Despite the chagrin of many faithful fans of the beloved original, the Ghostbusters remake is finally upon us. For those in the same disgruntled camp as myself, the silver-lining is we can finally start putting this unwanted remake in the rear-view mirror. Then bury that mirror under 700 million tons of cow manure.
While yours truly hasn’t seen the film yet, and in turn doesn’t have a review ready, fellow Outlaw and contributor Jordan Eshelman has kindly done the dirty work the Outlaw is too busy reorganizing his lint roller collection to do, see the film and provide an in-depth breakdown of the new reboot from start to finish. (Talk about s glutton for punishment!) In other words, a Ghostbusters 2016 Spoiler Coming-Out Party “Cliff-Notes Edition”.
I already hear the first question echoing through my half-empty skull; “Who cares?”. Unless you’ve just been thawed by Pauly Shore from a 10,000 ice nap, you’re probably well aware the remake of the sci-fi comedy classic has divided every living being into three distinct camps; feminists, misogynists and the Amish. This Spoiler-Festivus is mainly geared more towards the supposed sexists, those falsely labeled as sexist, and everyone in between. Basically, this is a present for everyone who’d rather spend $15 on a third-world colonoscopy, then suffer through almost two hours of a Hollywood crime scene (aka: unnecessarily remaking a beloved film that still hold up better than 99% of the dreck studios have put on screen over the past 30 years.)
I’m not going to get into the reviews themselves, but without further ado I’m going to let Jordon take over in spoiling the film for you. Please send the hate mail for writing this directly to him at Twitter and the “Get a Life” mail directly to me for posting it.
With that, I can proudly warn you reading any further will result in loss of brain cells. Consider this your SPOILER ALERT!
By Jordan Eshelman
(Guest Writer & Contributor)
(Photos & Editing by Geek Outlaw)
Based on having seen the film , as well as some leaks from Reddit post from user Stantz1984 (whom worked on the film post-production), I’m going to provide spoilers for the Ghostbusters reboot movie so you can decide for yourselves weather or not you want to give Sony Pictures your hard-earned money. Please note I am not a reviewer nor have I signed any NDA with Sony this is a combination of my review and Stantz1984’s post, so gather round boys and girls and let me tell you a tale a tale of a Ghostbusters reboot almost nobody wanted.
The film opens with a tour of deceased Madame Aldridge’s mansion. One of the actors from Silicon Valley is a tour guide, and explains Aldridge was locked in a basement to die behind an iron door that’s supposedly never been opened. After a few jokes and the tour group leaves, the guide hears something behind the previously mention locked door. He freaks out and runs around the mansion as supernatural things start happening around him ala a nod to the librarian from the intro of the original. Of course he eventually (albeit accidentally) goes through the locked door which is now. Soon after the guide realizes he’s in the basement and is cornered by something and screams as the camera gets closer to him. (again ala the original.)
The scene eventually cuts to Kristen Wiig’s arriving at Columbia University where there is a bronze bust of Harold Ramis on display.
As some background, Wiig’s character is a college professor at Columbia trying to get tenure. Melissa McCarthy’s character is writing a book called Ghosts of our Past and is selling the book on Amazon with Wiig as a co-author, which in turn is hurting Wiig’s chances at gaining tenure. (Of course they show the book on Amazon which is the first of many glaringly obvious product placements).
As the backstory goes, Wiig and McCarthy had been friends for years, and at one point Wiig’s character had a ghost experience that McCarthy included in her book. Wiig eventually meeting up with McCarthy to try and force her to remove her name from book so she can get tenure.
McCarthy (who has an unhealthy obsession with wontons) and her scientist friend played by Kate Mckinnon, convince Wiig to go investigate the Aldridge Mansion after being asked to do so by the mansion’s historian (played by Ed Begly Jr). This is where the entire ghost puking scene takes place. As seen in the trailers, they record the video while also capturing Wiig screaming “ghosts are real!” Back at her school, the Game of Thrones alum Charles Dance (who played Tywin Lannister), says the video was posted on Reddit, and YouTube. As the groups goes through the YouTube comments, Wiig’s character reads one that says, “Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts.” The scene is a reshot scene added late in editing to mock the naysayers, whom according to Sony are ALL sexist. Wiig is fired by the dean Dance and she officially loses her chance at tenure because McCarthy uploaded the entire video she took online. Nice friend.
On to the villain shall we? Rowan (played by Neil Casey) is an employee at the Mercado Hotel and has the ability to see ghosts. Apparently because of this he’s been bullied and called a weirdo his whole life. Despite living as a shut-in within the hotel, diplomas are hanging on the wall from Stanford and MIT with his full name, Rowan North. The audience is shown a scene in the backroom of a hotel where he’s shown working on a machine that releases ghosts and eventually he breaks the barrier between the living and dead. So teased was Rowan, his game plan is to release as many ghosts as he can into the real world so he can torment the living. As Rowan, Casey blurts out creative and well thought out lines like, “Believe in your abilities and the universe will bend to your will.” I know, about as scary as a litter of kittens in a yarn store.
Fast forward to Leslie Jones’ character whom is a subway station employee. She witnesses Casey (Rowan) bring his new machine underground in order to channel or awaken old ghosts. Casey briefly mentions the 4th cataclysm saying “When the 4th cataclysm begins, the laborers will be among the last lead to the butchery” and Jones simply brushes him off as a nutcase. Still she follows him down onto the tracks where she witnesses him release a ghost that looks as though he was executed in an electric chair (think Scolari Brothers from Ghostbusters 2). After the incident, Jones ends up joining the other three Ghostbusters for her street smarts.
While looking for a place to setup shop, they stumble upon the old firehouse used in the original Ghostbusters, but cant afford the rent, so they open their headquarter at a Chinese restaurant (Que the plethora of wonton jokes!) Not long after, Chris Hemsworth applies as the secretary and per reviewers, this is where most of the supposed humor originates from. Eventually, Jones takes them back to the subway where they the ghost Jones saw from before (electric chair). Mckinnon, the equipment engineer of the foursome, brings a prototype for the proton pack (aka a proton box) to try and catch the ghost. As per the released footage, Wiig tries to hit the ghost, but when she fires the stream it doesn’t reach the Scooby-Doo colored apparition. Wiig eventually gets closer and wrangles the ghost but it breaks free due the inoization from Rowan’s machine. Another “classy” ghost puking scene immediately follows.
It isn’t long after the subway scene, the ladies start getting serious. Jones brings them their jumpsuits and McKinnon reveals the updated Ecto 1 which was formerly one of Leslie’s uncles hearses lent to her from his funeral business. Once geared up, the new team bust their first ghost at a rock concert at the Stonebrook Theater.
While investigating the theater, the new paranormal exterminators discover another of Rowan’s machines (same one from the subway) which explains how the ghost ended up there in the first place. As per the trailer, one of the concert goers has a selfie stick and decides to take a picture of the dragon-like ghost as it is perched on Leslie Jones’ shoulder in the crowd. After crowd surfing, they eventually capture the ghost and become famous. Mckinnon then proceeds to break a guitar and kisses the trap (which is another “thing” done by her on multiple occasions) and Ozzy Osbourne proclaims, “I can’t follow that.” They finally get their name from a new segment pegging them as the Ghostbusters (again, with zero connection to the original film because this is a hard reboot.)
On the news of their capture, a paranormal skeptic named Dr. Martin Heiss (played by Bill Murray) appears and claims the ghostbusters to be fakes (which is an apparent nod to Walter Peck.) He shows up again at their headquarters with a camera in an attempt to debunk them. Murray continues to question the crew until McCarthy and Wiig stupidly decide to let the dragon ghost out of the trap to prove Murray’s character wrong. The ghost pops out of the trap aggressively, knocking Murray out the window to his death. This leads to a police investigation and a very lame Patrick Swayze Ghost joke (revealed on some trailers.). The mayor (Andy Garcia) and his aid (Cecily Strong) decide to smear the Ghostbusters as hoaxers, explaining they don’t want any panic. Randomly, McCarthy calmly states, “we don’t want mass hysteria.” At one point Strong asks about the team bringing a lot of attention to themselves and asks if it’s true. , Wiig says something to the effect of, “Yes, Patty wears very large earrings” with Jones responding “Guilty as charged”. (Remind you of any previously used jokes?)
Wiig and Jones’s characters end up determining the increase in paranormal activity source is coming from the Mercado Hotel in New York (side note, the movie was filmed in Boston.). When they arrive at the hotel, they run into a hotel clerk on the phone (enter Annie Potts) whom repeats her iconic line, “Whadda ya want?” With the help of Potts, the Ghostbusters track down Rowan (Casey) and corner him until the cops arrive. However, instead of activating the huge machine he grabs onto live electrical currents and commits suicide. The Ghostbusters are again labeled as nuts by the government and media.
Now that Rowan is a ghost, he possesses McCarthy (who ends up slime puking as well) in order to destroy the proton packs and then tries to kill Mckinnon’s character. After Leslie Jones slaps the Rowan out of McCarthy (one of the most cringe-inducing parts of the trailers) the ghost with evil intentions possesses Hemsworth’s dumb-as-bricks character. Hemsworth (possessed by Rowan) takes a joy ride on the Ecto-2 motorcycle to the ghost channeling machine to release as many spirits as possible. Along the way, he knocks out two cops and exclaims something like, “I should have worked out more when I was alive”. (Can you see my eyes roll as I type?) There’s even a scene where Hemsworth turns around and snarls with glowing eyes at a cop. (ala Rick Moranis did in Ghostbusters).
On her way back to Ghostbusters headquarters after a run in with the mayor (Garcia), Wiig runs into a cab driver (played by Dan Aykroyd) For whatever odd reason, he refuses to drive her to Chinatown despite her claims of there being actual ghosts. In another cringe-worthy cameo scene, he retorts, “I don’t drive wackos and I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” before driving off. Meanwhile, the rest of the team heads to the Mercado after Mckinnon’s character repairs the packs and introduces proton grenades. Since this is New York, they get backed up in traffic and leave the Ecto-1 behind where Slimer ends up stealing it to… wait for it… pick up a female Slimer. (My eyes are so far in the back of my head they might be stuck.)
The three carless busters are then forced to descend on Times Square via foot and are fighting off possessed parade balloons as they go. As many people have seen in the trailer, one of those balloons is Mr. Stay Puft, and is used to smoosh the ladies to the ground in a moment that makes even cartoons seem realistic. Wiig shows up and pops him with a pocket knife. If only Stanz had one of those in the original.
The team finally arrives Times Square only to find themselves time-warped back to the 1970’ due to the effects of the 4th cataclysm. (Sounds about right for a cataclysm, no?) They ensue fighting off the ghosts in the area and use the new weapons built by Mckinnion. She herself uses pistols (cue pistol licking scene), McCarthy has a Nintendo-esque hand blaster glove, Wiig’s uses a shot gun, and Jones uses a flashlight like device to suck up the ghosts and grind them into slime (one of her victims being the escaped dragon ghost which killed Billy Murray.)
All four Ghostbusters face off against Rowan (as Hemsworth) at the hotel and ultimately the ghost leaves Hemsworth body, sparing his life. Rowan then randomly asks “What form do you choose?” with absolutely no explanation. Even more randomly, Jones shouts out, “I think that spray painted ghost from the subway was cute!” and like magic he turns into the white Casper-looking ghost from the Ghostbusters logo only to grow as large as a tall building. (You couldn’t pay me to make this dreck up… or rip off the original concept from the original film only to bastardize it.)
One of the most outlandish incidents of this remake, in my honest opinion, stems directly from the fact the paranormal team shoots the villain in the crotch in order to defeat it. Huh? This kind of garbage is not in any way, shape or form, Ghostbusters humor. Alas, that is a rant for another post. Nevertheless, McCarthy shoots the oversized branding in the groin to no avail, so all four ladies decide to cross the streams and fire it at Rowan’s groin… which defeats him by knocking him back into the portal. (Anyone sensing a theme yet? Forget the streams, are men crossing their legs yet?) Alas what follows is harshly edited sequence where Rowan drags McCarthy with him into the ghost portal and Wiig’s character contrives a convoluted plan to tie herself to a firetruck and jump in to save her. Oh, and did I mention Slimer and his new ghostly girlfriend also drive the Ecto-1 through the portal before it closes? If most of us had our way, the existence of this entire remake would have gone with it.
The city is saved in the end, but the crew is still branded as hoaxers. Nevertheless, they can now afford to rent the old firehouse since it’s a gift from the mayor. Jones’s Uncle (played by Ernie Hudson) shows up in the end to provide a new hearse and banter with his niece about stacking bodies like flapjacks. Mckinnion shows off new technology to the group, including her mentor Elizabeth Goren (played by Sigourney Weaver) and they all gather on the rooftop to see the Empire State Building with the GB logo on it.
The End: (Praise the Lord!)
Right when the credits begin to roll, the audience gets to witness the much talked about scene where Hemsworth is controlling the city with his ghost powers and makes the U.S. Army dance with him to “You Should be Dancing” by the Bee Gees. The scene was cut unprofessionally at the last minute only to be put in the end credits. Many claim the editing of the final scenes was choppy and all over the place, and apparently shows in spades.
After the credits finish rolling, Jones listens to some sort of a electromagnetic tape device and when asked if she can hear anything, she answers, “Yeah I heard something really weird… who is Zuul?” Que the attempt to tie in the whole parallel universe thing in the final 2.5 seconds of a throwaway end credits scene probably 80% of the movie going public will miss because they left the theater already.
There you have it all you Anti-Ghostbusters reboot and on the fence folks. No need to waste $20.00 plus dollars on Sony Pictures if you (like Geek Outlaw and myself) think this all sounds like a big steaming pile of raw sewage dropped on a beloved classic.
As per many of the reviews, Feig turned Ghostbusters into a male-bashing gender-flip flick using an iconic film that was neither sexist, racist, nor politically motivated. If shooting a ghost in the groin isn’t enough to convince you this is NOT a Ghostbusters movie and send you running in the other direction, I don’t know what will. When it gets down to brass tax, it’s your money and you have the freedom to spend it how you’d like. However, if you’re curious and open minded enough but refuse to reward Sony Pictures financially for remaking yet another classic film, wait to rent the DVD for $1, watch “free” via online streaming, or just buy a ticket to another flick and accidentally wander into a screening of this reboot. I’ve got a gut feeling there will be plenty of good seats still available.