Ghostbusters (2016) Review: Pointless and Lame
I don’t know precisely who it was that decided that a remake of Ghostbusters needed to happen, but they should be dragged out behind the shed and whipped. The studio has been trying to get a third entry into the Ghostbusters franchise for so long that they were going to do it come hell or high-water, and because of this mentality, we are now treated to an overly cartoonish attempt at a slapstick remake of a far more intelligent film. And the original features ghost fellatio, so this has to suck in a special sort of way for me to say that.
As vitriolic as my opening statement is, the film isn’t horrible. It’s technically sound, in that they know how to operate a camera, properly edit, and the actresses are actually talented – even if they have uninspired and generally unfunny writing to work with. Feig co-wrote the movie with Katie Dippold, and they unfortunately don’t do that well here. Essentially copy-pasting large swathes of the original, they deviate just enough to remove the heart and humor, reminding the audience that they are watching nothing more than a cash grab.
The characters are all caricatures – from
Thor Chris Hemsworth’s unusually dimwitted Kevin Beckman to Leslie Jones’ over the top blue-collar working Patty Tolan, there isn’t a single character here that seems to resonate in any way that’s engaging. What’s more, every male character is portrayed as either astoundingly dumb, or despicably evil. And it’s not like our leads come off as geniuses either. They’re just as dumb, but there’s an attempt to make them more likeable.
Cinematographer Robert Yeoman brightens up the new Ghostbusters world, fully reinforcing the idea that this new franchise is a kind of live action cartoon. Which makes a bit of sense, since I’ve heard that both Feig and Melissa McCarthy were more fans of the Ghostbusters cartoon than the actual 1984 film, so I’m sure that probably influenced Robert’s work a bit.
Overall, I think the thing that upsets me most is that this is a remake that no one wanted or needed, and this neon pile of crap probably has Harold Ramis rolling in his grave. Since the studio was apparently so adamant about a new installment, they would have been better served by creating a kind of torch passing sequel, instead of this empty retread that fails in almost every regard. But then again, who knows? Maybe that would have sucked equally as much.
Do yourself a favor and watch the original. It’s just better.
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