Never review a movie after only one watching. So I watched Ghostbusters (the remake) again. And while it is not as bad as I first thought, it's still not very good. Why? Because it's all a big joke. Now your first response might be "it's a comedy, it's supposed to have jokes." Yes. It's a comedy (or supposed to be) but there are many kinds of comedy. What they did with this movie was make it farcicle.
One of the things about the original, which was also a comedy by the way, was that everone was serious (except Dr. Venkman of course). Egon didn't joke around. Ray didn't joke around. Winston made jokes but didn't joke around. The mayor was serious just as Dana Barrett was serious. All of the characters took their lives and the situation seriously. That seriousness then allowed Dr. Venkman to be the perfect counterpoint.
A great example of this is when they are all in the mayors office. Ghosts are taking over the city and tensions are high. Something's gotta give. Enter Peter Venkman.
Mayor: "Is this true?"
Venkman: "Yes its true. This man has no dick."
(and of course..."dogs and cats, living together")
The balance between drama and comedy was key to making the original movie work. The constant jokiness of the new movie is key to why it failed to work. It just becomes tiring and boring. By the final fight scene, it became cringeworthy. The last 20 minutes are just awful.
Being the old grump I am, being a big fan of the original movie, and not liking remakes in general, I was not expecting much and, probably worse, I was already planning on hating it. And I did. That is why I watched it again. And while I don't hate it now (not as much at least), it is very dissappointing. This movie had great actors in it. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are all very talented comedians and Melissa McCarthy is a great serious actor as well. They are all very funny. Maybe thats why it didn't work.
Maybe the problem is that they are all funny and nobody was willing to take a back seat on the comedic front or the writers weren't smart enough or brave enough to ask somebody to take a back seat. Instead of writing a good story, they took a good old story, threw together a bunch of jokes, stitched them together, and created a bad remake. Don't blame the actors. Blame the writers.
And why the hell did "Gabe" get so little screen time?