**The following is an in-depth review of “Ghostbusters” and does contain spoilers.**
Since its announcement, this film has had the stink of a liberal feminist agenda all over it. After years of fans waiting for Dan Aykroyd to finally make his long-planned third film in the original franchise, Sony Pictures announced that the new film would not be a sequel, but a complete remake.
On top of that, it was also announced that the team would be comprised of all women. Needless to say, fans weren't happy with either of these revelations.
Well, the film is finally out, and - if I'm being honest - it really isn't that bad.
If you came here to read along as I thrash this movie up one side and down the other, well I'm not going to do that. I don't blame you for being disappointed; I'm pretty disappointed myself.
I went into this movie fully expecting not just to hate it, but to despise it. However, as with every movie I intend to review, once the film started I cast all of my preconceived notions and prejudices aside and waited for the film to fail all on its own.
On the surface, the "Ghostbusters" reboot doesn't seem to really stray much from the original. Four scientists and one "everyman" start a business to dispose of ghosts for profit and then have to face off against a big bad at the end. That was the plot to the 1984 film; it was the plot to "Ghostbusters II" and, yes, it's the plot to this one as well.
But that's where the similarities end.
The four lady Ghostbusters aren't just gender-bent versions of the original characters. These are new, original characters with their own personalities and traits. While the plot isn't anything new, the characters are incredibly fresh. As with all character, some of them are likeable and some of them aren't but they aren't just copies of the originals and that's a plus.
Some jokes hit their mark but a great many of them don't. There is some low-brow toilet humor, but it isn't nearly as prevalent as it is in most Melissa McCarthy movies. There is some slapstick, but again it doesn't dominate the tone of the film.
The film would have benefitted greatly from being an in-continuity reboot. All of the surviving members of the original cast - apart from Rick Moranis, who wasn't interested - return for cameos. It would have been very easy to just bring them back as their original characters and have them be the ones who brought the girls together and sent them on their way. It would have raised the film several notches had they done that, but they didn't. It really is an easy thing to get past, but it's a missed opportunity.
"Ghostbusters" is by no means a perfect film. It has its flaws, but the majority of them are minor. The equipment and props aren't the greatest. The car doesn't have the elegance and beauty of the original. A lot of it looks very cheap for a multi-million dollar production, and that's all disappointing. The special effects are mostly alright, but the ghosts stand out as looking especially cartoonish. While some of the designs look as though they could be scary, that is drowned out by the bright neon glows they all give off. Slimer looks especially terrible.
This new "Ghostbusters" does have one major sin; it hates men.
The movie isn't flooded with it, but there are traces of man hate sprinkled throughout. There are also several spots where the movie goes out of its way to poke fun at geek culture. It's disappointing they chose to go that way with it, because all that will do is push people and the original fan base away. The goal of a movie should be to put butts in seats, and "Ghostbusters" seems to prefer to alienate the same audience it should have tried to convince.
At the end of the day, "Ghostbusters" is a wholly mediocre film. It's good but not great, and there are many missed opportunities. It could have been great, but Paul Feig decided to put the feminist agenda over making a film that people would actually have beat the door down to see. It's a good movie, but it could have been so much greater.
Instead, it seems content with simply being "good enough."
Feature Image: Screengrab
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