Who would have thought that after the division that occurred between fans and critics after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, that Ghostbusters would be the most talked about film of 2016? The chatter about this film has gone all the way back to its announcement. The fact that fans would not be getting a proper Ghostbusters III but rather a reboot really riled fans of the 1984 original. There were also some who took umbrage with the casting of four women in the lead roles. Then there was the first trailer which I’ll be honest, didn’t do the film and favors. Also the new theme song by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot is pretty awful. So with its release on the horizon people did not expect anything out of this film. I approached it no differently than any other reboot in this day and age. To my surprise I had quite a good time with this movie and really had some fun.
The story begins when Erin Gilbert (Kristin Wiig) reaches out to her old collegue Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) following the release of a book they wrote on the supernatural years prior. Together with fellow scientist Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and former MTA worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) the four women take on the role of cleaning up the city of New York from the paranormal as the Ghostbusters.
It’s undeniable that this 2016 interpretation uses the original film as a framework. Is it the best decision? Maybe not. I do feel if it tried to do so much to establish its own identity that wouldn’t resonate with people already irritated that this film even exists. So I commend director Paul Feig for just doing what he can. There’s a bit of fan service which includes cameos from the principles of the original cast minus Rick Moranis and the late Harold Ramis who passed away in 2014.
I love the original Ghostbusters film, but maybe since that doesn’t have quite the impact for me as it does for others, the similarities between it and this reboot do not bother me. It actually helped me enjoy it more because I had something familiar in front of me.
I loved the humor in this film. Each actress has their moments to make the crowd laugh and not all the funny moments were in the trailer as is the case with a lot of comedy films. The standouts of the cast are Kate McKinnon’s eccentric inventor Holtzmann and Chris Hemsworth’s ditzy receptionist Kevin (Hemsworth really should consider doing more comedy. He has the timing for it).
The film’s climax is typical blockbuster fare. Lots of action. Lots of CGI. At this point the mere presence of CGI at the end of a film doesn’t count as a negative for me unless it sort of changes the tone of what the film was (an example being the 3rd act of The Shallows). And since this film isn’t going for any sense of realism, I can let it go and just enjoy the ride.
Ghostbusters is not an abominable sin upon cinema as the sentiment leading up to its release would have you think. Does it reach the highs of the original film? Not at all. Did I enjoy it more than the sequel? Maybe. As far as sci-fi comedies go, it’s harmless summer fun and I laughed and I had a great time. I hope these ladies get another shot.
Final Rating (3.5/5) Good laughs, good action. Not a very strong story on its own. Fun times.