The Ghostbusters’ reboot breathes new life into an otherwise ‘dead’ franchise, bringing thrills, scares and, most importantly, laughs aplenty.
Strap on your proton packs and get the ghost trap ready because Internet trolls are about to be busted, Ghostbusters (2016) is here and it’s not afraid that you think it’s ‘political correctness gone mad’.
As you’d expect, the reboot doesn’t shy away from the original’s basic story, mainly making cosmetic changes but the end result is the same, three scientists (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon) are thrown out of their respective universities for their belief in the paranormal.
Setting up their own business to combat things that go bump in the night, they end up recruiting a ditzy secretary (Chris Hemsworth) and an ‘average Joe’ (Leslie Jones), who brings some much needed street smarts to the bookish gang, all while dark forces conspire against New York.
As a huge fan of the original Ghostbusters, I went into this film with some trepidation. Paul Feig and McCarthy have proven in the past (Spy, Bridesmaids, etc) that they know how to handle a comedy but the trailers left me feeling cold.
It’s with some relief then that I can confirm that I loved this film. From the first beat of its iconic theme it proved itself both distinct enough from its predecessors and funny enough to justify its existence, several times over.
Does it compare to the original? Not at all. Does that matter? Not in the slightest. This film is its own entity, existing in parallel with the original two films and is a worthy entry into the franchise.
Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy get the majority of the good lines and are a wonderful on screen duo, delivering both ridiculous techno-babble and gags with gusto.
The look of the film is amaze-balls as well and a great deal of work has clearly gone into both the designs of the ghosts and the equipment that the ‘busters’ use.
The new equipment leads to fights and action which wouldn’t have been possible in the original, and while I’m sure some viewers will roll their eyes at the supposed sequel escalation, I thought it was a treat for the eyes and delivered a type of ‘ghost busting’ we’d never seen before.
Fans of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon will get a kick out of the designs of the ghosts as well, who seem to have been directly inspired by the creepy and other-worldly designs used in the beloved eighties cartoon.
What I enjoyed most, however, was how bright and colourful the world of the Ghostbusters was. It was noticeably different from the cynical world of the 80’s original, choosing to go over the top, in contrast to the original which downplayed some of the goofier aspects of hunting ghosts.
It was a bold choice but, in my opinion, a necessary one. Feige and his cast would only have drawn criticism for aping the original too much and the brains behind this delightful and clever reboot have done their utmost to make Ghostbusters 2016 its own film in every respect.
Now, Ghostbusters isn’t perfect – not by a long stretch – but it’s far from the disaster that some people were predicting.
Its biggest problem is that, ultimately, it plays things just a little too safe, falling back on Wiig and McCarthy’s well worn shtick, instead of relying on its ensemble.
Speaking of the ensemble, while Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon both shine whenever they’re given something to do, Wiig and McCarthy dominate the film.
This means we don’t get anywhere enough of Jones and McKinnon, which is a shame because they’ve got some great lines and were easily my favourite things in the movie – in particular McKinnon who was just a delight.
Also the jokes are broader than the original’s dry sardonic humour, relying on gross out gags and farce which I thought was a shame. With that said though, the jokes were funny enough to make up for it.
All in all, Ghostbusters isn’t the hideous car-crash that Internet trolls wanted. Instead, it’s a lively and fun comedy that while not reaching the lofty heights of the original, is still a far stretch better than the rest of the shit in the cinema right now.
I’m looking at you Central Intelligence…