For Reel

Ghostbusters (2016)
August 5, 2016, 10:04 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Paul Feig
1.5 Stars
GhostbustersGhostbusters is among the most cynical and desperate of nostalgic cash-grabs, playing as both out of touch (an Ozzy Osborne cameo in 2016?) and weirdly self-congratulatory. When the film ends with a city giving a tribute to their new lovable heroes, it plays like a disinterested child being prodded by a parent about how cool something is—very rarely do movies so often pause to comment on just how functional and terrific they are. It goes beyond a theme of friendship and teamwork into sheer narcissism. The biggest problem with the film, however, is that it falls victim to many of the criticisms that modern comedies tend to receive regarding their scripting. None of the characters act consistent from moment to moment, scenes fall flat on their face in the service of allowing another few improvised lines, and the screenplay drops its sense of structure and dramatic stakes at will. When the estranged friends solidify their love for one another in the climax, one needs to be excused for forgetting that they had a history together and needed to patch things up in the first place—the screenplay doesn’t seem to care for that particular dynamic outside of the set up and the payoff. For a film that so obsessively feels like a bland studio product—jam-packed with product placement, franchise teases, and an extravagant action finale—it’s shocking how inept the fundamentals of its storytelling can be.

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