Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016) film review

Year: 2016
Running Time: 114 minutes
Director: Paul Feig
Writers: Kate Dippold and Paul Feig (written by). Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (based on the 1984 Ghostbusters written by)
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Andy Garcia, Cecily Strong, Charles Dance

Ghostbusters is now showing everywhere and is distributed in Australia by Sony Pictures.

Just when I was becoming truly tired of watching and writing about unworthy remakes and sequels, along comes the 2016 revamp of Ghostbusters. Filmmakers take note...THIS is how you do a remake and THIS is how you make an empowering female driven film. While Ghostbusters on a whole may not be flawless, what it does right it does flawlessly and makes this a fun and worthy sister piece to the 1984 original.

In a matter of days, New York City has became a very spooky place to live. Dr Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) abandoned her fascination in paranormal investigation to be taken seriously scientifically at Columbia University, but with this rise in ghostly activities across the city she is thrust back into exploring this strange world with her old friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and the eccentric Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). Their team is complete with the addition of the street smart Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), and even though they are successful in their ventures, still struggle to be taken seriously and acknowledged for their hard work. However, the girls have their work cut out for them when they uncover evidence that a terrible event is about to tear the city apart and nobody believes their warnings.

Admit it, when you heard that there was going to be a Ghostbusters remake you weren't impressed, were you? You'd be forgiven too given the state of remade films today as they are normally made as a result of thinking "we can do better now" and/or lack of an original, but bankable idea for a screenplay. Many of these remakes are just modern versions of the original with no real point of differentiation that have movie lovers everywhere screaming 'What was the point of remaking that?!?!"


The 2016 Ghostbusters gives us a great gift...faith in the remake. Paul Feig's film does something different to the original and is by no means a carbon copy of it's predecessor, yet still has some wonderful cameos and thrilling Easter Eggs to delight long time fans. Despite what could have easily been assumed, the film is not a carbon copy of the original with women thrown in to make it seem different. The screenplay written by Kate Dippold and Feig is a different story to what was previously told by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis with the only similarities feeling as though they are respectfully paying homage to the original. While Ghostbusters is completely and unsurprisingly far-fetched as well as quite silly, it has a self-awareness that makes this acceptable, highly enjoyable and wildly funny.

However, what is perhaps the greatest thing about Ghostbusters is that Feig knows the difference between a film with women in it and a female empowerment film. So many filmmakers believe that just having a female with an action woman's body and commanding manner of speaking empowers women and even as a society we are usually happy to settle for this. Yet, Ghostbusters is truly the ultimate female empowerment film.

Each of the characters portrayed by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones have extremely admirable qualities...they are all very intelligent women who are comfortable with who they are and in a profession where they are being ridiculed and oppressed, but passionately believe in what they are doing so much that they are doing it either way. None of them are the traditional vision of an action woman, but they are all strong in mind and matter with their own distinguishable personality that makes them unique. Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon and Jones all give great performances of their well-rounded characters, but McKinnon and Jones shine the greatest. McKinnon's crazy but lovable Holtzmann provides many of the biggest laughs and Jones gives a standout performance as the down-to-earth Patty. Not surprisingly, any 'Saturday Night Live' fans will love the brand of comedy the girls bring to the screen.


The screenplay allows for a reversal of the usual gender stereotypes found in film, especially considering it is the girls saving the boys. The role of the secretary, Kevin played by Chris Hemsworth is the perfect example of this reversal. A secretary is traditionally a female occupation, but here we have an attractive, but incredibly dumb and goofy male who is splendidly portrayed by Hemsworth who must've had a ball during filming. Another worthy point to make is that all the girls are single and while it is great that this shows that a woman doesn't need a man, the best thing about each of the girls being single is that it isn't even a matter that is talked about in the film because it isn't an issue whether they are attached or not....as should be the case in real life too.

Ghostbusters is exactly what film goers have been needing and craving in 2016. With the tidal wave of remakes and sequels flowing through cinemas in recent times, Ghostbusters proves that you can really do something great with a remake and make it memorable and loved in it's own right.

8/10


1 comment:

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