Monday, July 18, 2016

[Review] Ghostbusters

Ever since plot details emerged of an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, the stench of appallingly dumb and sexist vitriol from disgusting trolls has been spewing forth from the dark and not-so-hidden corners of the Internet--so noxious that actual ghosts have caught wind of it. But enough about the haters, let's get to the movie... Director Paul Feig (BridesmaidsSpy) collects a stellar cast for the 2016 edition of the beloved franchise, and it's a good glob of slimy fun.

After a wacky opening sequence where Gabe from "The Office" gets tossed by a ghoul, we're introduced to Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), a renowned science professor. Word leaks about a secret from Erin's past: She's written a serious book about ghosts. Her colleagues aren't happy, and she's ashamed, because you know--ghosts and science don't mix. After getting ousted, she reunites with her old friend and co-author Abby (Melissa McCarthy), who now works as a dedicated paranormal investigator alongside a loose-cannon inventor named Jillian (Kate McKinnon, fantastic). Joining the club is Patty (Leslie Jones, hilarious), who has been encountering some crazy stuff in the subway systems. And the quartet forms the iconic Ghostbusters.

There's some great dialogue in this script, and it's full of chuckleworthy one-liners and witty plays on semantics that never really came through in the trailers. And of course we get a lot of cartoonish slapstick antics, as well as a couple of infectious fart and poop jokes (Yeah, I laughed hard at them). Kate McKinnon is a major standout with her seemingly effortless comic timing, amusing reaction shots, and magnetic swagger. A scene of her going all John Wick while firing off a pair of proton blasters sent chills down my spine. Leslie Jones is also a funny highlight, and she delivers one of my favorite lines of the film: "If I see the twins from The Shining I'm out of here!" Then there's Chris Hemsworth (continuing to be the more entertaining one out of the Hemsworth bros), who by design plays a dimwitted, incompetent, and absolutely useless secretary to his Ghostbuster superiors. It's a great source of comedy and a winking twist on overdone gender roles in cinema.

Considering all the unnecessary backlash that the film has faced, it's only fitting that there's a strong electrical current of empowerment, some figurative ball-crushing, and a bit of subtle commentary on nasty YouTube comments (coincidently, screenwriter Katie Dippold already had this in place). It also packs a simple but agreeable undertone about not abandoning your passion--follow through with whatever you want to achieve no matter what the unbelievers think or what the opposers say.

The film sporadically contains brief fan service cameos from most of the original cast, but honestly, the story would've been just as fine without them. Also, the villain conceived here is incredibly underwhelming. The big climax dives into a warping cluster that's stuck between old-school homage and modern CGI fest (I hate to say it, but Pixels came to mind), and in turn, the grand finale renders itself as mostly forgettable. So obviously this Ghostbusters isn't going to overthrow 1984 classic, and it might fall short of year-end lists, but it's still an enjoyable blockbuster. The ending, along with a post-credits scene (stay for that) hint at a direct sequel, and if this is indeed the case, I'm 100% down to witness more of this crew. You can call me a believer.

( 8/10 )

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  1. Love the review, hope I love the movie.

  2. Yes, yes, yes. I also loved the movie, and I don't understand where all the hate is coming from. I mean, come on.

    Also, I am now a proud Kate McKinnon fan, and I had "Rhythm of the Night" on repeat all day after watching it. Haha.

  3. I enjoyed the film it wasn't pefect it had slow points. I actually did not like the Kate Mckinnon character at all until the battle scene. I thought she was really annoying and trying too hard but I don't recall seeing her in anything before.
    The cameos were cool and gave it that yea I miss those guys feel.
    I totally agree about the nemesis being wacky. I almost think that they may have done too much bringing every ghost to fight in this one. I'm thankful Melissa and Leslie didn't go too slapstick.

    1. I like Kate McKinnon a lot. This hilarious SNL sketch is what made me a fan:

  4. Going to check it out.