Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016)

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I got around to seeing the new Ghostbusters movie this weekend; I spelled out in my previous post about how I went from uninterested to wanting to see it.  So was it worth the impulse purchase of tickets?  Were the ‘bro’ naysayers right in their judging without seeing of the film?  Is it sequel worthy?  Am I afraid of any ghosts?  Yes, no, yes, and……of course!  Anyhow….

Synopsis:  Three scientists – Erin Gilbert, Abby Yates, and Jillian Holtzman (played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon respectively) parlay their theories about the paranormal (after those theories get them fired from their university jobs) into full time work fighting and capturing ghosts, and bring in a subway station worker Patty (Leslie Jones) to help them.  Meanwhile a pissed off custodian Rowan North (Neil Casey) has been planting devices to trigger paranormal events in an effort to open up a portal and flood the world with ghosts.  While figuring out how they’re going to get their business off the ground the ladies also have to find out what Rowan is up to and stop him.

The Good

  • The cameos – All the surviving original film cast members (except Rick Moranis) had cameos in the film, and they were very creatively done.  Instead of reprising their old roles everybody got to do something new and in some cases utter one of the phrases that made the original film such a classic.  None of them felt forced or squeezed into the film and they were in there just long enough for you to appreciate them without taking over the movie.
  • The references – As you would expect the movie is full of call backs to the original, and there’s always a danger with a remake of copying the old one too much.  They avoided that here very well, with some well placed head fakes in some situations.  Some things warrant reinventing the wheel and some don’t, and they found the right balance here.
  • Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones – If you haven’t heard by now, McKinnon and Jones steal the film.  The two bigger names, Wiig and McCarthy, played it a lot straighter than in their previous solo films and a result Kate and Leslie got to step in and handle the funny stuff.  These two may have just kicked their own major movie careers off they were that good here.

The bad

Not much really.  It’s a comedy, and a movie full of jokes always has some that don’t work for you.  I’m not a big fan of Wiig; she looks like she’s trying too hard for me sometimes.  Rowan could have been fleshed out more as a villain for my tastes; he didn’t have the kind of presence that Zuul had in the original film and often didn’t seem like a real match for the heroines.  But that’s it.

Other stuff

You can’t talk about this movie without addressing all the bros who made a concerted effort to crap on the movie before it was even released.  How you can be upset enough to swamp message boards, write thinkpieces, drop negative reviews on IMDB etc about this while those lame remakes of Point Break and Total Recall were allowed to come and go is beyond me.  I gotta say it was really satisfying to enjoy this movie and see that so many other people liked it, too.  That’s how annoying these people were.  These dudes probably wanted a Charlies Angels-esque take with sexy Ghostbuster suits and everything.  Sorry fellas I’m sure there are some websites out there you can look up for that kind of thing.

Overall grade: 8/10

Good movie overall.  It wasn’t as epic as the original, largely because they seemed to err on the side of not trying to do too much.  But it’s funny, entertaining, and worth your money for a ticket.  More importantly, after seeing it I’m all in for a sequel  Definitely go check it out.

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