Charge the lines, create the vortex, break the barriers.
Directed by Paul Feig, a revival from the 1984 classic has landed on the silver screen. It centrals on a villain obsessed with desiring for the apocalypse constructs a device that increases paranormal activity in hope of designing an opening between our world and the ghost dimension. In the meantime, three scientists, Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian (Kate McKinnon) and Erin (Kristen Wiig) are attempting to prove the existence of ghosts by developing new equipment that can suck ghosts in and trap them. A subway employee (Leslie Jones) joins their team of Ghostbusters, as she is familiar with New York like the back of her hand.
The new female Ghostbusters remake has triggered a number of pop-culture wars, before and after its release date. Perhaps it’s the most controversial film of 2016, or even of the decade. There simply wasn’t a single social media platform that was without heightened discussion on the subject. If you were interested in the film, you were seen as a feisty feminist, and if you despised the thought of it, you were labelled a mean misogynist. If you genuinely despise it, fine, but this flick is in no way, shape, or form deserving of the outrageous hatred it has received online. Had the remake have consisted of an all-male heterosexual cast, the issue would have been apparent, and the film would have undoubtedly flopped. But the concept here is fresh and fun. The initial spark of controversy was the trailer itself, claimed to be the ‘Worst reviewed trailer in YouTube history’. Admittedly, the trailer doesn’t climb mountains, but the producers were clever in saving their most rewarding content and were not guilty of disposing it carelessly into the trailer for all to see.
Not only does the film hold comedic values; elements of horror and action are incorporated equally as effectively. The horror scenes aren’t too intense, and therefore caters for all ages to enjoy the thrills! The humour is quite something. From the gag on Kevin’s dog “Mike Hat” to “I thought the floating hot dog implied a ghost was holding it”, Ghostbusters is filled to the brim with pun after pun. The humour might be a little too daft for some, but if dry and silly humour tickles your taste-buds, then this is right up your alley. The theme tune creeps its wonderful way into several scenes, and never fails to put a smile on your face when you hear it.
The cast’s chemistry is undoubtedly the most effective element. Surprisingly, McCarthy and Wiig weren’t personal favourites, but nonetheless convey exceptionally humourous character roles. Leslie Jones proves to be a bounce of energy as her sass coincides nicely with the other characters’ traits. Kate McKinnon is the real gem here. In fact, the film wouldn’t be quite the same without her spicing each and every scene up. She is most certainly in her element here, and isn’t afraid to show it, by amping up her performance and comedic timing to a whole new level of humour. And Chris Hemsworth finally gets to demonstrate his diversity as an actor by taking on the role of Kevin, the shockingly stupid secretary. Each of the characters hold a lovability that is rare in remakes, making this one prevail among the rest. The Villain however, played by Neil Casey, is all too conventional and screams “Hollywood blockbuster” from start to finish. The guy who had been bullied his whole life decides to become the bully…sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? But the actor still plays his part to a satisfactory level; though nothing quite as ‘special’ lies on his behalf. Relatively ‘Hitchcockian’ cameos are made by the majority of the original cast members, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. Each one of these cameos are subtly effective and not too intrusive. And for a little more nostalgia, the famous firehouse is back!
If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, then Ghostbusters serves as an incredibly fitting summer flick, and will have you grinning from start to finish. Indeed, it’s not ‘perfect’, but it’s the best remake that has dived out of Hollywood’s mixed output in recent years. This only emphasises how unreliable internet film ratings are, particularly IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. IMDB’s rating of 4.1 out of 10, of 12,921 reviewers was made before the film was even released in cinemas. But sadly, all of these people had already made their judgement. Audiences tend to put far too much faith in numbers that are calculated on assumption. You can only take from this, that it’s best not to judge the pre-release panic-fest. Go and catch this ghost for yourself, it will be a pleasant surprise.
Side note: (I don’t like to write my reviews in first person, but those of you who are regular readers will know that I am not ‘big’ on remakes. This one however, was a genuine delight. In fact, I haven’t laughed this much in the cinema in months (and that’s coming from the person who doesn’t like remakes…), if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.)