Ghostbusters along with Star Wars IV, is one of the movies, that as a kid, I remember watching over and over again. I’d fast-forward the VHS tape past the opening scene in the library and go straight to the title. It was part “skip-the-scary-bit” and part, just get me to the Ray Parker Jr, theme song.
As far as the remake goes, each of the main actresses were convincing enough, but they had big shoes to fill. The pressure on them to meet such a high standard would have been enormous. Taking all this into consideration it’s not a really bad film.
Best expressed through the general response of my daughters: “the movie was okay. I liked the gadgets, but there was not enough guys, and they made Chris Hemsworth look dumb.”
Or best summed up by Richard Lawson in his review for Vanity Fair:
‘Ghostbusters is a flat, occasionally charming disappointment. While certainly funny in parts, Paul Feig’s much-debated reboot can’t find its groove…There are brief highlights [but the] film is largely an uninspired slog, everyone doing their best to get to the end without screwing things up too much’ (source)
I had my own thoughts on it, so here’s a short, 16 point review:
1. Cerebrally effortless, fun movies, do exist.
2. Ghostbusters can fit all genres. If you liked The Golden Girls this one’s for you – (minus the humour of Estelle Getty)
3. If you’re obsessed with the Ghostbuster movies, then this is an edition that’ll uniquely sparkle in any pristine, shrink-wrapped, for-display-only, collection.
4. If you like to see men, particularly Australian men, portrayed as dim-witted buffoons, then you’ve picked a winner.
5. If you’re ideologically bent towards supporting the emasculation of a classic, it’s for you, but in answer to the question “who ya gonna call?” – perhaps, first, call a therapist, not Ghostbusters. #justsayin
6. Crude statements about how a woman’s anatomy works, no matter how subtle, doesn’t communicate well for any actor selling a story to a wider audience, outside the teen angst bracket.
7. The storyline was strong enough to withstand the small amount of innuendos.
8. Overreaching in order to empower feminism disempowers feminism (and almost squeezes the life out of everything it touches).
9. Outside the Gilmore Girls, I’m not a big fan of Melissa McCarthy’s later work. (You deserve better, you can do so much better because you’ve done so much better).
10. Hollywood peaked in 1984. It’s been on a slow downward slide since. It seems to have literally run out of really cool, original ideas.
11. Bill Murray is still one of the coolest comedians alive, and Ernie Hudson must be part Vulcan, he’s hardly aged at all.
12. Chris Hemsworth, Australia thanks you for Thor, but we’re pulling faces and scratching our heads over this one, mate.
13. Hollywood is still capable of making a comedy without copious amounts of swearing or sexual innuendos [thumbs up]. It’s the genius in the legacy of Dean & Jerry, the Dick Van Dyke show, Mchales Navy, and Hogan’s Heroes.
14. Ecto-1 remains one of the coolest pop culture cars to have ever been created. With the ban on the General Lee, Ecto-1 moved into the number 4 slot, just under the A-team’s GMC van, KITT & the Delorean.
15. It doesn’t matter how awkward a movie might seem, gizmos and gadgets always make it better.
16. The modern liberal quest for what it, and it alone, determines to be tolerance and equality, creates inequality. In well-timed humour, on screen chemistry and one-liners, this reboot of Ghostbusters is not even close to being equal to its predecessor.
Does the movie speak to it’s audience and Ghostbusters fans? Yes, sometimes.
Does it do anything for feminism? Yes, however not in the way I suspect that it might have been intended. It shows that the frown of feminist idealism is kryptonite. That it’s misandry and overshadowing hypocritical disapproval of men, is toxic. Feminism is fundamentally about empowering women to be as equal-in-value as men. Any medium that betrays this platform rests not on talent, wit and moxie, but on a destructive ideology that perverts feminism, and clouds its positive achievements.
The absence of Ivan Rietmann and Dan Ackroyd is noted. Although, Ackroyd, Hudson and Murray make a cameo appearance, they’re not credited as being directly involved in the remake, which might explain the movie’s awkwardness. The brilliance of the first film was its disciplined balance between the serious and the silly. The retake barely seems to attempt to do the same. Paul Feig (Director/Writer) and Katie Dippold (Writer) could have made the story line deeper and tapped into the tension Reitmann maintained. It’s not clear why they didn’t choose to go in this same direction.
Putting the apparent hi-jacking of Ghostbusters by feminist idealism aside. Dedicated fans of the franchise might not be as thrilled as the fans of Batman were with Nolan’s trilogy, or Bay’s Transformers, however, they’ll probably be more forgiving. This is because Ghostbusters, the reboot, isn’t just a remake. Its in-part, an interesting retake on the whole Ghostbusters story.
Note: Thoughts expressed here are my own. I received no payment of any kind for this review.
Trailer: Ghostbusters, 2016 Sony Pictures