Review the new: Ghostbusters (2016)

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Ghostbusters (2016) was a movie many people were prematurely resenting due to fears of ruining a great franchise. I must say, as someone who has recently become a fan of Avatar: the Last Airbender, those people can all shut up and sit down.

In absolute seriousness though, this movie is not going to kill your childhood memories. This new movie may not be as good as the original, but is it a bad movie? No.

Ghostbusters (2016) is the tale of three scientists, a history expert, and the world’s dumbest receptionist, dealing with the fact that ghostly sightings are cropping up all over New York City.

To be honest, Ghostbusters is the type of remake I like. It’s different enough to the original to have a reason to exist, while at the same time not diverging too far away from the original to the point where it might as well be a different movie.

In spite of what the trailer first suggested, this movie can be quite funny. There are plenty of gags that work, and when the gags don’t work, it’s not the type of failure that makes you want to punch the back of the cinema seat in front of you, but rather the kind that makes you shrug and want to move on.

If I do have any criticism of the humour, it would be that it relies far too much on awkward humour. Laughing at an obviously awkward character is something that’s been very overused as of recently, and this movie doesn’t really do anything outside of the norm with it.

The action, on the other hand, is mostly solid throughout the movie. The ghosts have some pretty nice designs, and do come across as legitimately threatening, with the obvious exception of Slimer

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Who does have a pretty well handled, plot relevant cameo

Then we come to the characters. To start with the Ghostbusters, we have Erin, an awkward scientist wishing she could be taken seriously; Abby, a far more confident ambitious ghost hunting scientist; Holtzmann, the creative and very quirky mechanic; and Patty, the sassy black woman who turns out to be a genius when it comes to local history. There’s no denying that these four are a likeable bunch, who work well off of each other. If I had one complaint, it’s that Abby and Erin’s backstories of being bullied for their beliefs in ghosts is never shown in flashback, despite the fact that it could have been a great way to start the movie, and hammer in further the importance of them rekindling their old friendship.

There are of course a few other characters. Chris Hemsworth plays the comedy relief character Kevin, who, if I’m being honest, could have been a little more developed. While some of his “too-dumb-to-live” antics are funny, he doesn’t get much personality beyond, well, being too dumb to live. I feel if they’d pushed the “dumb hipster” vibe further rather than just have him be plain dumb, it might have been better.

Then there’s the main villain of the piece, Rowan. I must admit, this character was a bit of a surprise to me. Rather than just an evil supernatural villain, he’s basically a dark foil to Abby and Erin. A character who has supposedly been bullied and rejected throughout his life, but unlike Erin, who tried to completely reject her past and prove herself to no longer be a “ghost girl”, or Abby who continued to work to prove her “ghost girl” beliefs were perfectly valid, Rowan is bitter and hateful, wanting revenge. While the message of “rise above the mistreatment of others and don’t let it turn you into a hateful asshole” isn’t expanded upon that much, it was an intriguing one, and mostly well handled.

So, what were my overall thoughts on this movie? Well, if I’m being honest, this movie is well and truly okay. I don’t have a great deal of bad things to say about it. What it does, it does well. Not spectacularly well, but well enough.

To sum up, if you like the original and want to see something similar with a lot of callbacks, then, while it’s not as good as the original, I would say it’s a fun watch. If you’re just looking for a fun lighthearted comedy, then once again, check it out. If you’re looking for an instant classic, or a masterpiece in comedy, then I guess you’ll be disappointed.

Rating: 3/5

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