In a world of nostalgia-bait rebootquels and unashamed fan mollycoddling comes a reboot that dares to not be a sequel AND isn’t exactly an out-and-out remake of the original. If only the filmmakers hadn’t felt the need to pander to my generation by throwing in an unwieldy collection of cameos.
Ghostbusters (2016) works best when it severs ties to what came before and does its own thing. The four leads play very differently to what we’ve seen before and if you’re going for a reboot then this can only be for the best.
The last thing I wanted was to see four pale imitations of Venkman, Stanz, Spengler and Zedmore, and my wish was truly granted.
Kristen Wiig is a loveable, prim and proper doofus, Leslie Jones plays a veritable fount of NY knowledge and Kate McKinnon absolutely steals the show in every scene. Sure, she’s more quirk than character but it’s her rambunctiousness that really drives the movie forward as she’s the weird glue that binds the team. The one weak link in the chain is Melissa McCarthy, and I know that’s just a personal taste thing. I just find her humour a little too broad for my tastes.
Visually, the ghosts are impressive. It would be ridiculous to expect physical effects and puppetry in this day and age but what we get is an amplified version of the vision laid out in the original features. I mean… If you can’t get cartoonish ghosts on point in the 21st century then all hope is lost.
The sound design was crisp and added nuance to the vibrant imagery. There were some standout moments near the beginning that allowed the rules to be established, the world to be sketched out and the balance between humour and childish nightmare to be weighed out.
As much as I enjoyed my time with Ghostbusters I cannot reiterate enough that the fan-service utterly marred this movie going experience. Too many nods, winks and callbacks to the original, too many cameos which pulled me right out of the picture and that god-awful Fallout Boy rendition of the Ghostbusters theme doesn’t seem to be aimed at any demographic targeted by this movie. It is utterly befuddling.
Oddly enough, my enjoyment levels kicked into silly overdrive in the final third of the movie, which seems to be exactly where a lot of critics lost interest. As chaos descends on New York and the threat ramps up, Ghostbusters really comes into its own. The team dynamic, their gadgets and the utter silliness of it all builds to a satisfying crescendo and earn this team the hope of a sequel in my book.
It’s fun, silly, gorgeous and engaging. Hopefully the sequel will shake loose the fanboy bullshit and allow for breathing space so this new take on the premise can be its own thing. Although I guarantee, after the 21 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover, we’ll be seeing a Jump Street/MIB/Ghostbusters movie in the near future. You heard me speculate it here first!
Ghostbusters (2016) launched in the UK Monday with a Worldwide release from Friday 15th July.
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