Chances are your favourite movie has been remade by now and although it’s usually bad news, the excessive outrage (with a hint of sexism in some cases) leading up to this film’s release was baffling. Considering 1984’s Ghostbusters boasts its own mediocre sequel, not to mention recent remakes such as 2014’s RoboCop and 2015’s Point Break passing by with little to no fuss. I failed to see why this remake, in particular, touched so many nerves. With director Paul Feig well-versed in the realm of comedy (Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy), along with a cast consisting of four comedic actresses (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones), this reboot at least had a chance of succeeding.
Similarly to the original, ghouls start wreaking havoc in New York and paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) team up with physicist Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and subway worker and New York history buff Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) to form the Ghostbusters, in order to reclaim the city.
Diverging from the original, the humour is broader with more in the way of gags and slapstick laughs. Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman, the Ghostbusters’ dim-witted receptionist is responsible for many of those laughs, as he’s given more of a substantial role than Annie Potts as receptionist Janine Melnitz in the original. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the reboot is the cast, with their chemistry and the amount of fun they appear to be having on screen, even poking fun at the barrage of hate the film received before its release.
Ghostbusters suffers from too few laughs and too much CGI, however, its biggest problem is its lack of identity and the endless cameos feel heavy-handed instead of being a playful nod or wink. It will come as no surprise that this year’s Ghostbusters, like the majority of reboots, pales in comparison to the original and fails to bring anything substantially new to the table.
Ghostbusters is an unnecessary remake, but what’s new? The bigger issue is the trend this film is going to set, with more remakes now replacing an original all-male cast with females. Audiences want more female-led films, but this gimmick isn’t the answer.