It has been nearly 30 years since the last Ghostbusters film was released, and fans have been eagerly waiting with their proton packs ready for this film, which is essentially a reboot of the franchise. Hi-C even re-released the “Ecto-Cooler” flavor for a limited time to scoop more people up onto the nostalgia train. Paul Feig directs the new Ghostbusters film with a talented female cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. It also stars Chris Hemsworth in a role far off from Thor, along with a few cameos from some very familiar faces.
Now, what an ideal reboot is supposed to do is try to improve upon the original. There are successful reboots, like Batman Begins or Casino Royale, and horrible ones like Fantastic Four. Ghostbusters 2016 is far from being a complete and utter disappointment, but it definitely doesn’t improve upon the original 1984 Ghostbusters nor does it offer anything significantly fresh. The storyline feels very similar to the original film, and doesn’t take any risks with the Ghostbusters world. It’s a cookie-cutter flick that is satisfactory, but nothing more. It’s like they made a Ghostbusters checklist to try and keep fans from being disappointed. At times, there was a smile on my face from some of the callbacks to the original films, but it just wasn’t enough.
The cast of this reboot has great chemistry. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy lead the way and set the pace, as their characters Erin and Abby reignite their friendship. Along with Leslie Jones, who plays Patty, they are great at ad-libbing. However, sometimes it feels like they ad-lib a little too much, and their characters are set aside. Leslie Jones also does a fantastic job, and might have been the frontrunner if it wasn’t for one weird, lovable character. The standout of the wild bunch is Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann. McKinnon does a fantastic job playing the quirky gadget-inventor. Her oddball mannerisms and eccentric lines give the film something extra, and to top it off, she has the best action scene. Chris Hemsworth also does a solid job as the “dumb blonde,” Kevin. He’s a one-note character, but he does do well with that one note.
Then there’s the cameos (spoiler). Yes, the remaining Ghostbusters, Bill Murray, Dany Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, all appear in this film in brief cameos, but they don’t really add anything to the flick. They just kind of show up and spit out some lines. It’s also kind of depressing, at least for Ghostbusters fans, that this film doesn’t have any direct connections to the 1984 original. It’s a standalone film to the very end.
At the end of the day, Ghostbusters 2016 isn’t necessarily a bad film but it wasn’t a necessary film to make either. They have a talented cast, and if they do continue with a sequel, I hope that it introduces something fresh to the Ghostbusters world.