This was meant to be my 100th post but I realized that I would not be able to write everything in one go like I usually do, and decided to take my time to organize my thoughts. 100 posts was an occasion to celebrate and what better way to do that then by picking on a low hanging fruit: Ghostbusters 2016!
At first I had some serious reservations about this film and wrote two rather extensive post before, which you can read here and here. In the weeks that followed, more and more clip and TV were shoved on the internet and it was more of the same and hardly seem to calm any of controversy around the movie and even maybe fuel it even more. Finally it was time for review screenings and surprisingly, that movie seemed to have received quite a bit of praise. Maybe the movie wasn’t all that bad. Then came user scores and that when things got more interesting:
Things were not any better on IMDB with a score that was around 4 out of 10 by Thursday. This sort of left me in weird situation: one the hand, it could be an ok movie. after all I liked “spy” and “The Heat”, maybe I would like it. On the other hand most of the positive review came from sites and journalist who have been writing for months that anyone who disliked the trailer were nothing more than basement dwelling, woman hating loser, meaning that they would post a good review regardless of how bad it actually was.
Well, there is only one way to know for sure and that is going to the theater and sit through it, and I can report that this film did not disappoint… and by that I mean that it was painfully horrible. I am going to have to “spoil” a few plot points in the rant so unless you haven’t read the leaked plot that have been on the internet for month and actually want to see this godless monstrosity of a film, fell free to stop reading now.
Now, on to all the things that drags this movie down to “Fant4stic”‘s level of terribleness:
Oh boy where to start? I guess will start with some of the rumors that have been spread around the internet.
Some people have been going around about how the movie is a giant man bashing movie and how no male character is portrayed in a positive manner. As it turns out, that is not entirely true but mostly right. None of the male side characters seem to have an iota of common sense or seem remotely like they could possibly exist in the real world, but it’s not like the main characters do either, so +1 for consistency. There are couple male character that I would call neutrally portrayed, but there are are very minor and the more prominent ones are utterly negative caricatures. There is only a couple female side character and barely have any character.
There were some rumors early on the there was a clash of egos between two of the main actresses and that they had to alter the script to make sure they all had equal amounts of lines to say, and I think some truth to that. There are a couple instances in the movie where McCarthy and Wiig have these pointless bickering that felt more like padding than anything else, and I think that is because of that rumored clash of egos. You could cut three or four of those without losing any of the plot or Character development. Unless they were supposed to be jokes, and they really did not work.
Talking about jokes, none of them were funny. Pixels was one of the worst movies of last year but it still managed a couple chuckles out of me and the small audience that was in the theater. When it came to Ghostbusters, no one and I mean absolutely no one laughed at any of the jokes, not even a chuckle or a half heart “haha”. Let me explain a couple of the jokes that shocked me because of how stupid they were:
- The three “scientist” go to the haunted mansion to check out the ghost and they meet up with the tour guide. they are like ” yeah doctor whatever told us you had ghost” and tour guide is like “doctor whatever? but he’s been dead for like fifteen years”. The punchline was that the doctor came earlier was doctor whatever JR and that it was the father that was dead for fifteen years… funny right? no, it wasn’t.
- Chris Hemsworth character, during his interview for the receptionist job, ask if he could bring “my cat” to the office. except he doesn’t have a cat, it a dog called “Mike hat” (why he pronounced it “my cat” the first time is complete mystery) and it lives with his mother, he did not need to even bring to the office ever! Why did he even bring that up! To show how idiotic he is? like we did not figure that out by then! That whole dialogue was an entire waste of probably two minutes!
- When they are taken in custody by the federal agents and explain that the government already has a team of paranormal researcher they complain that the siren on the car is not “patriotic” enough… what is that suppose to mean?
Some people actually liked how impossibly moronic Chris Hemsworth’s character was but I found him to be the most annoying character in any movie I have ever seen. I don’t think it is even humanly possible to be both that stupid and functioning adult being. Most of the “jokes” felt so out of place and so cliche, some even felt like there should have been that badum tshh sound effect to indicate when you are supposed to be laughing. I think you could cut every lame joke out the script and actually make it better.
There were no “scary” moments either because they never let film build any tension or suspense. When the first ghost shows up, before they could build up the creep factor, they break the tension with a lame joke with McKinnon loudly eating chips! The only moment that had potential was a very brief scene where Leslie Jones is chase by a possessed mannequin but as fast it appeared, the mannequin is destroyed revealing that ugly green dragon thing. There is no mystery to unravel because they show you from the get go the ghost summoning machines, the villain does that cliche talking to himself exposition thing (and it does not help the entire plot was leaked month before). What make the original so great is that you did not know who, or what, Gozer was or how the building fitted into the plot until the beginning of the third act of the movie. None of that is this one, everything is blatantly made obvious.
Talking about the bad script, it would not be complete without plot hole big enough to fit the entire solar system, now would it?
I identified three major plot holes that really breaks the plot of this sorry excuse of a film, and were talking plot holes the size of the solar system! I’ll go through them in the order they appear in the film, so here we go:
- Hole #1: Authorship of the book…
The thing that kicks this thing into gear is the book that McCarthy’s and Wiig’s character wrote some time before the movie started. Wiig’s character decided that she did not want to publish the book and went on to become a university professor. At some point McCarthy’s character to publish the book and put Wiig as the Co-author. Now I am no expert when it come to book publishing but I am fairly certain you cannot simply publish a book with someone else’s name on it without their consent, even if she helped write it. All that Wiig’s character should have done is get a lawyer and sue McCarthy’s character. But then that would mean no ghostbusters and the end of the world… Oops!
Besides McCarthy’s character could simply published the book with only herself as the author and the only difference that would have made to the plot is that Wiig’s character would not have joined the Ghostbusters or even needed to exist. Wiig’s character, as far I as could tell, made zero contribution to the team. All the gadget’s were designed and built by McCarthy and McKinnon, and Jones is the history expert. Wiig’s character is there just to be the butt of many unfunny jokes and because the original team had 4 members…
- Hole #2: Stealing equipment from McCarthy’s institute lab…
After being laugh at by the president of what ever shit tech institute McCarthy was working at for asking to be funded, the trio leaves with the scientific equipment they were working with. Except it wasn’t their’s, it was the institute and stole everything.
I think it goes without saying that all the administration of that institute had to do is call the police, report the theft, give the name and address of the three idiots and have them arrested. Heck there is probably even video evidence of the them leaving the building with the stolen equipment. That would the simplest case to prosecute! Much like the first plot hole, that would mean no Ghostbusters and the end of the world… Real world logic is such a pesky thing…
- Hole #3: Rowan becoming a ghost…
about maybe half way through the movie, the four self proclaimed “ghostbusters” corner the villain called Rowan, played by Neil Casey, in his dingy lair in the basement of the hotel he works at. Not wanting to be arrested, he kills himself in order to later come back as a ghost to carry out the last part of his plan. There are a couple problems within this one:
- They never explain why some people can become ghost or others can’t. As far as I know there was no guarantee for Rowan to become a ghost. He could have killed himself and simply move on to the afterlife, completely ruining his plan.
- Even if he was sure to become a ghost, how could he manifest in the material world? all the ghost we ever saw within the movie were manifested by his portable ghost machine, there is no evidence that any ghost could actually manifest without one. There could have been one lying around his lair but the place was crawling with cops and special agents, they would have spotted the very noticeable hum, the occasional sparks and blue glow of thing!
Conclusion: Rowan could never have pulled off the become a ghost part of his plan, mean the ghostbusters are public shamed by the officials but the world gets to live on… Not much of a movie ending…
There are a lot more smaller plot holes like:
- If Rowan could take control of a small army, why didn’t he simply did the same to the ghostbusters?
- Why didn’t the government, who seemed to already have team of paranormal researcher, hire the ghostbusters instead of using them as public punching bag?
- If Rowan was so smart and had all those degrees, surely he would have found a far better job than technician for a hotel.
- Why did they stop Slimer from stealing the car? They had plenty of time to lasso him when he was busy eating from the food cart.
- Heck why didn’t they drive through the food cart in the first place? Those things are not made of concrete! It would barely made a dent on the bumper.
- if their proton packs are powerful enough to destroy a ghost and have an standalone gadget that those just that (the so called Ghost Chipper) why bother making a containment unit and ghost traps? let them just go around with the ghost chipper, it’s way less destructive and probably a lot cheaper!
There too many to list them all but I think you get the Idea: the plot was not very well thought through. and whose fault would that be? I going to say it was Feig’s fault. In one of Sony’s leaked email, Amy Pascal said of Ivan Reitman wanting to direct the next Ghostbusters that “it did not matter who produced it, if the director is wrong”. I could not put it better myself though the wrong director in this case is Feig! He was clearly not ready to do a movie on this scale and it shows.
Early in the film, Wiig’s character is approach by someone that work at the haunted mansion thing, the guy I mention above in the terrible joke section. You can tell in that scene that either the script was bad or the director was because the characters do this back and forth on set. Wiig would try to deny her involvement with the book and start to walk away and the guy would rebuke her, and then she would start walking the other way and rinse and repeat a couple times, walking in circles… Is that the best they could do for that scene? why not have them walk down the corridor or into her office?
He could not even manage to do the much rumored dance scene properly! Instead it literally cut down to less than one minute, with Hemsworth making everyone take a pose! the rest of the dance scene footage was spliced into the background of the credit and it looked pretty bad if you asked me. Reportedly, it cost Sony in the low seven figure to make happen too! What a complete waste of money!
That is probably just the tip of the iceberg too, because there is a considerable amount of stuff that was shown in the trailers and the many TV spots that did not make the cut! That monologue at the beginning of the second trailer about how no should experience such horrors? Not in the film! That scene with a ton of neon blue ghost standing together? Not in the film! That scene where Hemsworth jokes about needing a bigger boat? Not in the Film! What about this behind the scene photo of what seem to be a fight sequence? could be the one at the end of the film but all those extras in the background are not in the theater cut! They CGI’d fog on top of them! You can’t see any of them in the final cut! that must have been quite expensive to hire all the extras, give them full costumes with LEDs and do multiple takes, only to go “eeehhh” and erase them with computer graphics…
In most scenes, McCarthy barely emotes at all, she mostly talk in the same slightly pissed tone, and Wiig barely seem to have emotions. Kate McKinnon is probably the only one that tried to chew scenery but in happens so far apart that it barely makes a difference. Leslie jones performance was OK I guess. I don’t really expect her to show up in another big budget film anytime soon.
Alright, I think I made my point across: this movie blows hard. There is more thing I want to address though and that is how this movie has been covered in the media. I know I will probably sound like someone wearing a tin foiled hat but stick with me, I have evidence. Here is my premise: People in the media are desperate for political points and want to movie to succeed in the name of “feminism” even if it means lying through their teeth about it. I would be tempted to say that some of the critic were probably encouraged to give favorable reviews too. Sony has a history of bribing for good reviews and writing their own reviews after all.
There is huge gap between what some of “professional critics” and what the general public think of this movie, which is best showed by this screen cap of the metacritic page:
That viewer score on rotten tomatoes is not 44% anymore because there has been an influx of users like this totally real and typical reviewer on rotten tomatoes. RottenTomatoes is not the only one suffering from bot infestation. Check this rather strange score statistic from IMDB:
Why do I think this is not normal? Well, despite my very best attempts, I could not find a single movie on IMDB with such a discrepancy in the scoring between genders. Even big manly action flick like “Top Gun” and “Die Hard”, or even chick flics like “Princess diaries” and “Love Actually” don’t show anything like that! They even went the extra mile and made all what I presume to be bot accounts female to try hammer more of that Misogyny angle they had been working on for the past months… I dare you to find another movie with a similar anomaly is scores, because I am fairly certain you won’t be able to.
This thing is nearing three thousand words already so let’s wrap it up. This movie is not funny, it is not scary, Sony spent a shit load of money and probably wasted most of it and the media cares more about politics than admit the movie sucked. There is some “good” news is the form of really poor box office performance however. Ghostbusters only made 46 million dollars on opening weekend, less than “The Secret Lives of Pets” that came out a week before it. week day numbers are not any better and if the new “Star trek” movie is successful, that will be another massive blow into Sony’s finances. Oh next week there is a new “Bourne” movie and the week after that it’s “Suicide Squad”. in other words: Ghostbusters will probably not survive and Sony is set to lose a ton of money. Maybe they shouldn’t have insulted their audience…