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Ghostbusters (2016)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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4.1
 / 10
3 votes
Movie Connections:
Ghostbusters
> Ghostbusters (1984)
> Ghostbusters II (1989)
> Freddy vs. Ghostbusters (2004)
> Ghostbusters (2016)
Genres / Traits:
Comedy, Fantasy, Fantasy Comedy, Sci-Fi Comedy, 3-D
Director:
Paul Feig Paul Feig
Starring:
Zach Woods Zach Woods
Kristen Wiig Kristen Wiig
Ed Begley Jr. Ed Begley Jr.
Charles Dance Charles Dance
John Milhiser John Milhiser
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Review by Ginose
Added: August 25, 2016
I really liked "Spy", didn't you? Not perfect, but really charming, and letting the actors work around the plot of the film and create the entire personality that these characters needed to operate the story was a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed it quite a few times. "Bridesmaids" was alright, for a similar reason. Now that I have made a quick qualifier, I feel comfortable in saying this: Paul Feig is a fucking hack. I know, controversial opinion, I'm sure, but I have no love for a comedic director who has no idea how to pace or write for a comedy, so he relies on talented actors to do the actual writing for him. I feel this way about a lot of the Apatow Company directors, as well, but very few as viciously as Feig, who's proven on multiple occasions what an unfunny fuck he actually is, by surrounding his work with much, MUCH funnier people. At least the Apatow boys are smart enough to keep this in their own wheelhouse and rarely try to make a world that exists without their characters. Try as I might, I could not get the fact that Feig was set to direct a remake of one of THE funniest films of all time, a film created by the actors and director working together to CREATE characters that actually fit the universe they were creating and deliver one of the most memorable cast of characters ever. The dumb-shit trailers that Sony's marketing created didn't help that, but, still, I'm smarter than too assume the film was going to be bad simply because the marketing was bad; if I weren't that smart then I'm sure I also would have tried to kill this movie in the crib, like so many other silly fucks seemed willing to do.

Thus it was upon us: The obnoxiously overstated controversy, radical idiocy of marketing and just non-stop shit-spewing form the director and the legion of dickheads who seemed ready to hate this movie on concept alone all comes to a head, this summer, with the release of Sony's all-female helmed remake of the 1984 classic comedy film "Ghostbusters". Did the months and months of internet bickering and obviously stupid pandering amount to anything worth discussing? In a word: Nah. Realistically, though, I don't expect anyone would have imagined the powerful whimper this film's release actually generated, as all the hype, anti-hype and button pressing (mostly the trailer dislike button, that is. ZING!) would have you thinking that this movie's release, good or bad, would somehow be of massively important to the modern film industry as a whole, but, I can say, with UTTER certainty, that it doesn't. It REALLY doesn't.

So, plot-wise, "Ghostbusters" is practically the same film as the film it is attempting to remake... at first.

The people attempting to become these paranormal investigation specialists in an attempt to handle a massive increase to paranormal activities in Manhattan: One skeptical about the situation, but willing to continue on once prove makes itself evident, one being fatter than the rest and more interested in the phenomenon as a means to progress their studies and one who's socially inept and more interested in developing the technical aptitude of the team and making the titular busting as much an art as a science. Also there's a black one who joins later. Because that happened in the original film. It's just done way less creative or, ya know, funny here. Though this is to be expected, as a remake by any other name etc., but we come to discover the source of these increased activities are not something as simple as an ancient God trying to take control of our world once more, but rather a living being, who sees humans as a blight that can be remedied with the help of these paranormal activities. This resolves in some of the only interesting plot redirections from its source material and, as such, is one of the only really interesting new innovations to the story... as much as you can say about that. Spoiler avoiding though: There's a bit of character work on the part of the villain that... sort of humanizes the whole situation, but all the beats are pretty much the same, so don't go in expecting to be shaken to your core by the massive redirection of the story proper.

Now, honestly, there isn't much more to say than that, mostly because there isn't much else going on because, just as anyone whose seen another Paul Feig movie could assume, almost all the plot of the film falls into plodding bits of SORT OF something happening, but mostly jokes ad-libbed by the actors (not the characters, though... ever) to create the illusion that there is chemistry existing in the characters, which there really isn't. Does that mean it's unfunny? Hell no. there's quite a few jokes that make you laugh, some of them even well timed and one or two even having to do with the established personality of the character saying them. It doesn't mean they're unfunny, as that would make them BAD jokes, what it does mean is that the lazy-ass directing constantly takes you out of the experience as a whole, unless you went in only seeing the actors without the characters attached in which case, congratulations, you have no idea why works of fiction exist. Fuck you. The biggest fault with this non-writing is that, despite what anyone says, a remake is INSTANTLY going to be compared to its predecessor, and that does SO much to hurt anything we might have gotten from this film, otherwise. This isn't the only factor holding it back, but you're not going to remember much about what this film did, for better or worse, once you've finished it. Trust me.

The look of the whole affair was kind of a mixed back, as the settings were perfectly serviceable for Boston-substituting-as-Manhattan set work, but, much like the 1984 film, there aren't many shots that are supposed to take you out of that look, so the amount of complaining I could do on that front wouldn't mean much of anything. The ghosts all look fucking awful, form a design perspective, with the exception of the returning Slimer and the gags surrounding it, and the overall look of the final baddie they have to take down in order to tie-up the movie. Most of the shit ghost-design is outweighed by the actually really GOOD tech design, that managed to contemporize the classic style in a way considerably better than most attempts in the past have, and actually make you want to see them in action, which is a big plus for anyone who grew-up loving the sci-fi aspects of the series and don't mind seeing what potential toys we could see come from the future, on this one. All, like, nine of you, I'm sure, but it's a dedicated market, those nine, so good on ya, Sony.

Performances are perfectly fine, for this kind of film, however, with the main cast throwing their misplaced banter with all the fervor and energy that you'd expect from actual comedians doing things with one another. It's very unnatural... altogether, with the exception of Leslie Jones, who actually feels the most like her character was written around her style of performance, but then you have the most polarizing performances: Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth. The two are really a love or hate affair, as they go full tilt on the single gag that their characters exist in: McKinnon is smart but weird in that quirky kind of way, and Hemsworth is pretty and dumb in that quirky kind of way. They both go all out for the duration and their ad-libbing works for both of them in the type of characters they... seem to think they need to be. Real-talk, though? Real-talk? I found them both just fucking unfunny as hell. They both get one or two really funny lines, but then they just grated on my soul for the rest of the film. I mean, Hemsworth DOES get funny when he gets possessed (it was in both the bullshit trailers, I've spoiled nothing, you fucks) and can move out of THOSE kinds of jokes but just not funny enough to drain the rest of the 40 minutes that his bits stomped on my sense of humor's balls, and I've been told this one is all to taste, so if you're willing to risk it, take my opinion at face-value, but the two of them were enough to convince me that I'm probably never going to watch this movie again.

You may think that that's my final opinion summed up: "I'm probably never going to watch this again", and you figure that's it, huh? Don't assume shit. Truth is I didn't hate the movie. It's perfectly cute and competent, but just looks like a stupid mess compared to its father film, and that was going to be unavoidable with Feig at the helm and Sony marketing it, but it hits a lot of high-points with the chemistry of the comedians at work, and I can say I'm not UPSET that I saw it. I can't recommend it to anyone that's going to be expecting a good script or some high-comedy, but it's funny enough and I think it's definitely geared towards the family audience most of these summer months are, and I'm sure kids would get more out of it. Because kids are stupid. And so is "Ghostbusters".

In the end, it's just a harmless, stupid summer movie that has been hyped in all directions for all the wrong reasons and is perfectly passable as dumb summer entertainment. It has no reason to exist with its much better alternative still regularly available, but very few movies these days, much less remakes, have any reason to exist, so that's perfectly fine. The only reason I would hope this bombs is to take Feig far the FUCK away from any follow-ups or universe expansion they doubtlessly have planned. Fuck you, Paul Feig, you lazy little hack.

5.9/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 04/03/2017, 11:46 PM
Shit sucked. 0/10
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