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Review: Ghostbusters 2016

ghostbusters_2016_film_posterFor a change I’m going to do a virtually spoiler free review.  I’ll mention some minor things that could be considered spoilery, but they aren’t crucial to the story.  What can I say about this movie?  The trailers did not do it justice.  I frankly was slightly irritated at the previews because it looked downright terrible.  I thought they’d gone and just remade the original movie with a different cast of characters and some other minor subplots.  I am happy I was wrong.

Now, was this a great movie?  No.  Was it a bad movie?  No.  In fact I’d say it was as good or slightly better than Ghostbusters 2.  To some of you that isn’t saying much, but bear with me.  I loved both the original movies.  Here’s my main problem with the reboot.  It should have been a sequel.  A loose one perhaps, but a sequel nonetheless.  Here’s why…

As a total reboot it felt disrespectful to disregard the original movie which had nothing wrong with it.  We’ve got a totally different story and people here, so why not change some VERY minor things about it to make it a third entry?  It could still be a reboot and distance itself, while honoring what made the first one work.  This would have made the fans of the originals happy with the new one, and turn a new generation onto the old ones.

My kids (ages 6 and 8) even said, “Daddy, why aren’t they (the cameos) the original characters?”  I had no good answer.  How could they have made it part 3 and a reboot?  Here’s my answer (slight spoiler warning)…

The plot involves the Mayor of New York basically telling the new team that they had to keep ghost existence quiet.  This could have explained why the original ghostbusters were no where to be found.  They could have referenced that someone tried to hoax people 30 years ago and where are they now?  Sure, it’s a long shot, but THAT would have worked.  The cameos tie into this line of thinking…

Bill Murray could have still been Peter Venkman, who now worked for the Mayor as a paid skeptic.  He’d been bought to prove that it wasn’t real.  As one of the original Ghostbusters, this would have been a smart move.  He had a falling out with the other guys, and was broke from no more business after GB2.  He was desperate.  The best part about this would have been that they wouldn’t have had to change his role at all.  He still could have acted EXACTLY the same with the same role, and it would have worked.

Harold Ramis’ bust is seen.  The actor is dead, so this was a very nice tribute.  It could have easily been Dr. Egon Spengler’s bust, and had mention of that on a plaque.

Dan Aykroyd was a cab driver.  He had no name.  Why couldn’t this have been Ray Stantz current job?  Nothing needed to be changed, and he was afraid of dealing with the ghosts from him being threatened by the Mayor’s office to keep quiet.

Ernie Hudson could have just as easily been Uncle Winston instead of Uncle Bill, and they could have kept him in the same role.

Annie Potts did exactly what she did in the originals.  Why couldn’t this have been Jeanine Melnitz’s current job?

Slimer was Slimer.  He never really spoke, so his presence wouldn’t need to be explained at all, even Mrs. Slimer wouldn’t have needed to be explained.

The ONLY one of the original characters who’d have to have a few little rewrites to fit in would have been Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett.  With a little ingenuity this could have been an easy tweak.

(End of spoilers)

Okay, so those are my thoughts on that.  It all goes back to WHY.  To me it is a slap in the face to fans.  All of that aside, let’s look at the rest of the movie.

Acting wise it was decent.  All of the ladies did a great job, and made some of the over the top campiness work.  It was funny, and highly enjoyable.

The special effects were also on par with being amazing.

The slight remix of the original Ghostbusters theme song was great, though the Fall Out Boy Ghostbusters song was downright terrible.

One final thing about that final scene at the end of the credits.  It was a nice nod, but if a sequel happens (and I hope it does), then I really hope they don’t go down that route.  We need to see something entirely new for the girls in order for it to work right and last.

If this was a sequel to the originals not much would have to have been changed, and then I’d give the movie an extra point, but because it wasn’t, it won’t get 4 points… Instead I’ll award it a 3 sCrypt Coffins out of 5.  It’s enough to say it wasn’t bad by any means, but was no way near as good as it could have been.  It deserves a second shot, so I’m holding out for a follow up to this one.

What did you think of Ghostbusters 2016?  Did you like it?  Hate it?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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