News just in. The new Ghostbusters film is not terrible. I don’t hate it. It has not ruined my childhood. Many of the ‘Ghostbros’, as they have been named, may be surprised by that. But it’s true. Despite all the negativity surrounding this particular reboot, a pretty good, and entertaining film has emerged.

It’s strange that this particular reboot has garnered more negativity from fans than all the recent remakes such as Star Trek, RoboCop, Total Recall and Point Break. I guess it is the biggest and most loved of all the above films, but sadly I think the biggest reason is because of the all-female cast. Sure, it was an interesting way that the producers went when they chose to change the sex of the main characters from the first film, but why can’t the Ghostbusters be women? And for people who love the first film, surely you want the reboot to stand out from the original and not just be a carbon copy. The more unique the reboot is then the more the original survives intact.

At the end of the day I didn’t care whether the Ghostbusters were women or not. It really doesn’t matter one iota to me. And after watching it, I can say that I did not even think about it at all during the film. It is just not an issue. There are several issues with this movie but the female cast is not one of them. I just didn’t really think the movie had to be rebooted at all as the original is such a classic. I’m actually going to be writing a post about my thoughts around reboots in general soon (I’m still forming my thoughts, but one main negative is that rebooting a classic with the exact same film title means that Google searches now for things like ‘RoboCop’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ often just bring up all the promo stuff for the new film, and we won’t automatically know which film people are talking about when we say “Have you seen Ghostbusters?”. We’ll have to specify ‘the original or ’the reboot in 2016’ and I find that a bit annoying). But for this one I’m pretty happy it was rebooted in such a different way. It keeps my memory for the first one more intact than if they had gone with men and tried to make carbon copy characters, but more importantly we have lots of Ghostbusters marketing and merchandise again. The new film has brought back the original song to our airwaves (plus a poor remake), the original logo and even the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Youngsters will be learning about the original movie because of some of the marketing promo that went out. That’s quite a nice way to do it. Check out this fantastic Mr Staypuft that I saw erupting from the ground in Waterloo Station on my commute in London.

Ghostbusters Waterloo

Ghostbusters Waterloo

Ghostbusters Waterloo

From watching the trailers a few months ago I really didn’t know what to expect. They were very poor trailers. It looked like it was going to be a slapstick comedy. And they mentioned scientists in 1984 hinting that this might be in the same universe as the original film, rather than a reboot. Very confusing. That part of the promotion was not done well at all.

As ever, in a bid to avoid writing a long rambling movie review, here are my bullet points about the Good and Bad parts of the film. All just my own personal opinion of course. It’s NOT SPOILER FREE. But there isn’t really anything major to spoil anyway. Just little things. I don’t even mention who the cameos are from or what the post credit scene is. But don’t read this if you want to see the film totally fresh.


  • It wasn’t too slapstick. The trailer just had the worst slapstick bits, such as the ghost puke and the exorcist head-turn
  • Women Ghostbusters? Hell, it wasn’t a negative. I’d say it was a positive! Worked great
  • I quite liked how they got the Ghostbusters name and that Erin didn’t like it for ages
  • I’m glad they didn’t fall into the trap of just mapping across actresses to characters from the first film. They made each character different and unique
  • I thought Erin, played by Kristen Wiig was fantastic. She was the standout character and performance for me and made the movie as grounded as it had to be
  • Abby, played by Melissa McCarthy, was very good
  • Chris Hemsworth as Kevin was superb. His character was very, very funny. He got by far the biggest laughs in the cinema. Although they perhaps were straddling the line of playing it up too much and they maybe added bits with him when it really didn’t serve the plot
  • Patty, played by Leslie Jones was very good too
  • Some of the more subtle references to the first film were good. A classic shot of the Ecto car door with the logo, for example. Also I spotted a “That’s a big Twinky” advert on the Times Square billboard for a split second. Those are the kind of subtle callbacks I like. Not too in your face (see the Bad points below)
  • I liked how they incorporated the fire station. Great to see that get a small role
  • I liked the way they handled the mayor situation and how the PR angle forced how the Ghostbusters were treated. I thought they could maybe even have made more of that. More angst
  • It was nice how they incorporated the Staypuft man. I thought it was just the right amount of screen time. They couldn’t make him the big bad but it was nice for him to get an appearance which didn’t get in the way of the plot
  • Nice to see Slimer back (although there is a negative there too – see below)
  • I think it is good that they didn’t just regurgitate all the famous quotes from the first film. There was no ‘don’t cross the streams’ or ‘he slimed me’. I think they actually could have done the ‘crossing the streams’ line but I’m glad they didn’t get someone to try to recreate Bill Murray’s original sliming scene
  • I also liked how they included a line, in the form of an on-line comment, which surely must have been a real-life Tweet from a Ghostbro saying something like ‘Bitches can’t bust no ghosts’. I thought that was clever that they used that in the film in a seamless and effective way
  • Post-credit scene – keeping things open for a sequel

Ghostbusters 2016


  • The first 10 minutes. I really wasn’t liking anything about the first 10 minutes at all. The tone, the acting, the editing, the shot choice, the comedy. It all just jumped out at me as being extremely poor and pulled me out of the film. Maybe I was too hyper-aware though and just needed time to digest the tone of the film. The original movie was much more of a dark comedy with dry humour, whereas this one was slightly more of an all-out comedy. I prefer the former but I still think they pulled this off as a comedy pretty well. But the start was poor, until we meet Erin
  • I thought the title screen and use of music was such a wasted opportunity. We just got a few lines of the Ghostbusters track and then a crummy title on screen and then that was it. I think they could have made a much cooler intro which really got the blood pumping
  • All the ghosts. Seriously, the ghosts looked like the kind you would get in a kids cartoon. When you think back to the first movie with the library ghost, Slimer, the bedroom ghost, the terror dogs etc, their realism added gravitas to the film. But the ghosts in this film just came across as cartoony and ‘unreal in my opinion. The ghost puke bit was cringe-worthy and I think they used exactly the same suspense trick and sound effect scream for two jump-moments. The ghosts really were the biggest let down for me
  • The neon slime – great to have slime, but it was just too bright and ‘unreal’ again. It felt like a prop from a camp 60s Batman episode or something
  • The colour palette – all in all I felt the colour palette was far too bright and saturated. That’s what didn’t make it feel 100% like Ghostbusters to me
  • Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon – I hate to say it, as I’m sure there will be lots of people who absolutely love her, but I really didn’t like that character. I wanted to like the character because she looked so cool. She looked like Egon from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and she was obviously told to act ‘wacky’. I just think that she only really got to play one level of wacky. Everyone time she was in shot it just looked like she was ‘acting wacky’. You weren’t let in to get to know her at all and certainly in the theatre I watched it in all her jokes or lines resulted in no, or hardly any, laughter. It’s a shame as the potential was there. I’m not sure if it was the acting or the directing but I for one was totally pulled out of the movie by almost everything she said because she was so ‘out there’ and unrealistic
  • Perhaps they should have used the line ‘don’t cross the streams’, just so that kids get to do that with their new toy proton packs
  • I didn’t like the unrealistic gadgets. They felt cheap to me
  • Some callbacks were good, but some were very bad and felt shoe-horned in. See my next point about the cameos which addresses this too
  • The cameos felt forced. I really don’t think there was any need to have them. Why do you have to keep calling back to the original film in such obvious ways? Subtle nods and tips of the hat are good but some cameos and callbacks just detract from your own movie. It felt a bit forced and pulled me out of the movie again. I think it actually just held their own movie back slightly. I’d rather just watch the original film again if I want to see those guys
  • Mrs Slimer
  • There wasn’t quite enough serious down to earth ghost chat. And most of the ghost chat or scientific talk just had too many long jargon words
  • Why did Patty, the black/African American character, have to be last to join the team and also be a non scientist etc? Why use the gender card but don’t touch the race card? That might not be the best way to put it but I feel they missed an opportunity to have one of the founding Ghostbusters scientists be a black woman, and then have a white non-scientist or something join the team. I would possibly say that’s a bigger issue than changing the lead roles to women. I just felt bad that she got ‘Winston’d’. Although she did actually get to play a slightly larger and more important role than Winston did

So the main things for me were that it was a little bit too much of a comedy, I didn’t like the gadgets, I didn’t like Holtzmann and I didn’t like the ghosts. But most of those things are fairly superficial and easy to accept. In general I thought it was funny, charming, good character dynamics and just great to see Ghostbusters back in the zeitgeist.

I left the theatre thinking I would really like to see these characters again in a sequel. That in itself must mean that this film was good and it was worth making it.

Perhaps the big debate now will be whether this film is better than Ghostbusters 2 or not! I would honestly have to rewatch Ghostbusters 2 to answer that. Mission accepted.