Ghostbusters (2016) Review

I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking Ghostbusters is old news right?  But here’s the thing, I loved the original and really didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon of hate surrounding this movie.  The period leading up to its release was a shining example of what can only be described as an internet shit show.  So, I waited until it was being featured with something I really wanted to see. (double features are my favourite part of the drive-in).

My initial reaction to this movie was one of joyful relief because it wasn’t the steaming pile of crap I thought it would be.  Honestly, I’ve seen worse movies this summer.  But once the high of “thank god that didn’t suck.” wore off I realised that overall the movie just wasn’t anything special.

Let’s start with the positives:

From an artistic standpoint, I thought the movie looked beautiful.  Art direction and wardrobe as well as the ghosts all looked really cool.  The performers did a great job of working with the material they were given and used their talent to make the most of a mediocre script.  To me it was pretty funny, some of the jokes didn’t land, but I was mostly entertained.  Looking back on it, I think I might have just really enjoyed  Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of Holtzman.  That character was the source of most of my laughter.  She’s a little weirdo just like me, and that hit my heart in the right spot.  Lastly, all the throwbacks and cameos made the little girl inside me jump for joy.

Now that I’ve given the title some love, it’s truth time:

This film just lacked heart and reeked of cash-grab.  I don’t know, it’s almost like no one cared about this movie, or loved it, they just made it.  The story was almost a carbon copy of the original, no fresh twist on the old material.  I know I said the ghosts looked cool, but at the end, some of them just didn’t make sense.  It was almost like they were trying to one-up the ghost scene from the end of the original movie and it just came off as ridiculous. Holtzman’s gadgets were kinda neat but took valuable screen time away from explaining what the hell was going on with that creepy guy, all for the sake of putting a few badass shots in the end sequence.   Speaking of the creepy guy, if there was a reason he was more powerful than the rest of the ghosts then they really didn’t make that clear.  The whole went from enjoyable to utter nonsense in seconds flat as soon as the “story” started to ramp up.  I also didn’t like Patty’s character that much, I feel like she just came off as “angry black woman” and it wouldn’t have been too difficult to write in a little more depth instead of holding to a stereotype.

So, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to go see it I have this to say:  If you go in throwing your bias out the window you might have a good time.  However, there’s nothing timeless or revolutionary about this movie.  It’s just a less spectacular version of the original with better equipment.  You might want to spend your money on something else and wait for this one to come out on Netflix.

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