Ghostbusters? Ghostbusters 3? Ghostbusters (2016)? Ghostbusters: Answer the Call? Whatever name you know this most recent entry into the franchise by, it’s still a mildly entertaining entry to the series.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s no original Ghostbusters. It’s part homage to that amazing film, and part it’s own thing. I watched this in a three part Ghostbusters marathon with my family. By the time we got to this entry we were able to see the good bad and ugly about Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.
Much of the movie is actually funny without getting too crude. It pushes that envelope several times, which I’ll talk about below. But there are a lot of legitimate laughs. For me, the funniest moments come from Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth.
She takes on the Egon role as the inventor/friend of one of the more famous actors. She plays it with a Kramer-like finesse, as though she’s in her own word, yet way ahead of everyone else. Hemsworth does the Janine role of Ghostbusters’ office secretary. He is completely inept at his job and lusted after by Kristen Wiig.
The special effects are terrific. They pull off amazing effects that were not terrible in 1984, but have a clean crispness to them here.
The villain in this version is a human being. Not an interdimensional Gozarian or an almost-reincarnated Carpathian. But watch to the end of the credits…
The exteneded title of “Answer the Call” was added for the DVD release to distigush it from the first Ghostbusters.
Harlod Ramis, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson make up the original cast. Comedians and actors that make a funny movie because they play it serious and let their comedy come through in their performance. The newest instalment attempts to retry the formula with Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones. Again they’ve taken Saturday Night Live alums and teamed them up fighting ghosts. But the subtlety is completey gone. Wiig is basically doing her unconfident-mumbling shtick. While McCarthy has scenes that feel like she was told to just stand there and improv some jokes. Much of the movie feels like an extended SNL skit making fun of Ghostbusters.
The plot was difficult to follow. They catch one ghost in a trap. (One!) Which is later let go. The other ghosts are destroyed mysteriously. I’m not sure how, but they’re not trapped.
Thanksgiving-style balloons are… possessed? by ghosts. I think. It’s unclear if they’re full of ghosts, or they are ghosts, or there’s a different ghost in each one. I’m not sure how, but one of the balloons “sees” our heroes… It’s a fabric balloon. Those aren’t really eyes!
The giant creature in the third act (in the tradition of the previous films) is not the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or the Statue of Liberty. It’s the vague non-descript ghost from the logo… with a bow tie. Because bow ties are cool. The logo even appears briefly on-screen as a talking cartoon character! It’s not great.
This same character takes zaps to his crotch from all four proton packs. The crotch shot is an old bit not worth putting in a 2016 film. It’s one step away from fart jokes.
Instead of the dean of the school being an educated man that kicks them off campus, it’s a childish jerk that does rude jokes about flipping the girls off.
This movie is okay. It has some flaws for sure, but it’s entertaining and watchable. It has great references to the original movie, including cameos by most of the 1984 stars. Most of the jokes land but some land better than others. It will never be as accepted as the original, but neither is Ghostbusters 2, which contained ALL of the excellent cast from the first. It’s worth a watch if you enjoy Ghostbusters. It’s more worth a watch if you enjoy Bridesmaids.