Article by: Alice Ginevra Micheli
When I went to the cinema to see this movie, I was warily hopeful to say the least. The amount of backlash and hate present, as well as the controversy surrounding its polar opposite casting, left this comedy with a lot of obstacles to surmount before the opening credits hit the screen.
Did I think it was unnecessary? Yes. But then again, I think most reboots are unnecessary, and yet they just keep being made.
Did I think it had potential? Also, yes. Paul Feig’s previous comedies have always left me thoroughly satisfied, and the main cast have all done work that have had me crying from laughter before. In addition, having Chris Hemsworth play the secretary (read: eye candy) wasn’t something I was unhappy about.
Having said that, is this film good or bad? My final answer is that this is a very enjoyable comedy that I’d be happy to see again, and let me tell you why.
Ghostbusters follows three paranormal scientists and a subway worker with an uncanny knowledge of the history of New York, as they investigate an impending supernatural invasion. Played by seasoned comedians, the film places the characters in two tiers. The big-name stars (Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig) and the upcoming comedy specialists (Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones), and then as previously mentioned, there’s the for-looks-only secretary.
Each of the mains does a solid job of portraying their characters with an array of personalities that leaves each scene free from boredom.
Playing the unofficial leader, Melissa McCarthy is great at doing what she does best; playing a total badass… who also happens to catch ghosts. Kristen Wiig is equally entertaining as the reserved scientist who has spurts of wildness that begin to emerge as the film gets going.
Kate McKinnon plays the crazy scientist. Obsessed with her wacky toys, she delivers a performance that would make Doc Brown proud, if a little disturbed. Although there are times where I found myself cringing rather than laughing at some of her gags. Leslie Jones on the other hand is excellent, she provides a certain physicality and no-holds-barred approach to the role, which was really refreshing to see.
Finally Chris Hemsworth was aptly entertaining in his role, providing proper belly-laughs that certainly surprised me and other movie-goers in the theater, proving that he isn’t just a pretty face.
While the acting and overall execution of the film are pretty good, there are some very obvious downfalls to the film.
For one, the pacing of the film is quite average. The transitions from scene to scene often happened too abruptly, leaving you feeling a bit like the victim of whiplash. It almost felt like they were trying to fit so much into the plot that they didn’t have time to come up with a plausible connection between certain scenarios, and just left them unfinished, causing a very odd sensation. As the film continues, this vastly improves, but it does leave you wondering what happened in the editing room prior to reaching the climax.
Speaking of things being left unfinished, the villain was very disappointing. A two-dimensional character if I ever saw one, there was almost no time or effort spent on developing the backstory for him, leaving him as the most unfulfilling bad guy I’ve seen in a long time. His allocation as ‘quiet genius out to exact revenge on the whole world’ is a tired premise that has been done in most if not all action movies. Considering that it’s 2016 it could have, and should have been explored in another way that would have added to the plot rather than hindered it.
Finally, how does this iteration measure up to the original? I’d say it does its best, and in some cases succeeds in delivering some comedic moments that weren’t present back then, case in point, watch out for one of the coolest action scenes of the year courtesy of McKinnon. However, as story structure and execution goes, I’d say the pressure does rear its ugly head in some instances, leading to some disappointing lines and unsatisfactory transitions.
Overall, however, this film surprisingly delivers as a fun summer movie. No matter its faults, you just might find yourself entertained as you follow the adventure of these four protagonists through the rough supernatural underbelly of NYC. There is enjoyment to be had and laughs to be made and, even though some aspects can leave a bland taste in your mouth, its positives outweigh its negatives. So go, enjoy, and remember… ‘who you gonna call?’