2016 / DVD

SF elements: ghosts


There's been a lot said about this gender-flipped remake of the 1984 original, ranging from it's the best thing ever made!, to this desecration has ruined my entire childhood! So, what is the fuss about? Well, the truth, of course, is somewhere in between. But where in between, precisely?

First, I have a confession to make. I was never a big fan of the original. Its style of slap-stick and frat-boy humour grates a little with me. Yet it has its inspired moments. And in this way, I can say that the remake, which follows a similar plot, in a similar style, pretty much hits the same mark for me. The best bits are from Jillian the mad engineer, and the ever more outlandish devices she designs and builds.

There are some nice hat-tips to the earlier version, such as the genesis of the logo, or when the team is looking for a base, and pass up a certain fire station, because of its exorbitant rent. And there are a couple of lovely cameos, one from Bill Murray as a sceptical critic of the team, and one from Sigourney Weaver, as an engineering mentor. These scenes show a degree of engagement with the original.

And what about the gender-flipping? Well, frankly, if this hadn't been a remake, I don't think anyone would have thought anything strange about these roles. Except possibly for the pathetic way Erin lusts after the himbo secretary. Of course, a man drooling this way over a bimbo secretary wouldn't raise an eyebrow (except that this was some of the humour that grated the first time round). Which maybe would be the point, if this version weren't supposed to be funny, too.

So, neither wonderful, nor a desecration. Just some (for the most part) fun mind candy.

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 7 January 2017