Paul Barclay

Ghostbusters – Review

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As a critic, it is accepted that no matter what, you can not please everyone with your opinion. No matter what you think, there will be people who disagree. With Ghostbusters though, it seems it will be even more vitriolic. If you claim to like it, then you are apparently besmirching the legacy of the original 1984 classic. On the flip side, if you dislike it, then you are apparently misogynistic and all of your dislike must be purely due to the fact that the main roles are now all played by women. With this in mind, lets find out who will disagree with this review.

First things first. This film looked awful. It has nothing to do with anger towards the cast. It was all to do with the dreadful trailers that were released to promote it. Both were terrible, with the first one being particularly cringe-worthy. So, it is now time to eat words, because Ghostbusters is surprisingly good. Not perfect, which shall be explained, but far better than expected.

The plot, if you are unaware, is that four women, three of which are scientists, team up to stop a cataclysmic paranormal event from destroying New York. It may sound basic, but that is because it is. It does not need to do any more than that. Keep it simple, keep it moving and keep it entertaining. The entertainment is due in no small part to the quality of the cast.

All four of the team are fantastic in different ways. Melissa McCarthy, an actress who can be very irritating, tones her character down from her usual performances, which works wonders here, as it means she becomes more likeable. Her chemistry with Kristen Wiig is genuine throughout, who is also entertaining. It seems that Wiig was maybe given more room to improvise, as a lot of her lines felt extremely natural and not scripted. Lesley Jones has the weakest character, as it comes very, VERY close to being just another stereotypical loud black woman which we have seen on screen thousands of times before. But, importantly, she is still very funny. The star though is Kate McKinnon, who plays the tech savvy member of the group and may very well be crazy. It is a wild performance and by far, the most enjoyable character in the team. But as said, all the team are fun to watch, interact with each other well and you fully believe their friendship is real.

The only other major character is Chris Hemsworth’s receptionist. He is not bright. This is a point the film will continually beat over your head. His character is fine for the most part, but it seemed that he was trying too hard at some points. Also, as this is a reboot of a previous franchise, we need obligatory cameos from stars of the original film. Which are all fine, with two being particularly funny. A point to add to this is that in the film, there is a brief tribute to Harold Ramis, who sadly died in 2014, which was a nice touch.

There are negatives. As with many comedies, not all the jokes land, with some being very cringey. This includes jokes outstaying their welcome and some that just miss altogether. Some of these were present in the trailers. Also, the editing at times seems very rough, with some cuts being downright atrocious. One towards the end of the movie was very jarring. Finally, there is no real big villain. There is a plot being orchestrated by a character, which will be bad for anyone caught in it, but there is not a central villain to focus on. It would have helped make the stakes seem higher if there was someone who had been built up in a way that we saw them as a genuine threat.

But, overall, Ghostbusters is a lot of fun. It is fairly faithful to the original and does not do anything to hurt the legacy of the franchise. Let us be fair, Ghostbusters 2 did not help too much. No, this reboot is not perfect, but there is a lot to enjoy. It is not as good as the original, but is far better than the sequel and basically, is a fun piece of popcorn entertainment. To paraphrase the theme song, watching this made me feel good.

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