Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Ghostbusters best left for cable - Remake inconsistent, short on laughter

Published:Sunday | July 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
The movie ratings.
The power is turned on in the Ghostbusters remake.

Based on the 1984 original of the same name, Ghostbusters is a remake through and through. After the city of New York experiences a rise in paranormal activity, a number of keen-eyed scientists obsessed with the other side decide to band together to form the group known as the Ghostbusters to (you guessed it) bust some ghosts.

Only this time, instead of a bunch of boys, it's a group of girls. namely, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Melissa McCarthy.

That seems to be the only real change in this film, and it's largely artificial. Story-wise, it's beat for beat the same as the original, complete with a theme song. With the story being spoken for, the movie focuses more on crafting its new characters. Each of the Ghostbusters feels distinct enough and has a good degree of chemistry among them, but that only happens if the script decides to work.

Very often, the jokes in the movie don't really land as much of my time in the theatre was spent waiting for a scene to end just so we could get to the next one. That next scene was not likely to be funnier than the last and it was seemingly unending awkwardness for large portions of the movie. By the time a genuinely funny scene came around I probably laughed harder than it deserved out of sheer relief.

I'd like to say that it was just that I didn't find the movie very funny, but laughter was sparse in the cinema I attended. Truthfully, though, I did get a few good laughs in. That's what happened with the characters of Kate McKinnon's Holtzmann and Chris Hemsworth's Kevin. The jokes are essentially that Holtzmann is weird and Kevin is stupid. Granted, the way the characters are used at first is funny, but it quickly starts to grate as the movie goes on.

Ghostbusters is a very uneven movie. I was constantly going back and forth on it. It would make me laugh and had charm with characters that worked really well together, but then it would be incredibly awkward and make me wish it was 20 minutes shorter. Never, though, did I think it was a bad film, just not a particularly good one either.

With that in mind, I'd have to say that if you're going to see it you should probably Catch It On Cable.