ghostbusters Movie Review
ghostbusters Movie Review Metadata
Ghostbusters is the kind of summer movie I would see twice, that’s how much fun I had. I want to cosplay Holtzmann because I had that much fun. There are a lot of 2-star ratings for this movie, mostly from people who complain a reboot wasn’t necessary, or they don’t like Melissa McCarthy, or WHY WOMEN. There are a lot of haters out there. They can take their whiny angst and find a dark corner of the Internet to rend their clothes and cry about feminism and politically correct casting until their fingers bleed. Hush, child.
For everyone else:
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live) is trying for tenure in the physics department at a prestigious university, but she’s got a few obstacles ahead of her. One, the glass ceiling she needs to break is made of tempered glass, and B, she once wrote a book on the existence of the paranormal with her good friend Abby (Melissa McCarthy, Gilmore Girls) which comes to bite her on the ass. Abby meanwhile has moved on with her own research in the basement of a for-profit university, employing the unhinged assistance of Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live) a nuclear engineer and inventor.
All it take is one profound experience to convince Erin they were always on the right track and thus is born the “Department of the Metaphysical Examination” above a Chinese carryout. Look, they wanted the firehouse, but it was stupid amounts of rent and everyone is pretty much out of a job. Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live) is self-taught local historian who’s experienced a brush with the paranormal. With her intimate knowledge of the City and its past, the quartet is complete.
Meanwhile – there is always a meanwhile – Rowan (Neil Casey, Inside Amy Schumer), a doormat turned apocalyptic conduit is juicing the resident spectres. He’s laying the groundwork for something bigger to bring about the end of the world. No, not Zuul, but don’t worry, it’s just as damaging.
Of course there are obstacles – like questions of their credibility, or their receptionist (Chris Hemsworth, Thor (2011)) being dumber than a box of hair – but beyond that is creative mayhem, loyalty and a very strong conviction that they are doing the right thing. Ghostbusters isn’t some feel good, girl-power flick. No one is going to get weepy over some guy or ruined make up and there won’t be some slow walk shoe montage. This isn’t a Cinderella story where glasses fall off and everyone sees how stunning their jumpsuits really are.
Come to think of it, this movie may actual pass the Bechel test (I haven’t thought too long about this, so I could be way off).
But that’s not why it’s a good time. Katie Dippold (Parks and Recreation) and Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks) crafted a script that is a stand-alone original yet feels familiar. It’s sprinkled with cameos that definitively pass the torch. I found it light and funny and clever. The comedy wasn’t over the top. The jump scares were liberally applied. I was delighted with the action sequences and the over-all camaraderie of the cast.
This isn’t a reboot.
This is a continuation of the franchise. You can harp all day about the all-woman cast but it makes you sound silly and backwards.
Oh but what about Melissa McCarthy, you say. I know, you’re itching for a fight. I can’t give you one.
Here’s the thing about McCarthy – I don’t frankly care for her much either. I find her default characters brash and rude and dangerously ignorant. Ghostbusters give us Abby Yates, and while still a basic McCarthy Template, she’s is wide-eyed, curious, enthusiastic. The over-the-top slapstick seen in The Boss is gone (thank the gods above). She blends with the rest of the cast instead of struggling to be the center of it. Wiig’s Gilbert isn’t so uptight she can poop diamonds and it’s refreshing to see a woman play a character that can be both business-minded as well as fun. McKinnon’s Holtzman is the right mix of sociopathic and bonkers to pull off passionate inventor. Jones’s Patty doesn’t play the token card, isn’t by the numbers sassy, and is an integral part of the team.
Think about that – when you see the 1984 Ghostbusters promos and posters, you see three guys. Often that fourth guy (the Black guy, I’ll say it) is an afterthought.
2016’s Ghostbusters turns the trio into the quartet it was supposed to be, and it works.
I don’t want to ruin the surprises, but there are enough nods to the original so you know this story was built on the strong shoulders of the Ackroyd, Murray, Ramis (and the nearly written out Hudson).
Stick around to the very end. There are multiple credit sequences. Just when you think they’ve missed someone, oh my, there they are, and you smile big.
Look, you can spend a lot of time hating this movie you won’t bother seeing (because OMG WIMMEN and RUINED CHILDHOOD and WHAT ABOUT MY FEELS), and honestly, that’s your prerogative.
It’s ridiculous, but your prerogative.
So hey – rage on, little snowflake. Go put on your vintage Slimer t-Shirt, drink your Ecto-Cooler juice box and watch the original Ghostbusters until your VHS tape breaks. The rest of us are heading back for a second viewing. Maybe a third.
Ghostbusters is rated PG-13 (but not for language, also refreshing) for supernatural action and some crude humor.
This is a big recommend from me and I can’t wait for the sequel.