The original Ghostbusters is my favorite movie ever. From the opening scene in the library to Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddmore, covered in marshmallow, exclaiming “I LOVE THIS TOWN!” – I absolutely love that flick. I often tell people who scoff that it’s my all-time favorite movie that the original Ghostbusters isn’t about catching ghosts. It’s about the American Dream, the entrepreneurial spirit and regular guys doing extraordinary things.
The 2016 Ghostbusters included several of those elements, with updated themes for the times, like the Department of Homeland Security posing a threat to the Ghostbusters rather than the EPA. And of course, there’s the whole all-female cast thing. Personally, I think if you’re going to let something like that bother you, you really need to think about your priorities.
Most importantly, Ghostbusters is a really fun, entertaining film. It’s the perfect summer movie. There’s just enough nostalgia to placate the hardcore fans (me), and the cameos aren’t forced at all, and they don’t pressure the new cast to emulate the original. Ghostbusters stands alone just fine. You can’t say “Kristen Wiig plays the Bill Murray role” because this reboot isn’t trying to be a remake.
Ghostbusters brings back to life a franchise and universe that has been a part of my whole life, and creates an entirely new story and a fresh perspective on hunting the paranormal. The interactions with the ghosts are different. The government’s role in discrediting the Ghostbusters is different. The dynamics between the main characters and their backstories are different. This new Ghostbusters is very much its own film.
Most surprising to me was how funny it was. I wasn’t a huge fan of the casting when it was announced, but I can’t complain after seeing them. I have never found Melissa McCarthy funny before, because every joke she told was “yup, I’m fat and I’m going to make sure to keep telling you I’m fat.” The jokes in Ghostbusters were plot-derivative and original, and McCarthy was great.
The movie starts with Zach Woods (Jared from Silicon Valley) as a tour guide, and the first victim of a haunting, like the librarian in the original Ghostbusters. I think Woods is the best character in Silicon Valley, and he starts the movie off with some good laughs and sets the tone that this movie is going to be way funnier than the trailers let on.
Chris Hemsworth plays a ditzy secretary who only gets hired for his looks (gender roles!) but ends up playing a bigger role in the end, and provides solid laughs throughout.
I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed Ghostbusters. I went in to the theater on Thursday night with an open mind, because it’s my favorite film franchise ever and I couldn’t possibly hate hearing “who ya gonna call?” in seemingly half the commercials on television, and drinking Ecto-Cooler for the first time in what has to be 20 years. But the previews for Ghostbusters didn’t look good. It looked like just another Paul Feig comedy with predictable jokes and an underwhelming plot (looking at his resume, he did quite a bit of pre-Melissa McCarthy directing of movies and shows I really liked). It was the exact opposite.
In reality, the previews completely under-sold the film. I would say they did the film a disservice, if I didn’t know how many times I’ve watched a comedy and complained “they gave away all the funny parts in the previews!”
Finally, I’ll recommend this movie to anybody who wants to enjoy two hours of a true summer comedy. If you’re a huge fan of the originals, there’s plenty in there for you, and if you want to just enjoy yourself in a movie theater for two hours, seeing Ghostbusters will satisfy you.
Oh, and stay through the credits.