Ghostbusters (2016)

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Every once and a while this test, the Bechdel test, pops into my head. The test is named after Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist who pointed out that a majority of movies don’t have A) at least two women B) the two women talking to each other C) those same two women talking about something other than men. It’s true, most movies don’t pass the test. Think about it. Star Wars, fail. Back to the Future, fail. Any comic book movie, fail. Basically every horror movie, fail. Romantic comedies, fail. So on and so forth since the dawn of cinema. But not the new Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters follows Erin and Abby, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, who, before the events of the movie, were friends  researching ghosts. They’re joined by Abby’s new partner, Jillian Holtzmann, Kate McKinnon, and a New York subway worker named Patty, Leslie Jones. They join forces, and as the title would lead you to believe, they bust ghosts.

The biggest thing this movie has going against it is that it isn’t the 1984 classic. Try this on for size: the original Ghostbusters cost around $30 million at make in 1984 dollars which, with inflation, works out to be about $69.5 million in 2016 dollars. The new Ghostbusters cost $114 million to make. The original had a run time of little over 100 minutes, the new one is almost two hours long. The new Ghostbusters was too big. It wasn’t the small, personal film the 1984 one was, and I do believe it hurt it. They made this one a blockbuster, which Ghostbusters was never meant to be.

The best part of this movie was Kate McKinnon’s character. She had some of the best jokes in the movie as well as the best bits in the obligatory blockbuster fight scene. I also appreciated the cameos of the original Ghostbusters cast. Everyone but Rick Moranis and the late Harold Ramis make an appearance.

The other thing that I liked about this movie is that it threw out the original. It’s like it never happened, which is a good thing in this case. It opens it up to be a remake, as well as its own thing. The downside to the reset is, of course, they set it up for a sequel. God I hope they don’t do a sequel. I hope if they do, they have the good sense to stop at two. Something tells me they won’t. Oh well. At least those sequels will pass the Bechdel test.


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