Cameos, that's some Stan Lee level shit right there
Minimal use of the remade theme song!
Some definite problems with pacing and cuts
Kill the jokes about the female anatomy
For trying to remake the theme song...
Before going any further, I’m going to preface this review with a note:
Firstly, this movie was great. It doesn’t mean that I like the original any less, or that I think this is a perfect movie. The original Ghostbusters has been my favourite movie since I first watched it, and it was the first franchise to truly snare me since I set my eyes on the animated series. That’s not gonna change any time soon.
Second, there are many reasons to not be happy about the movie thanks to its sub-par marketing and horrible attempt at remaking the theme song. Even I had no love for those. But keep in mind that those are out of the control of the creative talents behind the movie itself.
So, for the review itself: as I said, the movie is great!
As annoying and disheartening as it is, we are living in an era where originality is very probably dead. Sequels and reboots do better and for a very good reason–original content tends to be incredibly derivative and come off as rip-offs most of the time anyways.
With that in mind, set aside any predispositions you may have had about the movie and you’ll see the fun and heart in it.
As a standalone, Ghostbusters delivers an effective story that balances out action and humour without trying too hard. Sure, I’m not a fan of boob jokes and the action gets flashy, but the former isn’t a consistent problem and the latter actually makes for some interesting sequences that just wasn’t possible in 1984.
The cast chemistry, while not as organic or spontaneous as the original, is as good as one would expect of any other movie and even offers a more in-depth look at most of them as individuals.
Ultimately, when it comes to reboots/remakes/sequels of older franchises, there are only a few ways to go.
1) The Superman Returns/The Force Awakens route, in which the sequel is still in continuity with all/some of the preceding movies but features a very similar story that works to break in a new generation of audience.
2) The Terminator/Jurassic World formula where no one really knows what’s going on, so the new creative team just does what they want and hopes that nobody notices.
3) The Man of Steel method where you just darken up the whole thing, make the characters unrecognisable and bland to the point you’re wondering “why even label this a reboot/remake/sequel?” After all, even Hancock was more watchable.
4) The Television solution, which is to keep the essence of the original while simply updating it for a new generation (a la Battlestar Galactica & Hawaii Five-O). Interestingly, this was also the direction taken for 2014’s RoboCop.
Ghostbusters, falls under category #4. And, while I still strongly believe that it would have been better off with category #1, fact is, what they did worked.
Without the burden of having to include the original movies’ stories into its own continuity, this Ghostbusters easily sets up its motley crew and does something that the previous movies didn’t: establish a villain independently of the heroes.
In this post Batman Begins/Iron Man era, Ghostbusters displays a thorough recognition of the changes in cinematic story-telling and offers a great origin story.
Ultimately, if all biases and fanboy blindnesses can be ignored, Ghostbusters is a fun, comedic, action piece that should be judged purely on its merits and not held to the requirements of nostalgia.
Ghostbusters is out now in theatres and deserves a watch on the big screens!