Ghostbusters (2016)

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Ghostbusters 2016.jpeg
Who ya gonna call? The number you have dialed has been lame since 2016.
Genre: Supernatural
Directed By: Paul Feig
Produced By: Ivan Reitman
Amy Pascal
Written By/Screenplay: Katie Dippold
Paul Feig
Based On: Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman
Dan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
Starring: Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Wiig
Kate McKinnon
Leslie Jones
Charles Dance
Michael Kenneth Williams
Chris Hemsworth
Cinematography: Robert Yeoman
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: July 9, 2016 (TCL Chinese Theatre)
July 15, 2016 (United States)
Runtime: 116 minutes
134 minutes (Extended version)
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $144 million
Box Office: $229.1 million
Franchise: Ghostbusters
Sequel: Untitled Ghostbusters (2016) sequel (cancelled)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) (by release date)

"There are people out there who like to pay people to shit in their face, but just because someone else likes to be shit in the face, doesn't mean that I have to like being shit in the face.
And that's the beauty of living in a free country, that some of us can be shit in the face, and be content, and that others can be shit in the face, and not be, and I was not content with this face-shitting.
I hope you don't hold it against me the way I don't hold it against you, but I do not like being shit in the face.
And that's what this film Ghostbusters 2016 reboot was. A gigantic shit in the face.


"At least Harold Ramis didn't live to see this shit."

James Rolfe

"This is the complete wrong way to revive a franchise. Just stick with the first two movies, the cartoon shows, a few of the games, and just have high hopes for Afterlife. Time to use my Seal of Fail to bust this movie."


Ghostbusters (later marketed as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call) is a 2016 American supernatural action comedy film and reboot (or remake) of the Ghostbusters franchise and the 1984 classic film of the same name, as well as the third film, overall, in the franchise. Directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold and Feig, the film stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. It was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Ghost Corps, Pascal Pictures, Feigco Entertainment, and The Montecito Picture Company. The film premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on July 9, 2016, and was released in the United States on July 15, 2016, by Columbia Pictures.

At the time of its release, it received mixed to positive reviews from critics. However, it was panned by fans and audiences alike, criticizing its political agenda. The film grossed $229 million worldwide against its $144 million budget, but because of its combined production, marketing, and other costs, it became a box office bomb, with losses of over $70 million. Ghostbusters is widely considered to be one of the worst reboots of all time, forcing Columbia Pictures to cancel any sequels for the rebooted Ghostbusters series and eventually opting to continue with the original Ghostbusters series instead with Afterlife, which was released on November 19, 2021.


Paranormal researcher Abby Yates and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitudes, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

Why It Can't Answer the Call

  1. Despite the film being a reboot and having improvements that weren't shown in the original film, this film is almost a complete rehash of the original Ghostbusters as well as copying many elements from other movies. It feels more like a remake of the original film and a non-canonical spin-off rather than an actual reboot.
    • Coincidentally, due to the failure of this movie, it was thankfully confirmed to be non-canon to the Ghostbusters franchise.
  2. Many characters are mediocre to unlikable, with being very annoying, cliched, and idiotic in a bad way. This also lacks the charm of the original series.
    • The main characters (paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), physicist Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones)) are all portrayed as completely very obnoxious, annoying, unlikable, selfish, whiny, spoiled brats and lack the chemistry and charisma as well as inferior to the original Ghostbusters had in the original 1984 film and its sequel; for example, at one point the new team steal the equipment needed to build the Proton packs instead of building them from scratch.
    • Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth's character) is an annoying comic relief character.
    • Dr. Rowan North (Neil Casey's character) is a lame and stupid antagonist and doesn't come off as scary even when in his ghost form.
    • All of the other side characters are very forgettable and pointless, with great actors like Andy Garcia, Charles Dance, and the late Michael K. Williams being completely wasted.
    • Overall, it seems as if the casting choices were made solely for the sake of having a female-led cast.
  3. Weak writing and acting mixed with tons of pointless pop culture references to better films and TV series (eg. various Patrick Swayze films, The Wizard of Oz, Jaws, etc.)
  4. Mediocre special effects that have their moments, especially the green screen effects for the ghosts.
  5. A variety of very unfunny, repetitive, stale, obnoxious, disgusting, and juvenile humor is featured in this film, ranging from toilet humor to sex jokes. Another piece of humor that fails is the running gag of Abby whining about wontons three times.
  6. Blatant amount of product placement (e.g. Blu-Ray, YouTube, Pringles, Papa John's Pizza, and Coca-Cola).
  7. False advertising: In the trailer, the announcement text mentions the original Ghostbusters films, but this has no connections to the original films. Not only that, the main characters aren't in the announcements and just have police and soldiers. Another misleading header is that despite the film being titled Ghostbusters, the team only busts one ghost, and in the climax, the Ghostbusters shred ghosts and are somehow able to kill them, which also comes off as last minute at that.
    • The film was also advertised as a letterbox film, but the green screen effects on the ghosts were put in 16:9 widescreen. There is even an entire scene in the 16:9 widescreen format, in a film that is supposed to be in the 2:35.1 aspect ratio.
  8. Too many unnecessary dancing scenes (as pointed out in RedLetterMedia's review as well as Honest Trailer) and those scenes get even worse in the extended cut that makes them longer than one or two minutes. This would make the dance scenes in Spider-Man 3 look much better by comparison.
  9. The film even actually dares to take shots at its detractors, which comes off as immature, disrespectful, and abrasive, with there being one scene where the new Ghostbusters see a comment on YouTube that reads, "Ain't no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts".
    • That said, the film's director (and co-writer), Paul Feig, also acted rather abrasive towards criticism of the film by accusing the detractors of his film of being misogynists and labeling fans of the original films as trolls; he also showed support for Jones and criticized Twitter's handling of the situation. Feig tweeted: "f*** the haters. And haters, attack me all you want but when you attack and insult my cast, you've crossed the line. Grow up and leave my cast alone."
  10. The ghosts look like a poor man's version of the ones from either The Haunted Mansion or the live-action Scooby-Doo films.
    • In fact, Rowan's ghost form design is a blatant mockery of the ghost from the Ghostbusters logo.
    • The ghost balloons also look too similar to the Joker's balloons in Batman.
      • The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man looks ridiculous as a balloon.
  11. While the new theme song "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)" covered by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott is somewhat catchy, it was panned and atrocious due to its use of pop-rock and rap that doesn't match the tone for the film and musical structure.
    • What's so strange about this is that the film's official soundtrack has another cover of the theme song by Walk the Moon that respects the original version but puts its unique spin on it.
  12. The film overall feels more like a bad Saturday Night Live skit, especially since our four main actresses are regular members of the set show (although, this is keeping in tradition with the franchise as the original films' main casts were mostly SNL alumni as well)
  13. Pointless features cameo appearances by various celebrities, such as actors, and especially the original cast, but not as their actual characters, which is on par with a bad Adam Sandler and/or Happy Madison movie.
  14. The infamous scene where the main characters shoot Rowan, in his giant ghost form... right in the groin in a PG-13 rated movie! In fact, since his ghost form is a parody of the ghost from the Ghostbusters logo, you can make the argument that this film is kicking the original films in the balls!
  15. Paul Feig was unable or unwilling to reign his cast in, resulting in improvisation scenes that are not only unfunny but slow the film down.
  16. Mediocre and unfunny dialogue, that sounds like it's too unusual for its characters.
  17. The new Ghostbusters collecting uniforms look both terrible and ridiculous.
  18. Much of the pointless, and confusing events are full of continuity errors, and plot holes.
    • All damage to property and people caused by either the portal, Rowan, or the Ghostbusters themselves, seems to magically repair itself following the final battle. The people outside the hotel in particular would undoubtedly have been killed when Rowan broke his way out, but there is no indication of this on-screen.
    • The women complain about their company being called "Ghost Busters" but they have named their YouTube Channel "Ghost Busters" instead of something else that they might have preferred.
    • When Abby is being thrown around the alley while testing the proton pack, the position of her hands changes. If she could move her hands enough and still keep hold of it, why didn't she just let go? Her finger wouldn't have been on the trigger anymore, so she wouldn't have been in any danger.
    • There is no restaurant across the street from Hook & Ladder No. 8's firehouse.
    • The Ecto-1 occasionally has a red and blue LED light bar at the rear of the car that seems to appear and disappear at different moments throughout the film. When pulling out of the Ghostbusters headquarters, a reflection of the lights can be seen on the rear wall of the garage, and in the same sequence, while driving through New York, the light bar is missing.
    • Erin pops the Stay Puft marshmallow balloon with a Swiss army knife. There is no way a hole the size of a knife would have made it explode - it would have just deflated while the gas inside leaked from the hole. However, this is a ghostly balloon, so the rules of physics may be a bit different.
    • When possessing Abby it appears that Rowan has access to her memories as he knows the identity of the other Ghostbusters (and after possessing Kevin comments on him knowing how to ride a motorcycle). However, in their confrontation later, Rowan claims to have not known Kevin's name until it is mentioned to him. This makes sense, however, because Rowan had been following the Ghostbusters' exploits before his first confrontation with them. Kevin is never shown in any of the quartet's in-movie promotional footage, so Rowan would not know of his relationship to the Ghostbusters.
    • Jillian Holtzmann refers to Pringles as "salty parabolas". A parabola is a curve in a plane. The actual shape of a Pringles is a hyperbolic paraboloid, i.e. slices along one axis are parabolas while slices along the other axis are hyperbolas.
  19. Don’t even get us started on this film’s video game adaptation.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Much of the original cast (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts) make cameo appearances, despite them being pointless.
  2. Even though the theme song was panned and atrocious, there is at least a neat soundtrack by Theodore Shapiro.
    • In particular, the updated theme song by Ray Parker Jr. is also decent.
    • "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)", despite being panned and atrocious, as stated, is somewhat catchy.
    • Walk the Moon version of the theme song is good since unlike Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott's version, it is much closer to the original song.
    • The original Ghostbusters theme song plays at the beginning of the film when the title appears.
  3. A lot of good designs for the ghosts.
  4. The action scenes are, surprisingly, more impressive than the whole franchise. The original films had decent-to-good enough effects, but mainly them standing around and pointing their proton packs. In contrast to the original Ghostbusters, the new Ghostbusters do flips, slides, punch ghosts, and even whip the ghosts into somersaults.
  5. The scene at the end where Erin saves Abby from Rowan's grasp within the portal is admittedly pretty awesome.
  6. The scene when Martin Heiss (Bill Murray's character) informs the new Ghostbusters that "You only lack the proper equipment like a garbage truck to hang onto the back of," was accurate. After all, their uniforms do look like garbage-collecting uniforms.
  7. The special effects and stunts for the most part are okay, despite being mediocre, like the green screen effects for the ghosts.


Pre-release response controversy

When Sony Pictures announced that all four of the Ghostbusters were going to be female, the announcement sparked a big controversy. After the teaser poster of four characters was released, it received overwhelming criticism from fans and audiences alike. When the original trailer for the film was released on March 3, 2016, it got tons of dislikes and as of right now, it is currently the 19th most disliked YouTube video with 78.04% dislikes. It is important to note that although there were certainly some genuinely sexist people, a large fraction of these dislikes came from either being disappointed by the trailer's quality or feeling like the new additions were not loyal to the original film. In response to the negative reactions towards the trailer, Paul Feig accused haters of the film of being misogynistic towards the cast. In May 2016, additional scenes were shot for the film which served as a meta-reference to the controversy. In those scenes, the characters upload a video to YouTube and react to unpleasant comments left by viewers. The film's IMDb page was also subject to a coordinated effort to lower its rating before the film's release.

Critical and audience response

Despite getting lambasted by fans and audiences alike, Ghostbusters received positive reviews from critics with praise for the cast, direction, humor, and visuals, but criticism for the script and visual effects on the ghosts. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Ghostbusters has an approval rating of 74%, based on 390 reviews, with an average rating of 6.50/10, while the audience approval rating was 49% based on over 100,000 ratings with an average rating of 3.00/5. The website's critical consensus reads, "Ghostbusters does an impressive job of standing on its own as a freewheeling, marvelously cast supernatural comedy -- even if it can't help but pale somewhat in comparison with the classic original.". On Metacritic, the film has a Metascore of 60 out of 100 based on 52 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." and received mostly negative reviews from fans and audiences alike. The user score on Metacritic is 2.8/10 based on 2069 ratings, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." However, on IMDb and Letterboxd, the film received a score of 6.7/10 and 2.5/5. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed by PostTrak gave a 57% "definite recommend".

Filmmaker James Rolfe declared he would not see the new film and disliked how it was based in a new universe with no continuity with the previous films.

Film critic Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film with a "D-", a one-star rating, and described the film as "a horror from start to finish."[1]

DeviantArt user JacobHessReviews gave this movie a rating of 2.5/10 (Terrible to Awful), saying that this is the completely wrong way to revive a franchise.[2]

Angry Joe gave 2/10.[3]

Box office

Ghostbusters opened up at #2 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $46 million. In foreign markets, it grossed a total of $100,796,935[4]. Following the #2 opening, the film later dropped down to #5 in week three, then to #7 in week three and in week four it dropped to #9. The film bombed at the box office after getting a box office return of only $128.3 million in the U.S. against its $144 million budget and overall, the film made $229 million worldwide.[5] According to Variety, sources familiar with the film's financing estimate the total loss to be about $75 million, of which, due to co-financing with Village Roadshow Pictures, Sony would lose about $50 million.[6] Sony, which distributed the film, spent over $100 million on marketing and lost at least $70 to $75 million following the film's poor performance at the box office.[7] The film contributed to the $1 billion write-downs of the value of Sony Pictures in January 2017.

Future sequels?

Sony announced that if the film was a hit, there would be sequels. Due to the poor box office results and overwhelmingly negative reception, however, Sony decided to cancel further sequels to the reboot. Despite the cancellation of the sequel, Feig stated in an interview that he still expresses interest in making a sequel.[8]

On January 15, 2019, Sony announced that Ghostbusters: Afterlife (or Ghostbusters III) is finally going to be released on November 19, 2021, and as a result, the rebooted Ghostbusters franchise was officially rendered dead and became non-canon to the franchise. Shortly after the announcement, Smooth Jazz Waluigis and actress Leslie Jones criticized the third Ghostbusters film, claiming it's "sexist" to refuse to acknowledge the reboot, though Jones eventually praised the approach.

One year later

On June 4, 2017, almost a year after the film was released, Dan Aykroyd spoke out against Paul Feig in an interview and said that he had skipped key scenes from the film assuming they weren't needed and required $30 to $40 million worth of reshoots when test screenings showed they were indeed needed. He later stated that Paul "will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon." [9] In April of the same year, Paul Feig issued an apology on feeding Internet trolls.[10]

In November, Feig expressed regret about the negative impact Ghostbusters had on the public and stated, "I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause. I think for some of our audience, they were like, 'What the f***? We don't wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a f***in' movie'"; at the same time, he is still satisfied with his work on the film and continues to defend it, explaining "It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn't do better, 'cause I really loved it. It's not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people."



Non-Review (From James Rolfe), Reviews, Rants, and Top 10s


  • Bill Murray didn't want to return to the original version of this film unless his character was killed off.
  • Rick Moranis was the only original cast member who refused to appear in the 2009 video game, the canceled third film, as well as this film.
  • Eliza Dushku (of True Lies, Buffy, Dollhouse, Wet, and Saints Row fame) wanted to be a part of the film, expressing interest in playing one of the lead roles to the point of dressing as a Ghostbuster for Halloween. Alas for reasons unknown this didn't eventuate.
  • The film wasn't screened in China because films involving ghosts are not permitted by the strict Chinese codes on film content.
  • The end credits use the title Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Feig said this was added by the studio, which wanted to avoid confusion by having two films with the title Ghostbusters. He rejected the title Ghostbusters 2016, feeling it would date it.
  • A bust of Harold Ramis is seen in the film.
  • Before the film was made, Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony at the time of the Sony Hack of 2014 asked Paul Feig to make the film, but he declined the offer numerous times.
  • Co-writer Katie Dippold stated that Sony disliked the film in an interview.[11]
  • The plot was leaked due to the Sony Pictures hack of 2014.
  • Paul Feig reportedly had a meltdown on set while making the film.
  • This is currently the only Honest Trailer with the comments section disabled because of the extremely negative responses from fans to this reboot.
  • This remake somehow received a video game adaptation of the same name around the same time this movie was released, which that video game was bad as well.
  • The film made an appearance in LEGO Dimensions.
    • Once completing the Ghostbusters Story Pack levels, you can access the Ghostbusters World by using Peter Venkman, Stay Puft, and Slimer from the classic Ghostbusters film.
      • The same works in reverse being able to access the classic Ghostbusters World by using Abby Yates.


External links


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