31 Days of Reviews: Ghostbusters (2016)

Following a paranormal invasion of Manhattan, four women band together to use their individual wits to stop this supernatural threat.

The news of an all female Ghostbusters reboot was met with mixed reviews. Some people absolutely hated the idea, while others were beyond excited. Personally, I found myself in a third camp. I didn’t care much either way. I wasn’t a big fan of the original, so I was just interested to see what this new film would bring to the table.

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, all of whom bring their own comedic flare to the picture. I was a huge fan of both Jones and McKinnon’s performances. I thought they were hilarious. They both definitely held their own within the cast. I do wish that Leslie Jones had a bigger part though. I’m never usually a fan of Kristen Wiig’s comedy, so that didn’t change here. McCarthy did a decent job. It’s much less slapstick for her here than in some of her other movies.

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Chris Hemsworth also has an interesting role in this rendition. He plays a bit of a ditzy secretary, throwing stereotypical tropes for a loop. His character has an interesting storyline along the way, but for most of the movie, he’s there as a visual and for comedic gags. I did enjoy seeing him in this movie. It was a nice change from his usual Thor persona.

Personally, I enjoyed the fact that the ghosts in this movie were actually kind of scary. Maybe this is just a difference in time, being brought up on different visual effects, but the ghosts in the original weren’t really scary to me. They were more on the comedic side, which may very well have been intentional. In this new rendition, many of them are scary, to some at least. It’s the minor details that do it.

The 2016 version of Ghostbusters is a pretty fun blast of comedy, scares, guns, and girl power. While it does have some parts that are absolutely ridiculous, it does throw in some good zingers here and there. I’m sure there are still people who won’t like the movie, but I really didn’t think it was that bad, all things considered.

There are some points in the movie that emphasize the girl power aspect, and at many times the story pokes at itself in a meta sort of way. At one point, the characters are reading nasty internet comments about themselves, similar to the nasty internet comments that were really being written about the cast leading up to the films release. The characters are constantly trying to prove that they aren’t frauds, that they’re actually competent people, and while the original had this same idea going on, it wasn’t taken to the extent that it is in this rendition. There are several moments in this movie that just scream feminism, which of course, some people are going to have a problem with.

This is a female driven comedy, and it is also a story about friendship. That doesn’t mean that this is a drama in any way. The characters are allowed to just be funny. Their struggles seem genuine, not driven by jealousy or men or any of those other melodramatic scenarios. It’s just a silly comedy. Despite being a reboot, it seemed like a breath of fresh air in that respect.

While I did mention earlier that the ghosts are kind of scary, I will say that I thought the visual effects were really bright. At many points the level of brightness takes the ghosts and effects into the realm of cheesy. It might just be the version I watched, but the movie also did this interesting thing where the visual effects would exceed the letterbox format in order to simulate some form of 3D. It was interesting. It was kind of odd. I’m not sure how I feel about that overall.

Fans of the original will hopefully enjoy the cameos throughout the film, both from actors and ghosts alike. For the most part, this movie has pretty positive reviews from critics. People in comment sections are absolutely brutal about this movie, most simply because it’s a rendition of a classic with a gender swap. The majority of these commenters claim that this movie kills the original. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call continues to divide people.

If you are absolutely against a rendition of Ghostbusters with an all female cast from the start, then you might want to do yourself and others a favor and just skip this one. If you don’t have a problem with that, and you are looking for something light and silly, this may just be the movie for you.

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One response to “31 Days of Reviews: Ghostbusters (2016)

  1. I think I fall into your camp as someone who felt that this was just another movie, not the end of the world or a glorious new era. Likewise, I found the characters reading internet comments about themselves a little too on the nose. I wonder if playing it a little subdued backfired here – maybe we really needed an insane Holtzmann rather than Egon v2.

    Liked by 1 person

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