Ghostbusters 2016 Film Review
Directed by: Paul Feig
I'll be honest, I was 100% against this film. Not because of the female angle, since I happen to really love all of the actresses involved, but just because personally, I feel Ghostbusters is "still" a perfectly made comedy that does not need a remake. And considering it's been 32 years since that original, that's saying a lot. But it's true. You can throw on Ghostbusters 1984 today and it's still astonishing as the day it was first released all those decades ago, even down to the effects work, which, by the way, are still vastly superior to most big budget CGI crap coming out today.
And then that first trailer came out, and dear gawd, it was awful. I've since read that that was most other's feelings as well. I think Kevin Smith even publicly chided the person responsible for editing the trailer together, saying he should be fired. I do have to admit, he's not completely wrong. It is a terrible feeling trailer and after having finally seen the film, I can attest that it does not do the film justice at all.
Verdict: I enjoyed Ghostbusters 2016, a lot. In fact, it's so much better than I was expecting it to be. While it won't replace my love for the first 2 films, it is still a very fun, enjoyable, and downright funny film in it's own right. We both found ourselves laughing, chuckling, and smiling through pretty much most of the film. That first trailer did not seem to capture the flow, magic between the costars, or the feel of the film at all. Some of the scenes that were shown were cut so oddly that they lost all of their impact. And truthfully, that's what I was expecting going in. But rest assured, that is not the case. All the funny bits and jokes hit their mark, and above all else, you just cannot deny the sheer amount of talent in these ladies, Kristen Wiig in particular. I know everyone's been going nuts over Kate McKinnon, who was just fantastic and pretty much stole the show, but for my money, it's Wiig who anchors the whole team together and her spot-on delivery and timing is what makes it all work.
I have to hand it to writer/director/producer Paul Feig. He has taken the brunt of the backlash from this project from the get-go, and while I admit that initially I was just against the idea, he did an outstanding job putting this film together. This reboot, remake, re-imagining, or whatever you want to call it, takes a lot of the elements that made the first film work so well, and utilizes them in a new way, making it it's own little beast altogether. And let me tell you, it's a lot of fun.
The casting of this thing easily could make or break the whole film. Luckily, Feig and company knows a thing or two about comedy, and lined up an insanely stellar cast, most of which got their start on SNL. They all bring their own unique flavor to each role, and all deliver the goods. Of course, the big surprise for most, including myself, was Chris Hemsworth playing a dimwitted beefcake secretary. I have to admit, the guy was hilarious, and who knew he could be funny? Of course all the humor is directed at his stupidity, but it works and watching how each character, especially Wiig's Erin Gilbert, is something to see. Now, being a film that is taking a lot of inspiration from an original so well loved, you can expect a healthy dose of cameo's. Reading a lot of recent reviews, it seems that a lot found them pandering, but I didn't. Outside of the little nods to the older films, I found them to be a bit refreshing in this new universe.
I'll admit, I had reservations, but curiosity got the better of me, and I learned a few things about this experience. For one, I shouldn't judge a film solely on the success or failure of a single trailer, and while I'm just not a fan of remakes, reboots, or re-imagining's in general, they're here and they're here to stay. Nothing is going to stop studio's from wanting to bring an old film or franchise back to life, even if it doesn't need it. It's going to continue to happen whether we like it or not. 32 years is a good distance to have between films, and even though, for some strange reason, Ghostbusters doesn't feel like it needed or warranted one, even 3 decades later, I am glad that it fell into the hands of a team as competent, capable, and passionate as Paul Feig and his talented cast and production crew.