Film Review | Ghostbusters (2016)

ghostbusters 2016 answer the call review paul feig kate mckinnon leslie jones melissa mccarthy kristen wiig all female ghosbusters 2

Who ya gonna call?

It’s tricky to talk about this movie, really.

It deserves to be able to stand alone, to be considered only in terms of its own merit, but that’s obviously not been the case; because of certain individuals who have quite strong feelings and a poor sense of priorities, this movie has been faced with a ridiculous weight of expectations and set of standards to face up to. Every positive review has had to deal with this, almost as a disclaimer, as if to say “no, honestly, they didn’t deserve the death threats”. Well, duh.

I’m not really going to go into that, particularly, because I don’t really have any new insights to add. This article is probably the best one on the subject that I’ve read, and I think even if you are familiar with all the nonsense surrounding the movie, it’s worth giving that a read, because it’s both articulate and incisive, and I think gets to the heart of the matter quite well.

Beyond that, though, I don’t really want to discuss all that; while you could, I think, quite extensively write a post debunking all the accusations being lobbied at the movie, given that the majority aren’t even accurate, I’m not convinced that’s worth it. Ghostbusters deserves to be given the same chance any movie would be.

Honestly, it’s quite good, isn’t it?

Certainly, I had a lot of fun watching it, and it seemed like the rest of the audience did too – lots of laughing, some applause, the works. The majority of people stayed through to watch the credits as well, actually, to see Hemsworth’s dance sequence, which was a lot of fun. (There were also a fair amount more people here to watch this than Star Trek Beyond, which I found quite interesting. Not necessarily a scientific metric, mind you, since they were two different cinemas.)

The main strength of Ghostbusters is, I think, the cast; they’ve all got great chemistry together, and they play off of one another really well. Everything you’ve heard about Holtzmann is true; Kate McKinnon is basically perfect in the role, and a ridiculous amount of fun to watch. Leslie Jones’ Patty is quite interesting too, actually, because her character in the movie is essentially unrecognisable from how she was presented in the trailer – she’s a lot subtler than she was initially conveyed to be, and gets quite a few good lines. And, of course, Chris Hemsworth is a revelation as Kevin.

It’s still difficult to review, though, in the same sense that any comedy is. Obviously, there are the subjective elements; not everyone is going to find every joke funny. I certainly didn’t – a fart joke early on was quite cringeworthy, and “let the power of Patty compel you” is pretty much as bad as it looked, for example. But on the other hand, there was a decent amount of stuff in there which was quite funny. It’s not high concept, and it’s not necessarily groundbreaking, but it’s pitched exactly right for a big summer comedy. There’s also quite a high volume of jokes, either outright in the dialogue or hidden sight gags, so I reckon there should at least be something for everyone.

Of course, the real heart of the movie – both in terms of the characters and the humour – was the relationship between Kristen Wiig’s Erin, and Melissa McCarthy’s Abby. The subtext isn’t deep, and the writing isn’t subtle, but it doesn’t need to be; the movie is about their friendship, and the pair of them becoming strong friends, and it works. There are nice moments, they’re funny together, and they have good chemistry together.

Ultimately, Ghostbusters is never going to be winning awards. It’s not the smartest movie, it’s not the most mature movie, and it’s not the funniest movie either.

But it is a hell of a lot of fun, it’s got some great characters, and it’s doing a lot for young girls, so who cares about it being the best, when it can lay claim to that?

Not me, that’s for sure.



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