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Review - Ghostbusters

By midlandsmovies, Nov 21 2016 08:37PM

Ghostbusters (2016) Dir. Paul Feig

Well I come to this film months after the online controversies it generated during, before and after its creation in the hope to take a look at it without the crowds of extreme viewpoints clouding my judgement.

Off the bat I think three things.

1. You cannot criticise this for women being involved. It’s just sexist. Plain and simple.

2. You cannot criticise it for “destroying” your childhood. It plainly just doesn’t go back and change that movie one bit.

3. You can criticise it on any other filmic aspect whether you like it or not.

With that in mind I had to go beyond some of the many negative comments that were brought up, fought over and then dismiss all the noise and focus solely on the film itself.

But the new Ghostbusters was better than I expected. I don’t know if it was low expectations or something else. As a kid I made my own proton pack (and a ghost trap out of a cereal box too) so have fond memories of that film but a recent re-watch didn’t make me feel much more than nostalgia. But it’s laced with childhood memories and this new reboot does not take that away.

Anyways, back to this film. It stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the Ghostbusters with Chris Hemsworth as their receptionist and has much in common with Ghostbusters version 1: a group of scientists - some sceptical about the paranormal, some adamant they exist - pull together to start a business in New York to catch ghosts. One initial issue is that they don’t actually capture any more than one. Why? I don’t know.

A few twists are thrown in though. The authorities know there are ghosts but simply cover it up whilst there is a lot more focus on the tools of the trade – with McKinnon delivering some much needed off-the-wall quirkiness the rest of the “safe” parts lacked. Something that the film also did well was the pacing and the build-up and a few fan-service cameos were fine but nothing more.

The negatives? Well I have to say that the pratfalls and physical comedy wasn’t up my street. It never has been. However, most of them are in the trailer which got me thinking that the trailer was actually one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The positivity of these strong women playing scientists was completely ignored for slaps, falls, slime and running yet the rest of the movie is hardly like that at all. I’m no fan of McCarthy either (see here) and for me the film longed for an Amy Schumer-type to give it some real bite.

If I was to compare it to the original just once, the realistic palette of grey/brown New York is jettisoned for awful day-glow colour grading with the ghosts looking like they’d been painted with Stabilo Boss highlighter pens. I definitely preferred the more convincing non-CGI versions and the film really lacks any practical effects at all.

So, should you see it? Well, I definitely think everyone should give it a try. If you’re sexist then you should probably give up viewing films as a whole but for the rest of us you *may* be pleasantly surprised. It’s much more comical than it needed to be and it’s never dark/seedy enough to capture New York or the supernatural but at least don’t take the trailer at face value and view the film itself on its own terms, as although FAR from perfect, it could have been a lot worse.


Midlands Movie Mike

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