General Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

Hello, Spongey here.

I want to make this intro short because by this point, you know what the deal is with this movie. At this point, you don’t care and want to know how I feel about it. You know I don’t care about what people think, and I think both sides are being stupid.

So we’ll skip the boring part of this intro, but I do need to set the stage.. This is yet another reboot type thing of a classic franchise, and this time they’ve picked Ghostsbusters. Now, I’ve seen the 1984 film and a few episodes of The Real Ghostbusters, so I can’t comment on the sequel or anything else besides the film.

And the film is certainly a classic. It was made at the right time as these were the best actors you could get for this kind of thing at the time, and they helped make it what it is. The rest is fun but they make as good as it is.

Really, it was only a matter of time before they did some kind of new film and it’s had a strange history. They’ve been wanting to make a proper 3rd film but they didn’t do it for many reasons. Mainly that Bill Murray wanted to part in it, and Harold Ramis died.

Long story short, they announced a full reboot with a female cast. Predictably, people lost their shit. You had people claiming any new Ghostbusters “ruined my childhood” and there were sexist douchebags not worth paying attention to.

What seemed like another reboot people bitch about, became a huge thing thanks to so many factors. Tons of people hated it before they saw it due to lackluster trailers (Nevermind that all trailers lie) and some stubbornly refused to see it all. Eh, those kind of people I tend to ignore, since the latter is made up of dumb commentators, and not people trying to be professional or smart. …Mostly.

The point, all sides are getting tiresome to the point where I’m screwed no matter what I said. If I like it, I’m a “SJW” who is liking it just cuz it has unfair hate, if I don’t like it I’m “sexist” or a Nostalgia-tard, and if I’m in the middle I’m an indecisive tool.

It’s a lose/lose situation, pretty much.

The only thing I can do is just review it as fairly as I can, and go from there. I have been mixed on the project, as some bits in the trailers were dumb, while some were kind of amusing. I tend to like Paul Fieg’s work enough, and spy proved he can mixed Comedy and Action pretty well.

He also seems like a fine person who makes stuff for fun and not for money or whatever, meaning we have some kind of stamp of quality here. It’s true that I am sick of the unfair bashing, but that’s true of a lot movies, even ones I don’t like.

You know, I hate when people make things out to be worse than they really are. Yet I tend to review them fairly, good or bad. You have nothing to worry about on that front.

So, after all the build up and fighting it’s finally time to see what we have here. Will this reboot make me feel good, or should I call someone else? Let’s finally find out.

This, is Ghostbuster (2016)

(Skipping production because no one cares at this point. I’ll say the Ghosts actually look decent and are creative enough for my tastes)

WRITING:

Dr. Erin Gilbert and Dr. Abby Yates are co-authors of a book which posits the existence of paranormal phenomenon such as ghosts. When the book proves unpopular, Gilbert distances herself and eventually becomes a teacher at Columbia University, while Yates continues to study the paranormal at a technical college with eccentric engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann . Years later, Gilbert learns the book has been republished, threatening her reputation in academia and her bid for tenure. Gilbert reunites with Yates and, in exchange for getting the book out of publication, agrees to assist Yates and Holtzmann on a paranormal investigation.

But when ghosts start to invade New York, they end up starting a ghost busting business, and Hilarity Ensues.

Okay, I’ll start by assuring you I won’t compare this to the original film too much. If I do,it’ll be for the sake of comparing, not just to bitch. The film is easy for to judge on it’s own anyway, and I want to be fair.

I do have to make one comparison off the bat, and it’s a major one. Everyone, even the people who like it, will tell you that this new film…has pretty much the same story structure as the original.

They mix it up near the end, but it’s mostly the same basic story, with someone being dropped by a university then them forming the team, getting well known and yada. The differences are minor (No Gatekeeper/Keymaster) or are with the characters.

Some won’t mind this as they will enjoy the new feel enough, or they will see it as a pointless rehash. Either way, don’t expect any huge twists in the story. The original didn’t exactly have a lot of twists but I think an update should have more surprises.

Guess I should get it out of the way: The movie is…okay. Mostly enjoyable but has things holding it back a bit. The actual writing gives us most of the problems so I may start out slightly negative.

My biggest problem is that the script plays it too safe. It takes no risks and follows the same structure you are familiar with. That can work in places, as you do need to keep some parts but I feel like the film was very restrained.

Nothing in the story is really bad or anything, it just made me slightly bored in some parts because it had to hit certain points I knew it would hit. My other problem is the pacing. Some bits drag too much.

Besides the expected dull spots, quite a few of the jokes just go on too long. These things keep the film from being better, as it’s almost flat out pretty good, except for these minor annoyances.

Using the same basic story doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it means I wasn’t as engaged as a could have been, and they don’t thrown in anything else to make it a bit more interesting, which is what you what you do if you a similar story.

Now, what about the writing worked? Well, the story at least doesn’t veer too off from the original. And in the end, the female cast thing didn’t matter because they almost never bring it up, no one mocks them for being girls or anything.

(Except for a small a joke about a YouTube Comment, hardy har)

So I don’t feel like the actual movie is trying too hard to be progressive. All problems come from general problem, not from “SJW Bullshit” as some kindly put it. As for the humor, it mostly worked.

Nothing too hilarious, but it had it’s share of fun quips, the best coming from the leads which we’ll get to. There were some groaners and while most of the cameos worked, one was too on the noise.

You know which one I’m talking about. One guy in my theater clapped at it,so good for him I guess.

I should mention that I actually liked the ending! The climax worked well enough, and the ending went on just long enough…maybe too long because the mid credits scene goes on forever. It should have been the final scene, not after we’re supposed to leave. I’m the only that got up cuz I guess they knew we’d be held captive.

(There’s a post credits scene but I didn’t know of it until just now, so I can’t comment on it)

As you can tel, the writing can be mixed. The general story is too similar with no extra twists, some of the cameos and references are forced and some jokes fail or go on too long. Paul Fieg really needs a new editor because the latter has been a problem of his for a while.

But it stays true enough, and has enough decent jokes and clever ideas. One thing they do with the villain was really cool. The writing never gets terrible, but never gets amazing either. It’s very…in the middle.

But what works does work, I just wish they tried a little harder, and had better pacing. But hey, could have been worse.

CHARACTERS:

The main reason the original is so beloved it’s great and memorable case of characters, and does this new entry hold a candle? Well, I can say on their own…they mostly worked! Well, the main ones do anyway.

Starting with our Ghostbusters, there’s Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (played by Mellisa McCarthy) Jillian Holtzman (played by Kate McKinion) and Patty Tolan (played by Lelise Jones). Erin is the straight (wo)man, Abby is the one who mostly makes the gadgets, Holtzman is the crazy one, and Patty is the outsider/sassy black woman. Each manages to stand out well enough even if they aren’t especially deep. Erin has a moment that works because they take it seriously, and a few more bits like that would have been nice.

But it’s the actors that really make them enjoyable. Each performance is good and they have strong chemistry. I couldn’t pick a standout but I think Mellisa McCarthy and Kate McKinon had the best moments, but they all were good.

They work a bit better together than sepereatly though. That’s not bad though, it just means some would have been more annoying without anyone to bounce off. I’d say the real highlgiht of the film would be these women, as they worked very well. .

Then we have their secrectry, Kevin Beckman, played by Chris Hemsworth. I was worried I wouldn’t like him as he is the dumb one only hired because he’s hot. But I actually quite liked him. This is because Chris plays him like he’s almost a normal person, not screaming or going over the top.

So it’s actually funny when he saws something stupid because you almost don’t expect it from how he looks and acts. Chris Hemsworth is good at making silly-ish characters a bit more dignified.

The rest are just there to me. The villain is kind of cool at first, but just becomes boring by the end, besides that little bit I hinted at. There’s the mayor who wants to show the Ghostbusters as frauds but that’s all there is to that character.

There really is nothing to say about everyone else, because only the mains stand out. At least ONE other notable non-villain character would be nice. I’m glad there’s no discount Rick Moranis, but someone along those lines would be nice.

I guess there’s Slimer. Yes, he appears and his cameo is actually kind of funny. Speaking of cameos, I mentioned them already so there’s no need to repeat myself. I wish there was more to say…but there isn’t.

So while the main characters are the only notable ones…at least they are done right, to the point where they are my favorite part of the film, and not the actual writing or jokes. Yeah, the best jokes come from them just having fun together, really.

But that’s fine. So yeah, while not many stand out, the ones that matter do work.

Final Thoughts:

After all the yelling and controversy, I can say that this movie is….okay. It suffers from weak pacing and weak story, with not too many characters standing out, but it stays true enough, and has a very good team all played very well by the actors.

At it’s worst, it’s just forgettable. At it’s best, it’s pretty fun, if nothing crazy special. It really about what I was expecting in the end. I’m just impressed it’s mostly fine-ish, because I did fear the worst at some points.

But thankfully, it’s just slightly mixed. I think the problem is that it plays it too safe, and takes no risks. No, making them female isn’t a risk because only dumb asses care about that. It has no bearing on anything positive or negative.

In the end, it had moments of being “pretty good’ but it’s mostly just okay. Again, it’s let down by little annoyances and not doing anything new. Maybe we’ll get that in the sequel (if it even happens at this point) but until now, we have this.

It may not be AS good as some may want, but it’s not nearly as bad as feared. Even at it’s worst, it’s not THAT bad, just kind of awkward. So all those arguments and comments for over an…okay movie.

You must all look really stupid.

In the end, if you are even slightly looking forward to it, check it out, just try not to pay too much for it. If you’re on the fence, wait til you can rent it. It’s okay but not good enough to sway people on the fence, mostly.

The film not be the best, but it’s mostly enjoyable enough, and even with it’s problems, they clearly tried. So as usual, I will sigh at the people calling it the worst thing ever. But I’m always doing that so whatever.

I was mixed on the grade, so I went with my gut. I apologize if my opinon offends you.

Production: B

Writing: C+ (Subject to change)

Characters: B

OVERALL: B- (Subject to change)

2 B-‘s in a row. Strange. This was closer to a B, to be fair. It just needed to be slightly better paced. I’m just glad it turned okay enough. And of course, I say fuck you to the ruined my childhood crowd and all that.

If for any reason this movie really gets to you, enjoy your sad corner, I guess. …I’m such a dick today.

So, what’s up for our next General Review?

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…Sigh.

See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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