'Ghostbusters' 2016 Outtakes Reveal Everything Great And Terrible About The Remake

The new gang of Ghostbusters Sony

Kate McKinnon was one of the few highlights of the 2016 Ghostbusters remake. Her character, scientist Jillian Holtzmann, had a mad scientist attitude and a non sequitur comedic style that produced many, if not most, of the scattered laughs to be found in the remake. By comparison, the other characters felt muzzled, the typically brilliant Kristen Wiig in particular.

A new special feature on the 2016 Ghostbusters home release gives us more Kate McKinnon — that’s the good part — but also reveals the movie’s real downfall: it’s reliance on improvised one-liners.

This collection of outtakes reveals just how little the actors had to work with. Keep a close eye on the other cast members, who have nothing to do but loiter around the frame while McKinnon blurts out take after take of improvised material. There’s no tête-à-tête, no characterful dialogue, no comedy of relations and no sense of a bit being built, joke by joke. Just riff, riff, riff.

Check it out:

Yeah, Kate McKinnon gets some great jokes in (some that probably deserved to be in the theatrical release), but boy does this look like a terrible way to make a feature-length comedy.

Ghostbusters is far from the only movie to fall back on improvisation instead of the tightly-constructed scripted comedies of decades past, but these outtakes suggest it’s an especially egregious example. After years of Anchormans, Dinner for Schmuckses, Get Him to the Greekses and Knocked Upses, maybe it’s time for comedies to try writing some actual jokes again.

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