Ghostbusters (2016)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Movie Review  :   Ghostbusters (2016) 

Heralded by the most disliked trailer in YouTube history, and an embargo on reviews until pretty much the day of release by a panicked Sony Studios, the "Heaven's Gate" of supernatural horror comedies is finally here, and what a terrible, unfunny, man-hating mess it is.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Like Paul Feig's previous movie, 'The Heat', this appears to be nothing more than a 'comedy' with all the comedy taken out: No jokes. No discernible plot to speak of. No memorable or likable characters. Terrible CGI. Possibly the worst theme song ever penned. Then on top of that the only black woman in the thing is a 'HEELLLL NO" racial stereotype 40 years out of date, and ALL the men, without a single exception, are exclusively depicted as either stupid or evil.

I honestly hope this abomination is such a flop it sinks the studio, and so ever after acts as a warning to future film-makers not to cynically exploit beloved movies from the past for short term gain or presently fashionable political brownie points, but maybe instead try to make memorable movies of lasting magic and worth themselves.

It's getting mixed to positive reviews, but the people liking this movie are the same people who jumped on-board the feminist "everyone who hates this film is a misogynist" train and they don't even mention anything beyond the parts they cherry-picked to like in the movie. Throughout the hour and a half + movie, the movie made a desperate attempt to be good to the point where it just appeared like they were trying too hard. Much of the humor is forced and most of the jokes are basic and can be seen/guessed even before the scene rolls. At times, it felt cheap and lazy. I thought I was watching a failing SNL parody rather than a good movie.

Leslie Jones is another problem; she portrays a stereotypical black woman with an attitude. Yelling? Check. Bitch slapping? Check. Every single stereotype about black woman? Check. Remember Winston Zeddemore from the original film? Was he a stereotypical black man at the time in the 1980s? Nope. Instead, he was an Average Joe who wanted a job and took it at Ghostbusters. Here, Leslie portrays her character in an almost-offensive manner when it comes to playing a stereotypical black woman. It's borderline inappropriate and, had she been a man, this film would've been TRASHED by critics for this portrayal of a character. 

Also, it's Reverse Sexism in a film. Instead of treating both genders equally, Paul Feig displays men as idiots or assholes. This is true with Hemsworth's character, Kevin, who is the team's secretary. He's completely stupid, clueless and innocent; but mostly stupid. Janine in the original film was a smart, capable woman who had a lot of memorable moments and wasn't portrayed in a sexist, if not really unattractive manner. I almost walked out of the early screening because of how poorly men were portrayed in the film. And, probably, by now, everyone has heard of the atrocious final resolution to the final battle. SPOILER ALERT: SKIP IF YOU WANNA ACTUALLY SEE THIS BURNING DUMPSTER FIRE.

The final battle is resolved by shooting Rowan in the dick. That's right; four chicks shoot Rowan in the dick with their proton packs. -.- You probably already know this because of the GIF floating around the inter-webs, but, yeah. That's how the final battle ends; a really sexist approach to finishing the film. It sounds mild, but combine this with the portrayal of Kevin, Bill Murray's cameo and a few other male characters who interact with the main characters and you have a feminist film ready to go.

Along with these criticisms come with the really bad script that just acts like imitation crab in the food world; it's just an imitation. In fact, half the plot imitates the original in a distasteful manner that just really turns off Ghostbusters fans. It's unoriginal and it pays little homage to the films. When it does, it does it in lackluster fashion. Like, for example, Stay Puft's official sighting in this film is in parade balloon form, not true marshmallow form. If you were expecting at least one showdown with the destructive Puft himself, think again. He has been replaced by the logo ghost. XD 

There's so much wrong with this movie, but these things are just a few of them. Thanks Paul Feig for messing Ghosbusters up. I guess Paul's been Busted and it felt good busting' this travesty of a film that will haunt GB fans for generations.

PROS: -Chris Hemsworth (For the most part) -Complete relief when the film ended

CONS: -Terrible acting -Abismal writing -Huge gaping plot holes (Like the inability to buy the firehouse but the ability to create advanced ghost busting technology and obtain parts and equipment.) -Poor CGI effects -Disrespectful cameos and treatment of original material -Reverse sexist message -A stereotypical caricature of a black woman (Leslie Jones as Patty) -Useless inclusion of Patty into the GB team -Non-existent character chemistry -Disappointing final battle which breaks all GB rules first established in the film -Unmemorable soundtrack -Poor editing -Inappropriate responses to constructive criticism hidden in film -Dull, ineffective, dry forced-humor -Identity crisis (Reboot or Sequel. Choose one, Feig.) -Laughable film effort in general

This film is BUSTED and busting this travesty of a film makes me feel good; better than good... GREAT.

Awful but not necessarily for the reason you would expect.

Despite some early reviews I've read or watched I didn't find the movie to be anti-male. There was nothing offensively anti-man in it that wasn't something I've already seen before and laughed off a million times. Unfortunately that's part of the problem this movie has with humor creativity. There was nothing there to laugh about.

Thankfully Patty Tolan isn't a walking/talking stereotype. They made her a New York City historian instead of a caricature with "street smarts". Sadly, they didn't do her any other favors. Nor were the other characters flushed out at all.

Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy play a pair of old friends who re-unite but I never get much of a sense they were anything but aware they were in a movie. They try to riff and play off each other but it kind of falls flat.

Kate McKinnon's character stands out the most in this movie. The character just seemed too weird in an unrealistic way. She seemed to try chewing up scenery any time she was on a call sheet, even if she didn't have much to say. She didn't feel like she fit into what was happening.

One actress that stood out to me was Cecily Strong. Cecily Strong stood out to me the same way Kristen Wiig first stood out to me in Knocked Up. She only has a very small role in the movie but she's able to be convincing and funny without making it seem like she's in on the joke.

The performances weren't bad per se, they were just very underwhelming all-around. As a result, the film itself does not succeed.

I did like how the ghosts look in the movie. I also like the choice the filmmakers make at the end regarding the classic logo. However I have to be harsh on this movie because it's a reboot that ultimately did not need to be made.

Not only did they attempt to reboot a comedy (tell the same joke twice in a row and see how well it works the second time - comedy is a very very delicate thing and you need to respect the audience) but they went for a movie that originally caught lightning in a bottle. I don't even think Ghostbusters II did enough to justify existing. Maybe the lessons we didn't learn back when the sequel was made are the same lessons we won't learn from the reboot.

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