Ghostbusters (2016)

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I went to see the new Ghostbusters film last night. A reboot with a twist, this modern version of the 1984 film features a female dominated cast, a sufficiently awkward antagonist, and a stereotypical dumb blonde receptionist in the (rather buff) form of Chris Hemsworth. I’ll be honest, I was excited to see it. As a fan of the original, I was keen to see a classic favourite revamped. And there were some good aspects about it but I have to say, as a whole, I found the film to be somewhat underwhelming.

The basic premise is largely the same as the original; a bunch of scientists get together to capture ghosts, before saving the city from said ghosts and being hailed as heroes. In this version, rather than dealing with Gozer, our heroines are met with a weird dead guy who turns into monster version of their own ghosty logo (a la the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man), intent on destroying the city. His motive? He’s lonely and angry and, like all lonely, angry antagonists do, he chooses to deal with it in the most destructive way possible.

The cast, despite the internet outcry (people really will get angry about anything, won’t they?), was solid. Kristen Wiig is physicist Erin Gilbert, initially an unwilling participant that soon changes her mind after the excitement of meeting a ghost. Kate McKinnon is the lovably quirky Jillian Holtzmann, an engineer who is responsible for creating the girls’ ghost hunting equipment. Leslie Jones plays Patty Tolan, who throws her own brand of sass and spunk into the crew. And Melissa McCarthy plays the fearless leader Abby, tough and a little reckless, with a fondness for wonton soup.

Chris Hemsworth was funny for the sheer idiocy of his character. But mostly it was the kind of awkward humour I’ve come to expect from Kristen Wiig films, in which the protagonist ends up in cringe worthy situations that just make you embarrassed for them. Not bad, just a little predictable and I’ll be honest, not really my cup of tea. The cameos from the original cast did give me a little happy thrill though, seamlessly honouring the old (film) with the new.

It wasn’t an altogether bad film, and good for a bit of light hearted fun. To its credit, it gave a new spin to the original; with just enough differences to be its own film, while still keeping with the theme and the look of Dan Aykroyd’s creation. Keep an eye out for some old favourites! This movie gets a 3 out of 5 for me.

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