Before I start this review, I must clarify; whenever you judge something in art (movies, TV shows, books, paintings, photographs, food, etc.), you must never judge it based on what happened behind the scenes, what pre-production choices were made, or how the piece of art was made. Only judge it based on how good it actually is. No one judges Jaws because of how many people were shouting at Steven Spielberg while he directed it, no one judges Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpieces based on the creepy fact that he dug up human corpses to accurately capture the human body, and no one judges an H.G. Wells novel based on the initially negative critical reception. Granted, the behind the scenes stuff can influence the art (and especially the viewer’s expectations), but only the art itself should be analyzed. I bring this up because I am not going to be judging the Ghostbusters remake because its mere conception is the spawn of one of the absolute dumbest, idiotic, pointless, lazy, corporate-influenced, atrocious ideas the human race has ever come up with!!!
Ghostbusters (2016) is directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig. Stars-Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Premise-When ghosts begin to be sighted around New York, four women come together to discover what is happening.
The amount of time I have spent thinking about how to say what I want to say is baffling. This is because Ghostbusters has gained more pre-production/post-production backlash than any other movie in the history of man! Seriously, if you type “ghostbusters rant” into YouTube, you will get over 30 results with the word “rant” in the title. What’s worse is that at least 10 of those were uploaded by trusted, popular, film analysts (AngryJoeShow and Andre “Black Nerd” for example). Honestly, this miserable excuse for a comedy deserves every bit of hate that it’s getting. I don’t think there is one person on this entire planet who thinks remaking 1984’s Ghostbusters was a good idea. The film is one of the best comedies ever made. An ingenious mix of: comedians at the top of their game, clever, witty dialog, impeccable art sets and F/X, one of the best movie theme songs of all time, and a level of iconicness and nostalgia that only extremely talented writing can create. Do you know who doesn’t care about creativity or logic? Sony. That’s right, the bast***s that ruined The Amazing Spider-Man, fudged The Angry Birds Movie, and created Open Season are the studio heads that decided to make this movie. Before I get into another Sony rant, let’s get the positives out of the way.
There are none, moving on.
You know how there were only two (three if you count the ghost monster thing) major female characters in the original movie, and that everyone has been making a big fuss about the gender-swapped remake? Yup, it’s time to get political! If you groaned after reading that, good job, I can’t stand the bullcrap controversy surrounding this movie either. Here’s my opinion on the new cast, “it doesn’t matter if they’re women, men, or transgender, as long as they are funny.” To those who think an all-women cast demeans your manliness (or the industry in general), you are not a man, to those who think that this movie is going to be good just because the main cast are all females, you’re definitely going to vote for Hilary Clinton. Obviously there is sexism in Hollywood; there is sexism everywhere in America, don’t forget, we still live in a male-dominated world. I’m all for equality, but let’s face facts. One of those facts is that we got The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road last year, both action films where the leading protagonist was a female. What’s great about those movies is that they feature strong female protagonists in male-dominated universes. In Ghostbusters (2016) the female images are degrading to women!
Here are all the main characters in a nutshell: McCarthy is playing herself in every movie she’s in nowadays, McKinnon is an awkward weirdo, Jones is a black stereotype (not that offensive of a stereotype, but a stereotype nonetheless), and Wiig is the worst. On top of looking like she doesn’t want to be in the movie, her character is the “uptight professor” trope, and when Chris Hemsworth (whose character is an idiotic beefcake) shows up, she’s drooling over him like a creeper fangirl. Good job movie, you have successful made women look like one-note clichés.
The rest of the cast is even worse, there are a ton of pity cameos, none of which are funny, and the supporting cast is horrendous. The villain (played by Steve Higgins) is one of the worst villains of 2016. Mr. Greene from Norm of the North is a more developed villain than this guy! Throughout this movie, I found myself not enjoying anyone in the cast. Speaking of anti-enjoyment, this movie’s humor sucks! I love the original, but I love most of the people who made this movie as well. Wiig and Jones are some of SNL’s best comedians, McCarthy is an Oscar-nominated actress, and director/writer Paul Feig directed Bridesmaids and Spy (two thoroughly funny comedies). There are about 5 good jokes in Ghostbusters, but absolutely nothing worth paying for. Most of the jokes are immature, cheap, or annoying references. Half of the problem is that these actresses are used to writing/executing vulgar/sarcastic humor for an adult audience. When they have to “baby-proof” their humor, it comes across as awkwardly inappropriate.
How are the effects? They would look impressive in a Just Dance game, but not in a big-budget ($150 million or so) blockbuster! Because this is Sony, they just HAD to make it 3D to break-even at the box office (why oh why do people keep falling for 3D!), and the visuals look incredibly crappy because of it. Everything is CGI, the actors to a pathetic job of pretending like there is a ghost two feet away from them, and it doesn’t help when you are constantly being distracted by Sony’s trademarked product placement sellouts. There is a scene where Kate McKinnon carries a bottle of Pringles in her arm (the logo is conveniently turned towards the camera at all times), and when a ghost attacks, she starts eating them. When questioned, she responds, “Who can resist their crunchy deliciousness?” or something like that. Yes, I know the original movie had product placements too, but that move even managed to make obvious advertisement funny! The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has become a pop culture icon because of that movie. The remake has absolutely none of the cleverness of the original.
This movie has just as much contempt for its audience as Jem and the Holograms. All of the original Ghostbusters (except for Harold Ramis, R.I.P) cameo, and each one of them is more insulting than the last. *SPOILER MODE ENGAGED* Bill Murray is a skeptic who gets killed (a metaphor for the remake itself), Dan Aykroyd is a taxi driver who says his famous line then disappears, and Ernie Hudson is the uncle of Leslie Jones. *SPOILER MODE DISENGAGED* Can’t see the middle fingers from Sony yet? Not to worry, because there is a whole scene where a man flips both birds to the girls. I can’t help but think that is exactly what the Sony execs are doing to fans of the original while giving Smurf plushies to their dogs as chew toys and using Spider-Man comics as toilet paper. There is an obvious sequel-setup as the end-credits scene, the science mumbo jumbo doesn’t even try to make sense, and the remixed “Ghostbusters” theme is awful. Seriously, the remix sounds like every other garbage dubstep remix with no passion put into it. Both The Living Tombstone’s remix of the song and Neil Cicierega’s “Bustin” are better remixes. Yes, two self-funded dudes on YouTube made better remixes than the professionally made, big-budgeted adaptation!
It may not seem like it, but I am not that angry at this movie. This is because I watched 2015’s Vacation, which was the first corporately-forced remake of a classic comedy that shouldn’t have been made. I ranked it #1 on my Worst of 2015 list because of that; in essence, I have seen the Ghostbusters remake before. Please, tell everyone to avoid this movie so the producers can’t pull this crap again. Let’s make it a box office bomb, and forget it ever existed, like Fant4stick. Ghostbusters (2016) gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a D.
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