Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Chris Hemsworth. Cameos Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts.
Written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig. Directed by Paul Feig. Running time 116 minutes long. Budget $144 million.
So, it's 2016 and time for another reboot of a much loved movie from those ancient times before mobile phones, the internet (as we know it) and CGI special effects. Using the blueprint of the first film as its template but doing away with anything that resembles a believable world or any semblance of semi-realistic rules, the plot just trundles along ignoring anything that gets in the way that might need some explaining and ditching plot development or well rounded characters with a series of, what seems at times, improvised sketches built round the idea of a group of women who get together to bust ghosts.
One of the wonderful things about the 21st Century is the empowerment of female characters, characters who don't need men to define their characters, strong action orientated women whose roles would once have been played by men. Oddly in this case it's absolutely true as our four superb female actresses replace the films original cast of men, taking the concept one step further by having a male receptionist while the first film had a female one. And to make it even funnier not only is the token male ghostbuster, a hunking beefcake in the guise of Chris Hemsworth, he's also as stupid as he is Australian so strong is his racial and sexual stereotyping. But he's not alone, all of the male characters are stupid which is how it should be in this glorious new century! All men are stupid and all women are awesome, all hail our new female overlords.
Anyway, the film, or the plot - someone is activating devices that unleash ghosts to trigger a doorway so that he can trigger the fourth Cataclysm and only four women and their nuclear powered proton backpacks and their hunky himbo/secretary can save the day.
Good special effects, some funny moments, a great cast of women and a healthy assortment of cameos, including nearly all of the original movie's cast. This isn't a terrible film, it's moderately funny and entertaing, although it is also hamstrung by the fact it's set in a world that is just there to hang the movie on, there's no internal logic in this film, no sense of rules, things happen to propel the plot.
The film's main failing is that it's not a stand alone, it finishes with one final scene right at the end of the 10 minute credits which sets up the sequel, what a shame it couldn't just end as a standalone. It's second failing is that it's a complete retread of the original, offering nothing new, but the cast is so much fun you sort of hope there is a second film just to see this talented cast of female comedians do something original. You'll also have to ignore the plot holes and the contrivances which threaten to stink out the film but don't quite.
You won't cry, but neither will you laugh that much, you won't hate it but you won't love it either, it's a fun night out but nothing else. It's not nearly as bad as you think it's going to be, which I think sort of helps the film along.