Review: Ghostbusters

It is hard to think of a film that was so divisive before anyone had even seen it as 2016’s Ghostbusters.

Once uploaded to Youtube, the trailer became the most disliked in the site’s history. Depending on who you ask, the reasons behind this vary from diehard fans reacting negatively to the idea of a remake, to overexposure to Paul Feig’s type of humour, to poor handling of race in the character of Patty, to misogyny stemming from the Ghostbusters being women this time around.

If it truly is the latter, and, given that no remake has elicited this type of response until now, it probably is, Ghostbusters is incredibly aware of it.

Whether it’s Melissa McCarthy’s Abby and Kristen Wiig’s Erin looking at Youtube comments about their gender or the antagonist himself being a reclusive weirdo, either Feig et al had the foresight of a sexist backlash or there were some quick reshoots after the trailer was released. Hopefully, everyone can grow up and enjoy the film for what it is – a big, dumb summer flick. At just under two hours, the whole thing flies by like a ghost recently let loose in New York City.

The cast

Erin’s past as a paranormal investigator is behind her as she hopes to be tenured at a prestigious university, but after Abby puts their book on the internet, she gets caught up in a world she thought she was done with. At the same time, ghosts are appearing with increasing frequency all over Manhattan. Joined by Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann as Abby’s assistant and recruiting Leslie Jones’s Patty along the way, the team becomes the last line of defence against the incredibly sticky ghosts.

The cast are the best thing about this reboot, in particular McKinnon’s Jillian and Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin, the team’s receptionist. McKinnon exudes charisma, with a cocksure swagger, a steampunk style, and a wide-eyed excitement for all things tech. She shines in every scene she is in, more often than not has the best lines, and given the whole sexism scandal, it is impossible not to consider how a lot of girls will be looking up to this tomboyish woman who jumps at the chance to get her hands dirty.

Hemsworth is such a comedic find. Kevin is clueless, but Hemsworth’s quick delivery and charm means he makes the most of his time on screen. Don’t be surprised if more funnyman roles come his way after this.

Pointless remake?

It has to be said, other than having a female team this time around, there is no real reason behind this remake. It is in no way superior to the original, and does not do anything particularly new or exciting. This could be a make or break deal for some viewers – ultimately, what is the point?

While a remake can be fun and should never be judged before it has been seen, we were able to judge some of the soundtrack before its release, and it most definitely did not help the hype, or lack-of. The Fall Out Boy cover of the main Ghostbusters theme is truly awful, and it being featured in the film is absolutely a low point.

But, at a time of year when the cinema is populated by lackluster flicks and hopeful Hollywood blockbusters, Ghostbusters is a lot of fun.

It is a family film, an easy film, and if you are not willing to seek out an arthouse cinema to find some more niché releases, it is also the most enjoyable thing in wide-release at the moment.

Gender change

Let’s not understate the gender change.

All four of the Ghostbusters are unique and driven by different purposes. Three of the four women are in their fourties which, at a time when Hollywood is under fire for only hiring young women (especially when paired with a much older man), is great to see.

Each character is excited by different things – they are into science, technology, standing up against adversity; they are annoyed by being dismissed, by not being taken seriously because they are women, and by the crazy prices of rent in the city.

You can tell that McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, and Leslie all had so much fun making Ghostbusters. You can see it in recent interviews and you can see it on screen – they have a natural chemistry that makes the film excel when it is just the four of them doing something.

As flashy as the action scenes are, it will be remembered for the quickfire gags and authenticity between the four main leads, and rightly so.

Have you seen the film? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!