Ghostbusters (2016) is a downloadable reboot of the classic 1984 comedy of the same name. Directed by Paul Feig, the movie tells us the origin story of the four-piece paranormal unit, the Ghostbusters. The original film is widely regarded as one of the best movies from the 80’s, and this reboot attempts to pay homage to it while also recreating its magic.
Although it’s not very successful overall, the movie manages to produce some fun sequences, likable characters, and creepy imagery. A weak script and an oddly long runtime make for a hit-and-miss experience, but Ghostbusters is a decent popcorn movie all the same.
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The Film Review
Ghostbusters: the Plot
The film starts out with Erin (Kristen Wigg), a professor at Columbia University who is up for tenure. After discovering an old book of hers has gone for sale without her permission, she meets back up with an old friend, Abby (Melissa McCarthy). Along with her lab partner Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Abby researches the paranormal at a nearby technical college.
With recent ghost sightings popping up in New York City, the trio eventually meet Patty (Leslie Jones), an employee in the subway. Together, the four women team up to form the Ghostbusters, a group of scientific-minded people who research the paranormal.
It’s a fun dynamic, and the idea works on a fundamental level. Just like in the original film, it’s fun to watch four personable friends hunt ghosts together. The overall tone of the movie is comedic, so the Ghostbusters often jab back and forth at each other.
The four teammates have decent chemistry, but their characters aren’t fleshed out nearly enough as they should be. Out of the four, the most memorable is Holtzmann, whose zany and eccentric nature keeps things entertaining. The rest of the team is serviceable and performed well by the cast, but are held back by a shoddy script.
Although the middle of the movie can be a bit slow and mediocre, things pick up towards the end. For the most part, Ghostbusters is a colorful movie throughout. However, the amount of cool special effects ramps up towards the finale. The CGI is inconsistent in quality; it’s occasionally fantastic but mostly average.
There are some really entertaining scenes though, made better by a fun use of color. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Ghostbusters also creates some surprisingly cool horror imagery. Although there are some jump scares, I hardly consider this to be a “scary” movie. However, a handful of scenes stand out due to good sound design, nice set design, and a creepy atmosphere. When the movie wants to be legitimately scary, it often gets pretty close.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Ghostbusters is a disappointing but watchable reboot. The team of Ghostbusters is occasionally hilarious, but lack chemistry. Some funny secondary characters like the dim-witted receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) keep scenes entertaining, but the majority of the script is lackluster.
The colorful special effects make for a noteworthy finale, and there are plenty of fun cameos and references to the original movie. While it’s not a great reboot, Ghostbusters is a serviceable comedy. There’s a lot of wasted potential, but the movie still manages to be entertaining. If you’re looking for a decent comedy with a paranormal twist, Ghostbusters isn’t a terrible choice.
- Standout performance from Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth
- The special effects are colorful and the ghost designs are inventive
- Great references to the original 1984 movie
- The middle of the movie is too long and hurts the momentum of the story
- Not enough character development
- A lot of the comedy falls flat or feels outdated