If you only read one movie review this entire year, it needs to be Richard Roeper’s review of the new Ghostbusters. It’s one of the nastiest little pieces of work I’ve read in quite some time. And when I say nasty, I mean fucking amazing. He destroys this cash-grab from almost every conceivable angle. You really should go read it for yourself, but just in case you wanted a summation, let me highlight some of my favorite burns.
“Ghostbusters” is a horror from start to finish, and that’s not me saying it’s legitimately scary. More like I was horrified by what was transpiring onscreen…
“Ghostbusters” is one of the worst movies of the year for multiple other reasons, including:
Uninspired directing, editing, cinematography and music.
Cheesy special effects.
A forgettable villain.
A terrible script.
Well, there’s not really anything left past that, is there?
Wiig and McCarthy co-starred in “Bridesmaids” (directed by the usually terrific Paul Feig, who is at the helm here) and they’re enormously charismatic and versatile screen actors — which makes it all the more disappointing to see them flounder separately and together here. They’re both surprisingly muted and flat.
Then again, better understated than insanely over-the-top, which is what we get from Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann, the “wacky” scientist of the bunch. McKinnon is so good on “Saturday Night Live,” but she absolutely butchers her performance in this film — mugging for the camera, bouncing around in an exaggerated manner as if she’s in a “Three Stooges” short, and drawing attention to herself even when a scene calls for her to react and not engage in wholesale attention-getting thievery.
McKinnon has stuck me this way ever since those picks leaked with the cast at some random children’s hospital. They were allegedly there to cheer up kids but she was mugging for the camera like it was some kind of Saturday Night Live skit. The whole idea was bizarre, but at least the other people there looked normal. She seemed to be weirdly over-the-top. Perhaps she was just doing this shitty character.
(Also, at least Kristen Wiig had the good sense to look slightly horrified at the whole spectacle. The rest seem completely oblivious.)
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) July 11, 2016
OK, now that I think about it, Melissa McCarthy looks pretty crazed there as well. But, whatever.
Roeper wasn’t done there, by the way…
Jones is loud and unsubtle as an MTA worker named Patty who becomes the fourth Ghostbuster, but I’m not sure there’s a way to deliver lines such as, “Aw, hell naw!” without going big.
So, the script sucks and plays into racial stereotypes, just like we thought. Ordinarily that would be no big deal, as I’m for letting people make whatever movie they want to make. But these are supposed to be our SJW betters. Paul Feig, the man behind this monstrosity, has gone out of his way to shit on old fans and just consumers in general. He hasn’t been very effective, though. The guy even got trolled so hard that he included a scene about mean YouTube comments in the film.
The way Roeper goes at this thing is pretty great. Man, I almost felt bad for the people behind this dud. Almost. Then I think about how we’ll hopefully never have to hear about them again after this weekend, at least as far as the Ghostbusters franchise is concerned. I originally thought they might make enough money to justify this movie, or at least break even. Now, I’m not so sure. If you ask me, I think the momentum is in the direction of flop territory. I’m not ruling out the possibility I’m feeling that way just because I’m surrounded by people who think it sucks. Either way, we’ll find out one way or the other after this weekend.
Richard Roeper has seen it, though. He happens to be one of the most respected movie critics in the country. And, as I’ve been pointing out with select passages, he’s not a fan of the film…
There’s very little chemistry between any combination of the four Ghostbusters, who spend a lot of time strategizing about their next move and then saying “Woohoo!” when they hit the streets…
The special effects in “Ghostbusters” are so mediocre I’m wondering if it was a nod to the relatively crude effects of 1984. (Or maybe they’re just not very good.) The ghosts aren’t frightening and they’re not funny and they have almost no backstory; they’re just hissing, hateful, murderous creatures storming through the city.
I’m surprised he even gave this one star (out of 4). It sounds like pretty much every facet of the film is complete dogshit.
Some things are better left alone.
Indeed they are, Mr. Roeper. Indeed they are.