Mr. Howe has taken to the woods with his lovely family, as he is prone to do this time of year. I shall alone continue to endeavour to persevere, this week reviewing the remake of Ghostbusters starring comediennes Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
To begin with, the film doesn’t delay, either with the comedy or the spookiness. The glowing green slime is immediately introduced, as are the ghosts. From there, the set up of characters and plot unfolds in very much the way one would expect from a Hollywood movie. The film is quite like the original. The special effects are much improved over its predecessor, but I’m not sure about the comedy.
Comedy seems to be a product of its time. Often audiences enjoy the type of personality a comedian happens to portray. Such is it that Bill Murray is “a type” in the same way Kristen Wiig is another. In 1984, maybe we laughed a little harder, but I bet in this remake people will laugh more. The filmmakers tried very hard to cram a high number of jokes into the film. There were about 20 or 30 butts in seats when I saw the film. I bet Ghostbusters is better with a packed house.
The film isn’t scary, overly crude, (it is a bit) or mean, thank goodness. I often don’t like Melissa McCarthy’s characters and although she starts out nasty, she becomes reasonable, then likeable, then benign. I thought Jones and McKinnon were the strongest, most interesting characters, also the funniest. However, even they were not enough to save this movie from turning into a cookie cutter, special effects action film. Whenever a movie becomes a cacophony of noise and light, you know you’ll be going home soon.
I don’t want to suggest that I didn’t enjoy the film. I did. But I am a lifelong fan of Saturday Night Live, I love all these women (except McCarthy) and I love ghost stories. Just because I am entertained doesn’t necessarily mean a movie is good. This movie is very average. I think, even if the original film had never been made, this rendering would only be slightly more interesting. It is not different enough from the original to justify its existence, save for the 21st century update in technology and tastes.
— Taylor gives Ghostbusters 2.5 versions of the theme out of 5.
– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday.