Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and LeslieJones replace Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, in this comical reboot of an 80’s classic film: Ghost Busters. Now, everyone has been figuratively defecating on this new version, before it even hit theaters. The idea of someone remaking the damn near perfect comedy story of three unappreciated paranormal scientists (and a walk on laborer) sounded blasphemous.
The trailer for this reboot is literally the most bashed film trailer in modern society. What does THIS critic think of the new version? It’s okay. It didn’t ruin the original, but it isn’t better than the original, either. It wasn’t terrible like people thought it would be, but it didn’t make me laugh as much as i thought it would. There are two forms of comedy in this film. Various approaches to comedy, but only two forms: Mainstream approachable (fart jokes, prat fall set ups, etc), and abstract (physically nuanced responses to dumb questions, spontaneous outbursts, etc). Some demographics, depending on sense of humor, will lean one way or the other watching this movie.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush) plays Kevin, the new receptionist for the GB’s, and he is one of the highlights of the film. They counterbalance his rugged Australian charm by making him dumber than a bag of hammers, and it works. That seems to be an ongoing theme in this film: male characters are either in denial, weak, stupid, or frightened (turn about is fair play). All but our antagonist Neil Casey, playing Rowan North, a villain who is so ahead of the plot devices laid before him, his name should’ve been Deus Ex Machina.
Though the reboot exists in a universe where the first franchise never happened, the original main cast of the first film all make cameos (even Harold Ramis), save Rick Moranis. The four leading ladies did a great job establishing their characters through obvious personality tropes that are displayed via exposition. Leslie Jones was outstanding at saying what the audience was thinking in moments of plain ridiculousness. Her being belittled mid-movie is a conversation for another day. The back and forth of McCarthy and Wiig is the larger chunk of the film. And I mean every part. Whenever they are having a conversation with any other people (except for the delivery guy), it is in tandem. They kept these two comedic powerhouses on the more PG side of PG-13; and that made me sad. My favorite performance in the entire film was McKinnon, as the socially awkward Holtzmann. Half the movie, was a silent performance, while the other half was random outbursts with exposition shot out at Twista like speed.
Look, I like Paul Feig as a director, I like the strong female leads in this film, I just didn’t think the movie was that funny. The actors were great, but the movie was not funny. As much as I literally laughed out loud at some unintentionally hilarious bits, I barely chuckled at some blatant attempts of gross out comedy. It’s worth an hour and change of your time. So, don’t worry 80’s babies, your childhood is still intact.
Be sure to follow Rockwell Knuckles on Instagram: @rockwellknuckles