With the original Ghostbusters regarded with such high esteem, it was always going to be a tough ask for the reboot to surpass that and despite some pretty good CGI effects, the reboot fails horribly to reignite any of the magic the original had. A poor story with little to no comedic value and questionable design choices make this a very poor showing indeed
The story follows paranormal enthusiasts Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Abby (Melissa McCarthy) who team up with nuclear engineer Jillian (Kate McKinnon) and subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones) to stop an otherworldly threat before it destroys Manhattan. Its story sticks pretty closely to its source material but for me it just didn’t work. Of course, comedy is subjective and different people have different ideas about what’s funny and that’s fine but for me it felt like four comedy actresses trying to one up one another in increasingly slapstick and stupid scenarios that ended up being more cringe worthy than funny. Four rehashed jokes about won ton soup show up and within the first ten minutes we see one of these characters bent over a desk making suggestive moans for no other reason than “comedy”.
It also doesn’t help that the characters have little to no development and never feel like fully fleshed out characters. All four women do their best to elevate this title and their enthusiasm for the title does show but beyond the one-note tropes their given, the script just doesn’t do these women justice. It almost feels like a parody of an actual film rather than a reboot.
It also worth noting that Director Paul Feig and cast hit back at fans, calling them all sexist and smearing the film with an ugly air before its release in response to the most disliked film trailer on Youtube. Its important to understand this because Ghostbusters is incredibly sexist. I’m all for female empowerment but when its at the expense of depicting every male in the film as useless, arrogant, evil or stupid it comes across as a cruel irony when you hammer home the message of equality. Add to that Leslie Jones’ character depicted as a stereotypical loud, black woman and what you end up with is a confused parody of itself that dances around a self destruct button.
Despite its nonsensical story beats, one-note characters that never develop and its slapstick comedy that rarely hits, there’s no denying that the film does have good visual design. There are a few tense moments, there’s some good CGI used although its a little over the top at the end, and New York looks great. Its just such a shame that the aesthetic look is the only thing positive I can say about this because I really wanted to like this film.
Overall Ghostbusters is one of those films that never should have been made. The originals were held with such high regard it was always going to be a tough ask to try and surpass that. Unfunny and with no character development, Ghostbusters is a poor attempt at reigniting the brand and its over the top slapstick vibe just doesn’t work. Forget being afraid of those ghosts, be afraid of this reboot. Be very afraid.