We’ve arrived at the most divisive film of 2016 and for some reason it’s a Ghostbusters reboot. Some cry foul at the all female cast or the lack of continuity with the previous two Ghostbusters movies. With remakes, people normally tend to critique them through if they improved or added any merit to the original. However, I’m measuring this on how it works as a movie as I do with all my reviews with some reference to the originals. What Ghostbusters 2016 had to accomplish was to make its audience have fun with an occasional chuckle, regrettably neither of those elements are really present. This Ghostbusters is void of any good chemistry among its normally strong leads and worst of all I just didn’t have fun.
First off let’s clear up this gender issue, because there is none. Writer and Director, Paul Feig, has worked on many successful and enjoyable comedies including Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and more. He’s directed episodes of Arrested Development which makes him a pretty competent person in the comedic world. He brings out the best in Melissa McCarthy who has starred in those three aforementioned movies. Combine that with the comedic prowess of Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones all Saturday Night Live members (at a point in time) and you’d think that it would make a recipe for success. The problem here isn’t the leads, it’s the script they were given or not given for that matter.
The chemistry just doesn’t work here. McCarthy and Wiig being two of the more standout actresses in the cast. I admire their work, and they didn’t yield a single laugh from me the entire movie. Most of the comedy is pretty surface level, jokes you’ve heard from your dad or uncle six times over and it just doesn’t land. Kate McKinnon did get a snicker out of me and Leslie Jones was easily the most likable and the character you emphasized with the most. Chris Helmsworth plays the secretary who is dumber than dirt and you really get that beaten over your head. He is dumb, he is hot, rinse and repeat far too many times. These actresses are great individually, but they’re written with no chemistry and often times I think the director literally just had them improv scenes and decided that the first take made it into the final cut.
The villain is abysmal in every sense of the meaning. He has sparse motivation, he’s never a really prominent presence, and his dialogue is edgy and empty. Bill Murray is completely wasted in his cameo, though some of the other Ghostbusters from the past have decent moments. It irks me how much the theme is continually recycled, dilapidating use of a catchy song from time’s past.
Worst of all, nothing is really funny. I know that the previous Ghostbusters never elicited belly laughs, but I was looking to smile or have some chuckles. The first time I snickered I committed a cardinal sin of looking at my phone because it felt like it took forever for me to laugh. 40 minutes into the movie and I finally got something funny. The next time I laughed wasn’t until the last five minutes of the movie. The material isn’t funny which is a damn shame because as I said, the cast is more than capable, the script is not.
Some merits are to be found in this movie. It’s visually a treat, and the 3D actually added a nice effect that well utilizes the format. Any scenes with the Ghostbusters busting ghosts is actually interesting to a degree. It’s easily the high point of the film when Kate McKinnon uses her weapons before the final boss. The final boss is a blatant slap across the face of fans and is quite underwhelming. At the end of the day I just can’t recommend this movie to anyone. I didn’t laugh enough or have much fun and that’s all I wanted. Shrugging aside the trailer, I wanted to have fun and I didn’t. There are other better comedies out there and even action movies with more humour and enjoyment. Don’t answer this call, it’s not worth your time.