Thanks to the power of the internet, Ghostbusters (2016) entered cinemas with an unprecedented amount of hate going for and against the idea of having girls wield the iconic proton packs. With all the controversy surrounding it, you’d expect Ghostbusters (2016) to either be a humongous clusterfuck or a superb middle finger raised at all the haters but instead, what audiences get is possibly one of the biggest disappointment of 2016, second only to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
In this reboot of the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters (2016) follows four unlikely heroines (three disgraced scientists and a blue collar train station employee) who create groundbreaking ghostbusting technology to stop a paranormal threat from destroying New York City and the world.
If you thought you heard that story before, you’re not mistaken because for a movie that was proclaiming itself to be the Ghostbusters for a new generation, it was almost a shot for shot fan funded remake of the 1984 original, only with a new gender for the main characters. With the exception of the fucking awesome Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), there’s been a recent trend of bland reboots and remakes based on popular ’80s franchises that do nothing but copy their predecessors to the letter and make audiences question the relevance of an update. Ghostbusters (2016) isn’t going to break that trend any time soon because it does nothing to distinguish itself from the original and there is nothing here minus an all-girl cast that can separate it from the ’80s classic that was improved by Ray Parker Jr.’s famous song.
Busting Nuts Makes ’em Feel Good
The original Ghostbusters is highly regarded in the comedic circle thanks to its witty dialogue mixed with an absurd premise that centered on dudes firing lasers at supernatural entities for a living. Even if it was outlandish and sounded like a dumb job description written by a kid, Ghostbusters (1984) treated its audience with respect and had something for everyone. The new Ghostbusters, on the other hand, will be remembered for sexual harassment jokes and child pandering that would make fuckboy lord Adam Sandler proud.
If you’ve seen a Paul Feig movie (Bridesmaids, Spy, etc) before, then you’ve already seen his take on Ghostbusters, only this time it’s lazier and somehow more immature. From excessive toilet humor to obnoxious stereotypes to overlong conversations that just repeat themselves and state the obvious, every fucking hallmark of bland lowbrow comedy seen today is given center stage in Ghostbusters, and it’s sad to see it in a movie that didn’t just have potential but one where its cast is actually quite talented. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig may not be my top comedians but they have great comic timing and to see it wasted in a movie whose first joke is a fucking queef gag isn’t just depressing but pathetic as well.
Paul Feig is also known for raunchy parodies and his favorite comedic approach shows up here, making the movie even more confused than it has to be. Half the time, it was hard to distinguish if Ghostbusters wanted to be a comedic homage to the original or an outright parody. For every child friendly joke, there were three aimed at everything the franchise stood for or at the people who voiced criticism and doubt online, where the movie depicts every single antagonist as either a cartoonish moron or a misogynistic idiot. Gone are any semblances of tension and humanity because all audiences get are stereotypes upon stereotypes, like a loud black lady and a dimwitted beefcake, topped off with a worthless villain whose motivation is so simplistic that you’d swear he came from a Marvel movie. For a movie hellbent on demolishing stereotypes, it reinforced them with more obnoxious ones. Instead of having a passable comedy, Ghostbusters was either ashamed to be part of the franchise or violently lashing out at the unnecessary and irrational hate its trailers received.
Many of the film’s detractors were hoping that Ghostbusters (2016) would be this year’s Pixels (2015) but it’s not even that bad: Ghostbusters’ biggest sin is not being a shitty film but an incredibly average form of disposable entertainment that has more in common with Jurassic World (2015) than it does with Adam Sandler’s latest cinematic excrement. Not only does it do nothing for the franchise it came from but it’s backwards as fuck, reverting to humor and characterizations from past decades instead of acknowledging the changing times to make brand new jokes.
Where Jurassic World followed a juvenile mentality by having its leading lady be nothing but the Alpha Male’s bitchy lover, Ghostbusters counters the overt Hollywood sexism by hating everything that has a dick. As mentioned earlier, the movie’s comedic tone is strangely mean spirited and the one on the receiving end are the dudes. On one side, it’s a refreshing self-aware “fuck you” aimed at the annoying macho culture but for the most part it’s a childish take on feminism, where a powerful and relevant debate is downgraded into playground level squabbling.
Again, similar to Jurassic World, Ghostbusters has its priorities set on establishing a major franchise instead of telling a new story set in a familiar landscape. By relying on nostalgia and a bunch of cameos, Ghostbusters hopes to create a Marvel style shared universe by dedicating half of its run time to the fucking origin story where almost everything is unnecessarily explained instead of letting its core cast actually bust ghosts. Rather than have its characters bust more than one fucking ghost that escapes, Ghostbusters wastes its time by explaining every bolt of the new proton pack before abruptly concluding with a noise barrage of a finale featuring the weakest corporate-made ghosts ever seen.
The idea of an all-girl Ghostbuster team is awesome, but this is not the movie women and franchise fans alike deserve. Unless you want a dance number to end your movie or if you have the IQ equal to that of a shovel, wait for Ghostbusters’ cable release or a video rental.
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