Ghostbusters. We’ve seen it. Here’s what we think of it. And let’s just say one thing: Sexism is the least of the movie’s problems.
Ghostbusters is directed by Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the eponymous team of Ghostbusters.
Now, everyone knows about this movie. Everybody knows how the studio Sony Pictures Entertainment tries to market it as this new feminist border-pushing movie that will smash the perceived patriarchy of Hollywood.
Of course, the radical factions on either side of the gender-spectrum have lapped up this narrative. Sony used the campaigns by online idiots to downvote any and all negative opinions on the movie voiced anywhere, covering up a few abysmal trailers and some disastrous interviews given by people involved in this movie. On the other hand, the studio expertly managed to rally positive propaganda by voices known in the feminist community.
Now why would they do that?
Because they knew the movie was bad. Because there’s no way that any studio executive watched an early print on this and went “Now that was $145 million well spent. Surely, this is the next big thing to come out of Hollywood”. So they decided to cash in on the whole gender issue as a promotional tool. Let’s be honest, in advertising, anything is good enough as long as it’s not silence.
In brief: Everyone got played, now we get a movie.
However, this is good. We now have something that is not studio-induced firebrand messages. Now we can look at the movie on its own merits.
Penis! Fart! Fun!
As you might have guessed, this movie is not good. In fact – and I know that I’ve said this twice this year, once for X-Men Apocalypse and once for Warcraft – this is the worst movie I’ve seen in cinemas this year.
This movie is so bad that it offends the following groups of people:
- Bullied people
- People who enjoy fecal humour
- People who don’t enjoy fecal humour
- Movie fans
- Red Pillers
- Smart people
- Stupid people
Apart from a very few moments, the film is not funny, doesn’t impress with acting or effects. It’s not creative or funny and it lacks any and all charm the franchise that Ghostbusters is. They got one thing right, though: They realized that Ghostbusters lives off of comedy. And that’s where it stops.
Comedy does not have to be so obnoxious.
The problems start with the fact that none of the characters are believable. Of course, a comedy lives from somewhat outlandish characters – The Nice Guys for example has violent drunkards in a world of ridiculous extremists – but they don’t have to be dialed up to eleven at all times. Our four Ghostbusters are at the very best bad caricatures of what they’re supposed to be. At no point did I believe that any of these characters can exist in the real world or in any kind of world that functions in any way shape or form.
- Melissa McCarthy basically screams every single one of her lines and her jokes are either “Food!”, some kind of infantile fart joke or a physical feat that is impossible to perform with someone of her stature. So I guess the joke here is “Fat!”.
- Leslie Jones has got it the worst. At some point during production, someone must have thought it was progressive and empowering or funny, to have the stereotypical sassy black lady who – as the only character on the team of Ghostbusters – does not have a science degree. Her jokes are usually “I’m black!” or her shouting random black people catchphrases.
- Kristen Wiig is supposed to be the straight man to all the obnoxious stuff going on around her.
- Kate McKinnon’s character would work if it weren’t for all the other characters. She’s the one that should not be let loose on society. She says the worst thing possible in any given situation, has no respect for anyone but a brilliant mind. But in combination with all the other characters, her outlandishness is just irritating and not outlandish.
The story is predictably thin as there’s rarely been any kind of Ghostbusters anything that was a deep story. There has always been a rich mythology and a lot of pseudo-science, but in general, the plots were essentially “Ghost shows up, Ghostbusters bust ghost”. You have the pseudo-science and a lot of crap like “This is a clear level 5 apparition” while nobody ever explains what these actually mean. Let’s just not talk about the story. Because there really isn’t much to say as there really isn’t much there.
What Does Work
Ghostbusters is not all bad. What makes this film even more offensively bad is the fact that the movie had a lot of obviously talented people working on it. The only people horrendously incompetent are the writers and the actors.
The new Proton Packs look fantastic. They manage to be updated and still look like something some insane genius cobbled together in their garage. They just don’t have the car parts look anymore, but they’re still cobbled together, portable nuclear reactors that no sane person should ever carry around. And in case of the new, rebooted Ghostbusters, it’s a miracle that these people haven’t murdered themselves or each other with it.
Chris Hemsworth is funny. Seriously. He plays an offensively stupid idiot, but he does it without the parts where he does or says something funny without pausing and waiting for the audience to laugh. His ongoing story is that he thinks that he is a full-fledged member of the Ghostbusters but is really just the secretary and an incompetent at that. When the actual team manages to save the day by the power of inconsistency and contrivance, they mention how he has just figured out how to pick up the phone. As little as this is, it’s the completion of an actual character arc. None of the other characters have anything resembling an arc. Hemsworth’s Kevin actually evolves over the course of the movie.
And then there’s this effect where they play with the format of cinema itself. The movie, for the most part is letterboxed which means that there’s a black bar at the top and the bottom of the image. But, in Ghostbusters, they play with that. Whenever something ghostly happens or the Proton Packs are fired, the effects extend over the letterboxing. It’s a small thing, but it’s smart.
So all in all, Ghostbusters is the worst movie I’ve seen this year. I was actually angry when leaving the cinema. I don’t ever want to see it again and I hope that there won’t be a sequel unless they find some talented writers and actors. Because this is not worth your money, your time or your making a political stance. Just stay home.
Trailer. Blah. In cinemas August 4th, 2016. Skip it.