Saturday, July 16, 2016

The 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Is Part Quirky, Part Stupid, Part Funny, Part Annoying

The trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot (sometimes subtitled Answer the Call) – featuring four female Ghostbusters instead of four males, as what the original 1984 Ghostbusters had – has become the most disliked movie trailer in Youtube history.  There was much extensive displeasure for this movie even before actually being released.  People were already hating the mere fact that this movie existed.  As for me, I chose to reserve my judgment until I could finally get to watch it, and now that I just did, here are my three main assessments of the movie:
1.) It’s nowhere near deserving of the hate it’s getting.  It’s not atrocious at all.
2.) However, it’s also nowhere near the fun, charm, and wit of the original movie.
3.) It’s also not as good as what the current Rotten Tomatoes score is telling (as of writing, 73% rating out of 160 reviews; for me, it should sit at around 60%).

I wasn’t particularly a very big Ghostbusters fan.  As a kid, I first encountered the cartoon – The Real Ghostbusters – and just like nearly all cartoons I watched in my childhood, I enjoyed it.  But I didn’t know for a long time that it was based on a film.  I eventually saw the two movies, and liked them, but preferred the cartoons more.  However, I don’t have a strong nostalgic attachment to the franchise.

Hence, I really didn’t mind that it was going to be rebooted.  Moreover, I actually think having female Ghostbusters instead of males (as the original) was a refreshing spin.  I had no problems with the idea of a reboot and its premise.  I was actually expecting that it’ll be an utter comedy delight since Paul Feig (who directed Bridemaids, The Heat, and Spy) was helming it.  My only concern was if it’ll be any good by itself.
The plot centers on three scientists that dabble in paranormal research – Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), and the eccentric but inventive engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) – who witness and document a ghost for the first time.  However, the academia dismisses the authenticity of their findings, refuses their request for funding, and fires them.  Thus, to continue their research, they form the “Department of the Metaphysical Examination” – though the public prefer to call them the “Ghostbusters.”  Soon, they are joined by an MTA worker named Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), completing their four-member roster, and they also hire a hunky dimwit named Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) as receptionist.  While struggling to earn legitimacy in their work, they eventually find themselves New York City’s only hope in stopping the apocalypse from being ushered in by an army of ghosts.

The reboot has some noticeable parallels with the original movie.  It also makes several allusions to the original – which didn’t thrill me at all, since they weren’t done in a clever or subtle manner.  I actually think it was a bit pathetic.  The original cast also made cameos.  But, again, I didn’t think the cameo roles given to them were appropriate, necessary, and amusing.  One funny but unfortunate thing is that, while watching, I easily predicted what Ernie Hudson’s cameo role would be.
As for the comedy, there are chuckles.  There’s some that worked.  There’s some that made me cringed.  Most of the humor is decent, but not hilarious.  Clearly, the comedy here is not as great as what director Paul Feig accomplished in Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy.

All in all, Ghostbusters is not despicable.  It doesn’t deserve the hate.  However, it isn’t brilliant either.  It has splashes of stupidity here and there.  There are moments and aspects to be enjoyed, and there are moments and aspects to be annoyed of.  But, all things considered, the movie provides enough amusements and quirkiness to be considered entertaining.  Also, I don’t mind if a sequel gets made – as long as it’s better.

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