Ghostbusters (2016)

Wow, has there been a more said about a film before it even opens? The vitriol towards this movie both is and isn’t that surprising. There’s always going outcry against remaking a hugely popular film, such as the original Ghostbusters, but the reaction has gone beyond that. Yes the trailer wasn’t good, but was it the worst trailer ever? No. Some of this reaction almost certainly comes down to a sexist reaction to an all female Ghostbusters’ crew, and that’s just not ok.

And after all that the film is pretty  great. I’m going to try and avoid comparing it to the original film too much, because it’s hard for anything to touch that. And taken as its own film I really liked it. It may be helped by that fact that expectations have been lowered, they didn’t waste any of their funniest material in the trailers, and it’s been a pretty poor summer in terms of blockbusters. But this is up there as one of the best films of the summer so far.

Ghostbusters is first and foremost a comedy, and by hiring a very talented say of comedy actresses Paul Feig has really doubled down on that. And the most important thing, this film is really funny. A lot of the jokes land, and I laughed a lot. Sure some aren’t great, but for the most part the jokes work. But the action in the film is also pretty good, and is well balanced with the comedy. A few of the CGI effects on the ghosts don’t look too great, but it is only a few so it wasn’t too distracting. One of the strongest things about the original film was that for younger kids the film could be pretty scary. And I think that the same can be said for moments in this film. This stops a little towards the end of the film, but I like that they included it.

As I said there is a hugely talented cast. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are a great pair, as we’ve seen from Bridesmaids. I find McCarthy can be pretty poor (Identity Thief, The Heat, Tammy), but if she works with Wiig more then she can be great. Leslie Jones was hilarious. I know there were some worries she would just be doing much of the same stuff she normally does on Saturday Night Live. But the star was Kate McKinnon. She completely steals the film and is absolutely fantastic. Chris Hemsworth is pretty funny, but essentially does one stupid guy routine. There are a lot of cameos in this film, including most of the original Ghostbusters. Some of these feel very forced, but some still produced a laugh, so I’m going to give it a pass.

It’s not a perfect film, the story doesn’t break any new ground and the final act is a pretty generic CGI filled sci fi/fantasy action set piece (bar one awesome Kate McKinnon sequence), and a fairly major scene was spoiled in one of the trailers, but no one accused the marketing team behind the film of being even slightly competent. My major problem with the film was that it just lacked the quotability and classic nature of the original. There’s no “if someone asks if you’re a god you say yes” or “don’t cross the streams”. But on the whole the film does it job, it’s funny and a great time at the cinema.

So if the marketing of this film worries you, then fair enough, I worried me too. But I would really suggest that you go and watch it, and try not to compare it too the original too much, as it is its own film. I had a great time; it was funny, but also delivered on the action as well. Absolutely one of the best of the summer so far.

8/10

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