“If there’s something strange, in your neighborhood. Who you gonna call?” The answer to that question was so much simpler before this year. Ever since the announcement of the reboot, there has been epic debate about the quality of this upcoming film. Quotes like this will suck because it’s not the original cast, or how dare they replace the Ghostbusters with females! Well putting the stupid sexism battles aside, this reviewer is back to share his thoughts on the latest movie to haunt the theaters. So let’s get started
- A fun story
- Leslie Jones
Okay, lets get if off our chests right now, the story is not as good as the original. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad either. This installment’s tale is a decent origin story that places our heroines against a deranged, albeit lame, bad guy with an obsession for ghosts. As simple as it is, the story has many entertaining moments and set a fast pace to keep those with short attention spans into the mix. While it certainly lacks the mysterious, darker qualities that brought suspense to the first installments, it still has some fun to it and sets us up for a potential sequel (especially the end credits scene)
Perhaps a bigger topic of debate though, is the cast itself. I’m going to lay it out right now that I have no biased towards male or female actors, my analysis is based on what they bring to the movie. This assembled cast is notorious for comedy, and they bring their usual bag of tricks to the screen in hopes of getting you to laugh. Of the leading ladies, Leslie Jones was my favorite of the bunch. As promised in the trailers, Jones brings bold, brash comedy that nearly had me rolling in the aisles. While her loud rants and meme worthy faces are entertaining, I mainly enjoyed her sarcastic jabs, statements of the obvious, and bitter monologues the most.
In terms of visuals, modern technology continues to be impressive as our ghosts were brought out in a grand visual display. While the make up and realism were tapered down, the ghosts had the wispy, ectoplasmic look that we often associate with ghosts. Fortunately the new technology allowed for fluid animation and very unique looking ghosts. Even the proton packs, and the assorted other gadgets, have some flare as well, with dazzling sound effects and flashy colors. These provided some exciting action scenes, again being a bit on the overdramatic side that brought nostalgia back.
- Forced humor
- A story missing suspense
As I feared from the trailers, the biggest fault for this reviewer was the forced humor of this movie. If you remember the classic films, the writers produced clever dialogue, witty insults, and relied on the actors’ delivery to provide the comedic punch. Not the case in this movie. Our SNL cast has brought their modern touch to the mix, which means less cleverness and more infusion of overacted silliness. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy deploy their usual stunts to spur out laughs, this means lots of prolonged banter, recurrent jokes, and sometimes overrated comedy. I know it’s their method these days, but it would have been nice if they had injected some more wit into the mix. And Kate McKinnon had some well timed moments, but like the others the overzealous antics get stale and lost it’s punch. As for Chris Hemsworth, well this movie attempted to make him funny, but failed immensely for me. Our writers focused on his looks being his selling feature, while belittling his intelligence to that of a rock. His lines can be humorous at times, but making him a complete boob (or better phrased idiot) got old…quickly. Fortunately there are a few moments where the stupidity lightens up, especially in terms of the well-placed cameos, but for the most part the comedy is overstretched and overdone
Despite the story being fairly entertaining, it did lack a lot of the suspense and mystery that the other tales had. We know who the main villain is from the start, and I must say he wasn’t that impressive. You remember Goza the Destroyer, or even Viggo the Destroyer? They were terrifying and dark in their control of the paranormal forces. But Rowan wasn’t that well developed and his ability to manipulate the dimensional portals was a bit of a stretch even for me to swallow. Thanks to the comedic approach of the movie, the story lost much of its edge, the danger essentially absent until the very end when the action stirs up and the girls kick butt. Sure these scenes have little suspense behind them as well, but it finally gets things stirred up a bit. Perhaps if the team had traded some story for the comedy things would have been better, but Hollywood still refuses to find balance.
Is Ghostbusters the worst movie of the summer? Not even close, but it certainly has ground to make up in the sequel that I believe will come. The cast is not the worst part of the movie, but more of the writing and direction they took it. If you want the Ghostbuster cleverness with well written dialogue and sarcasm, then you best skip this film altogether. However, those who are fans of the current SNL theatrics will surely find entertainment in this film. While the visuals are certainly impressive, I can’t say they warrant a 3-D showing due to the lacking story and action. This reviewer does encourage catching it at home though.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5