HomeMovie ReviewsGhostbusters - The Cap'n will NOT be calling...

Ghostbusters – The Cap’n will NOT be calling…


I want to get this out of the way now. I thought this film was terrible. You won’t have to read through page after page of my ranting and raving just to find out what my opinion of the film is. It blows. It blows hard.

If you have a comedy, the main goal should be to make me laugh. That didn’t happen. Not once. I might have snickered here and there, but for the most part it was silence. The only real laughter I heard in the theater was from women. And I guess that’s what this was, it was a comedy designed for older women. And that’s fine.

I don’t really care that they are all women, that isn’t a problem for me. What is a problem is the fact the film isn’t funny. At all. Ghostbusters isn’t about telling jokes, it was about the dynamic between these three guys… and Ernie Hudson.

The relationships here are nonexistent. There is zero chemistry. In fact, I hear the girls all hated each other while on the set.

You got to know what to expect. It’s a Paul Feig film, someone who found a niche and kind of just ran with it. He doesn’t really direct as much as he places a camera down and tells his actors to do whatever. I get that Bill Murray improvised his scenes in the first film, but that film also had story and characters. They also catch ghosts.

They’re called Ghostbusters, yet they don’t catch a single ghost in this film. Okay, they do catch one but later let it go.

Like Zack Snyder not being the right person to take on Superman, Paul Feig is not the right person to try and do a Ghostbusters remake.

But then again, if they chose to cast all men, people would still complain because who do you think they’d cast? It would be Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jonah Hill.

But if it was with them, the film would most likely be geared towards men. And that also isn’t what the original Ghostbusters film was about. It wasn’t just for boys, it kind of had something for everyone. There was comedy, a little romance, even though Billy Murray’s character is kind of creepy about his pursuit of Sigourney Weaver. It had great characters, great lines involving situational moments not line-o-ramas, an interesting story, a wonderful score, it was an all-around great film. And great films aren’t usually made just for one group of people in mind to enjoy. Kids and adults could love the first one, boy or girl.

After the first terrible teaser trailer for the remake came out, I watched the original film again. It had been a few years since I’ve seen it and I was curious if it would still hold up.

And it does.

Sure, some of the ghost effects looked pretty bad, but one thing I noticed while rewatching it is just how much practical effects were used. Like this great scene where Sigourney Weaver’s character is putting away some groceries and the eggs start popping out of the carton, and cooking on the damn table. Real eggs, really cooking. I mean, the effect is easy enough to pull off, but seeing it actually happen was impressive.

There is nothing impressive about the remake. Unless you find queef jokes impressive.

I hope you enjoy poop and fart jokes too because this has plenty to go around. Remember all those fart jokes the original had? No? That’s because there weren’t any.

I know it’s kind of strange to get mad at this Sony made fluff. This forgetful garbage made to push more product placement, but it’s really hard not to get irritated by the countless winks and nods to the fucking original. Not to mention the basically pointless cameos from the original cast. For me, it was too painful to even watch. Especially when Bill Murray pops up or should I say sits down. You first see him he’s sitting down on a talk show. You see him again and he heads right for a chair.

If there was ever a collect my paycheck moment, this was it.

One major fault with Paul Feig is he is so in love with his material that he never knows when to cut a scene. He thinks everything is so hilarious that it must stay in the film, no matter what. There’s no place for it in the actual movie, that’s okay, just toss it into the credits, why not!

This film did not need to be 2 hours long. And it wouldn’t be if Paul Feig knew how to edit unnecessary things out. You don’t need an extra 30 seconds of a guy flipping the bird or the line-o-ramas that constantly happen throughout.

Kristen Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, she is a professor up for tenure. Unfortunately, she wrote a book a few years back about ghosts with her lesbian partner Abby, played by Melissa McCarthy.

Debating if I should bring this up… Female friendship especially if it is poorly written by a guy can sometimes come across less like friendship and more like… well, a romance. And the same can be said for male characters as well. Just look at the Fast & Furious movies.

And that really comes across here. Even more so with Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon’s characters. That is until Melissa McCarthy’s character gets a case of the no gays at the end and mentions in passing how she prefers husky men.

Think of it like Princess Bubblegum and Marcelin’s relationship from Adventure Time, it isn’t spelled out exactly, but you can’t deny that something is there. Though that might be intentional.

Fearing her ghost book might disrupt her chances of getting tenure, she confronts Melissa McCarthy, who works at a shitty school with her “partner” Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann.

Okay, Holtzmann. I guess she is meant to be like Egon, but she just comes across like a deranged crazy person most of the time. I mean, she’s more of a nutcase than the main villain who is meant to be a deranged nutcase. That should have been the twist. Have Holtzmann turn out to be the one behind everything. It would make sense. She’s obsessed with ghosts, is a tech wizard, so she’d know how to make these devices that agitate the ghosts… plus she’s off her damn rocker anyways.

The main villain is… just some guy. Actually, the actor is Neil Casey. He’s been in a ton of things. He’s also in this hilarious Yahoo series called Other Space. A series created by Paul Feig. See, not a hater of Paul Feig. I actually enjoy a few things he has done. I gushed about how much I enjoyed Spy if you remember.

His type of humor just isn’t right for Ghostbusters. Hell, if you watch the original, it was filmed more like a damn horror movie than it was a comedy. It being funny feels almost accidental. I don’t even know if it would have been a comedy if not for the cast.

I don’t want to act like the original film is perfect. It actually could have used maybe an extra 15 minutes added to it. The one thing the remake manages to do better is fill in some gaps between getting kicked out of school, and wanting to catch ghosts. In the original it goes right into them having their proton packs and catching ghosts, no real explanation as to how they created these things on their backs. Actually, I could be wrong here, but I don’t think they even call them by name until the sequel.

And if you remember, they only used their proton packs maybe two or three times in the film. In the remake on the other hand… since the plot is so thin, they have to fill this 2 hour movie up somehow. So you’re going to see a ton of proton pack usage. But the fact they are like these flaccid lightsabers, they do kind of come off as a bit silly if you see it being used so much. By the end of this movie, during the big climax with them lassoing ghosts left and right, it’s pretty silly, but not in a good way.

Where did I leave off with the plot? The villain, right? Rowan. So kind of look at what Paul Feig is trying to say with this character and about his audience. Evil nerdy guy that hates everything, so he must be killed. The Ghostbusters even mock him as a virgin nerd as he dies.

Take that Ghostbusters fans! We’ll shoot you in the dick, you virgin losers!

There’s even a scene where the girls read hateful youtube comments on their video. Was this something they reshot because of all the backlash? Or was this something Paul Feig expected, so he added it into the film?

Okay, back to the story. Rowan our evil virgin nerd has been planting devices around New York City that agitates ghosts. So… how did he learn to do this? Later one we find he got his device plans from Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy’s book. So he understood their book better than they did? What?

Anyway, that explains the reason for all these ghost sightings around the city. I’m not sure they explained that in the original. Why all the ghosts where popping up… I assume it had something to do with Gozer, right?

I liked how Ernie Hudson’s Winston joined the team. He was just a normal guy looking for a job. He didn’t have anything to do with the plot, he was just some dude looking for work. Though they also made him the designated driver, so…

Leslie Jones’ Patty they had to come up with a more convoluted way to introduce her into the plot. She’s really knowledgeable about New York, so she’s helpful! She is introduced to the Ghostbusters when she runs into Rowan as he sets up one of his devices in a subway tunnel.

After that she basically invites herself to join the team.

Okay, I’ve held off long enough, I guess I have to talk about it. The only men that show up in this are either dumb as a plant or a giant asshole. And also probably dumb as a plant.

Chris Hemsworth’s character Kevin is what really destroys any kind of footing in reality this film might have previously had. No one is this dumb. No one acts this way. It felt like he stepped out of a cartoon. And that’s what this film feels like, it feels like the 80’s cartoon. The later years when it started to get sillier and more Slimer focused.

None of these characters are grounded in any kind of reality. Especially Chris Hemsworth’s character who doesn’t seem to know how eyes and ears work.

Maybe his character’s true purpose was to give Kristen Wiig’s character a case of the no gays. She’s instantly obsessed with him. It’s like a switch is flipped and she becomes a completely different character.

Speaking of character, there was really no difference between Kristen Wiig’s character and Melissa McCarthy’s character. They were essentially the same person. Except one is obsessed with Chris Hemsworth and the other is obsessed with wonton soup.

Yeah, soup becomes a running gag. I’m guessing Paul Feig must have had takeout while writing most of this. Chances are if anyone actually does track down a copy of the script, it will have duck sauce on the cover page.

Meanwhile, the girls are getting internet famous with their youtube videos. But seeing as it is the internet, all their ghost capture videos are called out as fakes. Thanks, Creepypasta!

Okay, so that is another thing. The girls never get famous like the guys do in the original. Very odd they didn’t slap together a montage or something. But that might include them actually catching ghosts, and we can’t have that in our film titled GHOSTBUSTERS!

Now the introduction of the first of many painful cameos. Bill Murray shows up at their door as a ghost debunker. After they first capture a… gargoyle ghost thing at an Ozzy concert without Ozzy actually ever playing the concert, the girls get a bit more famous. Oh one thing to add to that Ozzy cameo, he yells out Sharron! You know, like how he’d do in his reality tv series that has been canceled for like 10 years now. But since then they got a divorce, so him yelling out for Sharron came off more sad than funny.

Bill Murray shows up to discredit the Ghostbusters. To prove something to him for some reason, Kristen Wiig sets the ghost free, killing Murray in the process.

Yet another thing, they are terrible at their job. They are awful ghostbusters. It took Slimer to show up at the end to save their asses. Slimer!

For some reason, the mayor of New York has the girls picked up and told yeah, we’re just gonna label you 4 as frauds because… Why again? I guess to try and cover up the fact ghosts are real? But like they say in one of their way too long line-o-ramas, the cat is already out of the bag.

It doesn’t really make sense, the motivation behind it just seemed like it was there to inflict some kind of conflict later on in the film. But later on, it seemed like they cut that conflict out.

After the girls track down our crazy villain, he kills himself, turning into a ghost. The girls are escorted away, fake arrested for the public. But later on we see Kristen Wiig staying in a hotel for some reason, I’m guessing there was something cut out here that would explain what was going on. I mean, we really needed that extra few jokes about wonton soup, there just wasn’t enough room to include something important to the plot that would explain what was happening.

And it’s not like he could do what he did with the rest of the deleted footage and just toss it in at the end credits. That would just be silly, plus it might get in the way of that big all important dance number Paul Feig was obsessed with having. I mean he was obsessed with having the possessed body of Chris Hemsworth lead the police into the hustle. We’re talking Jon Peters obsessed with giant spiders type of obsession.

There must have been such a backlash, the studio had him cut it from the film, but his way of compromising was to include it during the end credits. From what I hear there’s a tiny scene at the very end where Leslie Jones mentions Zuul. But I couldn’t sit a minute more through that dance number, I had to get out of there as quickly as possible. The fear I might have to hear that Fall Out Boy cover of the theme song again also helped in pushing me out the door.

After the villain kills himself, turning him into a ghost, the film mostly becomes the original on the rails. But instead of Gozer, we get a nerdy virgin ghost possessing Chris Hemsworth and then later he turns into the Ghostbusters logo. But really he looked more like Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

One little thing that interested me, Bill Murray mentions Casper right before he dies, but if you remember, Dan Aykroyd as a Ghostbuster shows up in the Casper movie. Okay, that really doesn’t have any importance, I just felt like mentioning it.

I guess I could go through all the cameos now. Dan Aykroyd shows up as a cab driver. The secretary shows up as a receptionist at the hotel our villain works out, yelling her catchphrase “Whadda ya want!”.

There’s a bust of Harold Ramis smiling outside Kristen Wiig’s office. Another interesting fact, Egon doesn’t smile at all in the original film. He might smirk a few times, but he never smiles.

Ernie Hudson shows up at the very end as Leslie Jones’ uncle, who she borrowed the hearse from. Then during the end credits Sigourney Weaver shows up as Holtzmann’s ex-lover… I mean, her “mentor”.

My final verdict, skip this one. It’s basically Pixels but with females as leads. I’d even go as far as to say Pixels is better than this.

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  1. Kate Mckinnon’s character was the one that felt a little gay to me, not the others, but that’s beside the point. Look I hated the movie too, but I don’t know why the fact you thought characters were maybe gay is worth mentioning in the list of criticisms of the film.

    Everything else you said is 100% true though. Theres so much wrong with this movie. So much. But if you give lip service to the inclusion of gay characters, it colors the rest.

    • You just said you noticed it as well. I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I didn’t at least mention it. What would be the criticism isn’t that the characters came off as gay, but like I said in the review, poor writing made them unintentionally come off that way. Also the fact that the studio seemed to notice it as well, trying their best to counteract it. See, Kristen Wiig’s character can’t be gay, see how obsessed she is with a man! Or in some throwaway line mentioning in passing (possibly in ADR) how Melissa McCarthy likes fat dudes.


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