As a die-hard fan of the original Ghostbusters (1984), I started watching this movie with a lot on my mind: Is it going to ruin the original for me? Is it going to suck? Was it even necessary to reboot the whole franchise?
A few minutes into it, I began to loosen up and have fun. And fun is the operative word here. The chemistry between the leads is infectious, the jokes are more hit than miss, and the effects are impressive without being too overwhelming. This is a movie that is designed to give you a good time, and it does.
But that's not the whole story. Ghostbusters (2016) is also a film that works less than it should, considering the talent involved (director Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, and a number of SNL stalwarts), with everybody either trying too hard or not hard enough. The script, while having some truly hilarious moments, is weak on plot, with a cartoonish, forgettable villain.
But the film's biggest fault is simply this: the filmmakers behind Ghostbusters (2016) can't seem to make up their minds whether the movie is supposed to be a bold reboot with its own identity, or a timid homage to a timeless comedy classic, with the cameos, which are for the most part uninspired, not helping matters. Add to that the lack of any serious involvement from Dan Aykroyd, the quirky genius behind the whole franchise and the man who gave the original most of its ideas, and you have a movie that it isn't as quirky or atmospheric as the original.
Which leaves us with a movie that is fun, diverting, and has its moments, but, on the whole, unremarkable. And for fans like myself who have been waiting for a new Ghotsbusters movie for almost thirty years, it isn't exactly what we were hoping for. But we will take it.
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.