Ghostbusters (2016)

Ah, you already know how this goes: when ghosts start appearing in New York, a group of scientists – fresh from losing their academic posts – set out to capture evidence of the paranormal. Unbeknownst to them, the increase in spooky sightings isn’t random – someone is doing their best to break the barrier between worlds. Joined by a subway worker with an impressive knowledge of the city’s history, and a cute receptionist with an impressive lack of any kind of knowledge, can these ‘Ghostbusters’ prevent ghost-a-geddon?

Oh yeah, forgot to mention: the GB team are all women. But y’know what? It matters not a jot, so 😛 to all the people complaining about it.

All the naysaying about recasting the roles from the classic Ghostbusters (1984) with women has rather unfortunately overshadowed a rather fun movie. Reviews I’ve read tend to either rip into the gender-swap, or go overboard in ignoring it or bigging it up, and hailing the movie as brilliant – maybe as a backlash to the sexism, who knows? Honestly, though, I think neither of these positions is true: the team works just as well with female geeks as it ever did with males, but the movie is only okay, not brilliant. Not because it’s a remake, or because anything has changed, but – for me – just because only about half the humour worked for me. “Can I bring my cat to the office?” “I’m allergic to cats.” “No, no – Mike Hat is my dog’s name.” Urm, really? o_O

The movie also slips just a little over the line for me in terms of referencing the original or other movies. The cameos – pretty much all the original cast – are all fun, with lots of little references like “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” However, by the end I was half-wondering if there were just a few too many such moments propping up the not-terribly-strong story. Which is otherwise fine – a little bit different from the original, so thankfully not a slavish remake, but still entirely predictable.

The only thing I did really love about the film was the character of Holtzmann, as played by Kate McKinnon. While the spotlight was more firmly on the Bridesmaids re-pairing of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, McKinnon was not-so-quietly scene stealing every wacky moment she was on screen, portraying the doesn’t-give-a-damn mad scientist brilliantly. The fourth member of the team, Lesley Jones, got rather short shrift from the script, I think, and Chris Hemsworth’s utterly dim secretary was slightly in danger of just being irritating – albeit great fun before that!

So. Recommended? Sure, why not. Worthy of either the hype or anti-feminist backlash? Nope. It’s an okay, fun movie, absolutely nothing more or less.

Released: 11th July 2016
Viewed: 26th July 2016
Running time: 116 minutes
Rated: 12A

My rating: 6.5/10

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One thought on “Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. I just like its energy and enthusiasm of the new film – and I reckon the new characters are better thought out than the originals in the way they all have different roles to play, they each bring something useful to the team, and they all have their individual comic moments. Sure, a few gags were mis-fires, but most of them worked for me.
    I think the best thing I can say about it is that it had me leaving the cinema brimming with energy in a way I haven’t felt in ages. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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