this movie like they had a peanut allergy. (See what I did there?)

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Anyway, I’ve always said that comedies are one of the most subjective movie genres to critique. What’s funny to me may not be funny to you, and vice versa. While some people were in my theater were laughing out loud, myself and others were just smiling for a long time.

At the end of the day, trust your gut on this one. If you’re livid about this movie then don’t bother. Chances are you may just nitpick the movie anyway. For those who are on the fence, I’d just say that it’s not as bad as it was made out to be by the people who didn’t even see it. I could see how this would be funny for some people, but it was just okay, for me. If you’re curious about it, I’d say give it a shot and make up your mind. If you’re a fan of director Paul Feig’s work (Bridesmaids, Spy, The Heat) then this is right up your alley. Be sure to stay till the very end of the credits for an end credit scene.

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