May 29, 2024

Ghostbusters 2016 leaves our critic unmoved

By Langdon Kessner

Arts & Life Editor

After nearly 30 years of development hell, script rewrites, and the unfortunate passing of Harold Ramis, the third Ghostbusters film finally made it to theaters.

Sadly, it turned out to be a reboot nobody wanted nor asked for. Directed by Paul Feig and starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, Ghostbusters follows four women investigating paranormal activity in NewYork City.

Is it good? Kinda, but not really.

Is it bad? Kinda, but not really.

And if that sounds wishy-washy, well that’s because the movie is too. Don’t like it? Get in line, because I don’t either.

There was a lot of “controversy” surrounding the film before its release with its allfemale cast, but I won’t spend too much time on that. Mostly because the film itself is neither bad nor good enough to warrant such discussion. I can’t remember the last time a movie this harmless and mediocre caused so much anger.

If you haven’t seen the original Ghostbusters, you might have a good time. But if you love the original, like me, you’ll be very frustrated. Not because it isn’t funny; I laughed pretty frequently throughout. But because this is basically a note-for-note remake of Ghostbusters (1984). All they have done is reverse the gender roles and added a few new gadgets. The basic story is still the same: four unlikely heroes battle ghosts to save New York. No originality and no creativity.

In all honestly, the Ghostbusters franchise never demanded a sequel,

let alone a reboot. But if you’re going to reboot it, take it all the way. Go to

a new city with new ghosts and a new car. But no, we get the same proton packs fighting the same ghosts in the same New York City, and in the same Ecto-1 Cadillac. Yeah it’s an awesome car, but good grief! Do something new already.

The cast is fine. Kate McKinnon stand-outs in a bizarre and weird performance.

Melissa McCarthy is surprisingly restrained and never has a chance to let loose and go crazy. I didn’t think much of Kristen Wiig, but I never found her that funny to begin with. Chris Hemsworth plays their dim-witted secretary and he gets some pretty good laughs. The best comedic moments come from a dog named Mike, spelling “Science” with a “Y”, and mayor so offended at being compared to the one from Jaws (1979).

And everyone has heard the original Ray Parker Jr. theme song from

Ghostbusters at some point, and it shows up here too. Granted, it’s during the

credits, but hey, at least it’s there. There is also a new version performed by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot. Make of that what you will.

Maybe Ghostbusters should’ve just stayed as one film. You can only save New York from evil ghosts so many times and even Ghostbusters 2 (1989) failed at that. This remake/reboot does nothing to damage the original, but fails to add anything even remotely interesting. Not the best use of your time, but if it’s on TV, I wouldn’t change the channel. Sequels and reboots aren’t inherently a bad thing, but it’s a little insulting to think that this is the best they could come up with after 30 years. All they’ve proved is that some things are just better off when they’re left alone.

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