Ghostbusters | Movie Review

Bringing a new GHOSTBUSTERS to the screen has definitely been a rocky road. From many failed attempts at a GHOSTBUSTERS 3 to finally this all-female led reboot from Paul Feig everyone got their knickers in a twist. But you know what, shut the hell up, you whiney-assed puritans, the movie isn’t half bad in the slightest and is one of the better sequels/ reboots in many many years. Is it as good as the original? Nope. Is it rubbish A HUGE NOPE. It isn’t trying to be a remake, it is definitely a reboot that pays homage but does its own thing, its success is the comedic talent and its failure is its plot. But it still works!

GHOSTBUSTERS (just assume the 2016 version) is out now from the fine folks at Sony Pictures Australia, it is rated PG and runs for 116mins. This is a brilliant movie for the whole family and be warned – you may piss yourself from laughter.


Ghostbusters Gertrude the Ghost image




Special thanks has to Sony for their launch night at the Event Cinema in George St, Sydney. One of the besties, Sebby T, and myself headed in and were blown away by how wonderful everything was. Free cupcakes with the GHOSTBUSTERS emblem were a highlight as was the DJ playing the best in 80s classics and places to get pics taken by professionals. I was transported back to the time the first movie in the franchise released and the tone was set for the entire evening. They projected a giant version of the emblem onto the roof of the cinema and had the hottest young bleach blonde thing I have ever seen on a video camera recording the entire night of everyone having heaps of fun. Superb night was had by all.


Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is up for tenure, a promising scientist who in her past wrote a book on ghosts with her academic partner at the time, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). It is a book from a previous life that she is ashamed of and she wants the book buried but Abby has put it everywhere online for sale. Erin gets a visit from a man in desperate need of someone to help him with a ghost problem and she thinks it is all rubbish and heads to see Abby to tell her to take the book offline. Abby agrees if Erin will accompany her and her current scientific partner, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), to look into the ghost problem. It is here they have a major ghost encounter and so starts their future.

At the same time Rowan North (Neil Casey) is a weirdo janitor with daddy issues and a high IQ. He has been reading Erin and Abbys book and has somehow come up with similar tech to theirs and has reverse engineered it to attract ghosts onto our plane of existence. And so begins the rise of ghosts and demons into our world. Worlds collide, lots of ghosts, lots of action, big finale, the end :).

Put it this way, the plot is very shaky but just passes, the actors and the delivery is what saves this film from GHOSTBUSTERS purist anarchy.


Ghostbusters and the Car image



Paul Feig was in for a monstrous challenge to make GHOSTBUSTERS – people screaming WHY WHY WHY until they were ghosts themselves was the first problem he faced. Pompous asses already judging the movie before the cameras had rolled would have been another, I admit – I was one of those asses haha. But as a director he had a vision and he made it and I really enjoyed it. The best thing he captured was the essence of the originals, the tone of them had me right back into that universe, it wasn’t a knock off, he took us right back into that world. However, like Feig’s other movies, they require abundant comedy, generally with female leads, and to take it easy on substance.

From BRIDESMAIDS, to THE HEAT and then SPY Feig nails the comedy, I would even consider this his best comedy work, heavily assisted by four comedians who owned their roles. Feig’s writing was admirable and accommodated his strengths while also maintaining the tone and a certain homage to the original.


It did however fall on its ass in key areas if you compare to the originals. Storage of ghosts doesn’t exist – they just either hit or shoot them in this version – this made me wonder why and where they were going, it is never answered. Also the car was just used and abandoned so willy nilly and also re-converted into a fully fledged ghost busting vehicle in what appeared a few hours. Then there is the fact they appear to be building nuclear reactor back packs and endless weapons with absolutely no money whatsoever. These little nuances were all accommodated in the original, in this they just got in the way of comedy and a fun ride. And don’t get me started on the cable used in the end, it was apparently an endless cable and be damned with any form of physics.

Speaking of the ending – the giant creature coming after them was weak and there was no real battle, no real pain, no draw out, it just ended with a simple but stupid solution. This kind of bugged me, the need for a giant creature was too Mr Stay Puff and I wish they come up with something different, I did love the giant balloons though. Everything went in to the characters that the finale, while it looked good, was quite weak.


Ghostbusters Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) image



The saving grace was the cast and their performances. Just incredible.


McCarthy appeared toned down and I really like her onscreen of late. There was one small scene where she was scared and there was scary noises and a possible demonic being coming for her. It was the first time I saw her capabilities as a non-comedic actor. All I can say is I WANT MORE. It was so brief and fleeting but like all the great comedians they flourish in more dramatic roles.


Kristen Wiig played the more straight-laced character in the group, the geek who has no dress sense. She was good in it and strong in her role but never really stood out and the weakest link for me was Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan. She had some funny parts and is Saturday Night Live alumni (like the rest of the cast), perhaps because I am more familiar with the rest but she failed to excite me. 


Then there is Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann, a way out there character who stole every scene in the movie. She is the introverted and extroverted gadget making nutter who just speaks random thoughts. At first I thought I would tire of it and it would just be used for the sake of randomness and idiocy but McKinnon made me laugh with pretty much every line out of her mouth, for that alone I love her and will be waiting for more from her.


And something I never thought I would say for this movie, Chris Hemsworth’s Kevin is his best role to date. I would have loved to have stood and applauded him, it was hysterical and be sure to stay through the credits for his amazing dancing, worth the ticket alone. That entire scene needed to be in the final cut!!!


All I will say is YEP!


The New Ghostbusters and their Streams image



Technically the film is flawless, it’s a heavy special effects laden movie and they nailed it. It looks great on the screen and I urge you to see it in 3D. The film looks bigger in 2D but in 3D you get the full effects of the special effects and it looks fantastic. The ghosts look great and it is awesome seeing Melissa McCarthy thrown around – it makes for good lols.

Editing check, cinematography check, colouring check – these were all done to achieve the tone of the originals and it was great to see. The music is decent but for me lacked the enveloping iconic tones of Ray Parker Jnr. That song from the original is a pop culture god of cinematic song, it was always going to be hard to top that.


GHOSTBUSTERS is way way way beyond better than I was expecting. If it wasn’t for the fun the cast had and their skills in delivery this would have fallen flat on its ass. While I consider a 3.5/5 fairly average that is from a 44yr old man’s perspective and I still really enjoyed it. If you are a ten year old child this will be your movie of the year.


3 and a Half Pops




 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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