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Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

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Directed by: Paul Feig

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones & Chris Hemsworth

 

The most controversial and talked about films of 2016 is here. For years we’ve campaigned for a new Ghostbusters film, we all wanted to see the original cast get back together one more time. The closest we got to a Ghostbusters 3 film was the excellent 2009 video game. I just wish I knew it at the time so I could appreciate it a little bit more.

When it was announced that Ghostbusters would be rebooted with an all-female cast, people were up in arms. They rejected it. Ghostbusters is a franchise that is close and dear to people’s hearts. It’s untouchable in some people’s eyes. Imagine if they rebooted Star Wars with an all-female cast (I wonder what a female wookie would look like) People would be pissed!

I’m not going to lie and say that I know a lot about Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, in fact, I’ve never heard of them until now, but I do know a lot about Wiig and McCarthy. Both of them are hysterical. Watch Wiig in AnchorMan 2, hilarious. That gives me some hope.

Before I continue with this review I want to clarify that this is not Ghostbusters 3. This is a reboot, not a sequel.

 

Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert (Wiig)are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society, after being sacked from their respected university positions. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon)for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan (Jones), a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out, and their dim-witted receptionist Kevin (Hemsworth). Armed with proton packs and plenty of gadgets, the Ghostbusters prepare for an epic battle as an army of ghouls descend on Times Square.

 

I’ve got to be honest guys; this is not a bad movie.

I enjoyed it.

There, I said it!

It’s not as good as the original, that’s a timeless classic, but this is worthy enough to be mentioned in the same bracket as the ’84 film. If you go into the cinema trying to compare this to Ghostbusters ’84, then just turn around now and leave the cinema.

I admit that I did get a bit emotional at the start, as it was VERY reminiscent of the first film, and when the classic original Ghostbusters theme by Ray Parker Jr kicks me, I had to fight back the tears. Right in the childhood, people!

I admit, I’m in favour of an all-female cast. That doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, how many movies have white males in leading roles? So this is a refreshing change from the norm. I hope that this is the beginning of a new trend in cinema.

Ghostbusters is a funny film, at times. There’s a lot of in-jokes directed towards those who criticised the movie based on the trailer alone. There’s this one scene where video footage of the Ghostbusters capturing a ghost is posted on YouTube, and people are writing things in the comment section like ‘this isn’t the ghostbusters’ or ‘female ghostbusters? Are you kidding me?’. It’s a clever way of acknowledging the haters and having a stab at them.

Chris Hemsworth steals the show. Oh my God, the guy is a frikken riot. He’s like the Australian Trigger from Only Fools and Horses. His comic timing is perfect and he provides the most laughs. I hope this experience encourages Hemsworth to take up more comic roles in the future because he is a naturally funny guy.

Ghostbuster does have its faults.  I just don’t think the chemistry is there between the four Ghostbusters. Wiig and McCarthy click, but I can’t say the same for McKinnon and Jones. Kate McKinnon, who is like the Egon of the team, comes across too much like a female Jim Carrey with her over the top acting. She does have some funny moments, so I give her some credit.

Lesley Jones, an actress who I’ve never heard of prior to seeing this, was good. I just don’t like how they made her a stereotype. They try to balance her character out by making her a New York historian with the street smarts, but overall, it doesn’t do her any favours. That’s no fault of Jones herself, she had her fair share of funny moments, I blame the script for this one.

Not a massive fan of the way the ghosts look, but I’m willing to overlook it as it wasn’t bad enough to put me off the film.

It was heavily rumoured that Bill Murray makes an appearance here, but not as Peter Venkmann. I can confirm that this is the case. It’s not just Murray who appears, but also Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. Also making cameo appearances are Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Slimer and The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. Daniel Ramis appears in honour of his father Harold. I would have loved it if Murray appeared as a ghost, that was something which was seriously considered during the writing of Ghostbusters 3, but I would have loved it even better if we had Venkmann and Sultz instead.

There’s another big cameo appearance which made me mark the funk out! Anyone who knows me personally would instantly know who I’m talking about!

Reviews have been mixed. More good than bad, in my eyes. I hope this can change the minds of those who rejected the film to perhaps give it a viewing. I actually hope that James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd) might consider watching this. It’s hard to change people’s minds. Some people actually boycotted this film on the sole reason that it’s an all-female cast. I pity those who think that way, especially now in 2016!

Bottom line, Ghostbusters ’16 is a fun movie. Like Jonathan Pile says in his review for Empire Cinema; ‘It’s almost as if it never mattered that the four main characters were women’.

The pressure was on for Ghostbusters ’16 to deliver. And they did, and I’m so immensely proud of what they accomplished.

It gets a personal recommendation from me.

Rating: *** (Aye, it’s canny, like)

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