Review: Ghostbusters [2016]

a review by the Crow.

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OPENING THOUGHTS

I really, really didn’t want to do this. I’ll be up-front and let you know that I did not enjoy this movie right now.

However, I am looking towards a better future, and the promise of a long and prosperous life, and my old friend the Azure Magpie (soon to appear on The Corvid Review as a guest reviewer) has threatened to pluck my feathers out one by one if I do not go through with this.

In light of that, let’s make this quick.

Let me preface this review by saying that I have not watched the prior Ghostbusters movies, or played the threequel-game. However, I have read some of the children’s books when I was yea big, and have seen bits of the cartoons (yes, even the Extreme Ghostbusters). However, it’s not enough for me to say I’m that familiar with the franchise.

Therefore, unlike the Swan(!), I am not the type to burst into a metal version of the theme song on karaoke night (you glorious non-passerine, you!). However, I do think that the Swan(!)’s mind is at risk of being turned into these because of this movie, and so the task falls to me.

So (goodness gracious me)… here we go.
(I hate you, magpie!)


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IF THERE’S SOMETHING STRANGE IN THE MOVIE

WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS SOME [MINOR] SPOILERS

Where do we even begin?

If a five year old was handed a pen and paper, things would’ve been better. Okay. Maybe not. But my point still stands.

The plot exists, but it’s not good. Not by any means.

We open with a massive slap on the face of how universities conduct their business. It’s not uncommon for Hollywood to piss all over how academic institutions handle things, since the escapist nature of most movies has no time for the rigour and hard work put in at these places. And the movie we’re discussing here has one of of the worst examples of said issue that I’ve seen in some time.

Now, perhaps if the humour involved in the scenes was a little better, I would’ve been more lenient, but as I’ve said before, I tend to look closer at times like these.

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Once Dr Erin Gilbert loses tenure at Columbia University thanks to a book she and her former friend Prof. Abby Yates wrote some years ago concerning the paranormal, she teams up with said friend, and her friend in turn: Holtzmann. Eventually, the trio is joined by one Ms Tolan. And so, the titular Ghostbusters are formed, following some sightings of ghosts (which helps Dr Gilbert switch sides).

The plot hereafter is nothing too special, but it’s not good. I’m not going to waste time going through the details, but the basic principle is: Ghosts are about, our girls rally together and beat them. The movie’s titled Ghostbusters. What do you expect?

One of the main problems is that the humour is really bad. To go with the bad humour, the story is weak, and the scenes don’t go well together. It feels as if the movie just needed a better hand at writing, despite how poor the main plot is.

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Here are some of the more choice things I have to say about this movie:

  • Now, as not-a-fan of the franchise due to not having seen the first two movies, I don’t care much about the whole “the idea of this movie insults the previous ones” argument. And yet, it does. Recasting the surviving original actors as different people and essentially erasing the original timeline in a reboot sounds quite disrespectful, especially considering how the people in question are handled.
  • As I wrote into my notes while watching the movie, this movie made me laugh a grand total of zero times. 
  • This is something I would’ve left for a different section of this review, but it fits here since it’s a problem with the plot. This movie faced a huge amount of backlash when the first trailer dropped. The fans who raised the alarms at the time aside (because of how they feared this movie would demean the original), the backlash was widely criticised as being a product of misogyny. Of course there will be idiots around, but I never thought that the criticism of the backlash was all that much about misogyny. With that said, Ghostbusters is probably the most misandrist mainstream movie I have ever seen. Every man in the movie is one of the following: a loser, a horrible person, or an idiot. And there are no exceptions. And I find that ironic.

How was this movie ever expected to be successful?


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AND IT DON’T LOOK GOOD

Overall, Ghostbusters looks pretty tacky.

I really want to know how this movie messed up so royally. Our lead ladies don’t do bad jobs, to be honest, and neither does Chris Hemsworth, nor Neil Casey, but they’ve got nothing to work with. And, again, as I put down in his notes: ANDY GARCIA?!

Times haven’t been kind to him, have they? Why is he perpetually stuck in crappy movies, these days? The only good scene in the movie is the scene where Holtzmann dual-wields her pistol-weapons against the army of ghosts. It’s quite well made, and makes me wonder why the rest of the movie is so poor in comparison.

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I’m referring back to my notes consistently over the course of this review. A movie being forgettable is never a good thing, and although I had some strong things to say about this movie, it is forgettable. The only thing I have to add, since I’m running out of steam, is that the one memorable thing in this movie is made memorable by being anything but quality. 

This is the note (and moment) I’m referring to:

The “dance” scene is a crime against humanity.

I’m done discussing this garbage.


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CLOSING THOUGHTS

Ghostbusters is certainly the worst movie I have seen this year. Yes, it’s miles worse than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [Ultimate Edition]. Compared to this, Batman v Superman looks like a masterpiece. It’s not about respect to the source material, but it’s rather about polish.

Who really cares if the main cast are women? The issue I have with that whole thing is that they decided to take that fact and turn it into a marketing gimmick which ultimately failed. And on top of that, after the backlash they faced (somewhat unfairly), they compounded problems by accusing everyone of exactly what they’d done in the movie [Note: this, I earlier pointed out in my review for Agassi/The Handmaiden].

But even that shouldn’t make or break a movie. The writing, the execution, and the pacing are all terrible. The cast has nothing to work with, and it shows in each scene to painful degrees. This is an utter disaster of a movie.

I don’t think there can be a movie that beats this to being the worst of the year, and we’ve still got 46 days to go until New Years’ Eve.

This movie deserves the shit it gets. It’s just that poorly made. A better team, a better creative direction, and it could’ve at least been nice. At least the “dual-wield” scene earns the movie something.

Final rating: 0.5/10

5 thoughts on “Review: Ghostbusters [2016]”

  1. For me the movie started alright, but lost me as it went along. The dance sequence and finale in general made me cringe. Apparently the dancing segment was meant to go on for much long, but they mercifully cut it short.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Insider rumors suggest that a big dance number was Feig’s plan to close off the movie. Guess they cut the routine when they saw how unfunny it was. I think some of the unused footage got used during the end credits, although I could be wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

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