In 1984 Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd and Ivan Reitman delivered their baby into the world, in the form of three eccentric scientist fighting ghosts to save New York City in their new film ‘Ghostbusters.’ The supernatural comedy was an instant success and a fan favorite, causing groups of Ghostbusters to pop up all over the world making their proton packs and Ecto-mobile’s as exact replicas. The sequel came in 1989 to mixed reviews, but fans were happy to see the team back together again. For 20 years rumors have swirled and fans have eagerly awaited the next film in the franchise but the creative team couldn’t unanimously agree and nothing came to fruition until Sony Pictures bought ultimate control of Ghostbusters.
When the re-boot was announced it was met with mixed emotions, a sentiment that grew when Paul Feig announced an all female cast. Feig has proved his ability in comedy with films like ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Heat,’ and is in no doubt a capable director for a franchise like ‘Ghostbusters.’ While a fan of the franchise from my childhood and excited about the amazingly talented cast of comedians, I went in to this film less than cautiously optimistic. I was downright scared; in the wrong hands this could be cheesy and just plain bad.
Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a professor at Columbia University who’s up for tenure when a ghost from her past comes to haunt her. A book that she had written years ago with Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) attempting to prove that ghosts do exist had somehow made it’s way back on the Internet. Gilbert wanting nothing more than to make that book disappear agrees to bring Yates and her new partner Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to the location of a recent ghost sighting. When Subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) walks down the tracks and spots a ghost, she packs her things and heads straight to the women to show them there is more than one ghost and decides she’s not leaving.
Writers Katie Dippold and Feig did a fantastic job at telling their own story while staying true to the original and also managing to flesh out the characters even more so than it’s predecessor. We know how each of the women met and why, which makes the chemistry stand out even more. McCarthy and Wiig have been a comedy duo for some time and each time they get together somehow seems better than the last. But newcomers Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon steal the show. Jones plays a hard working woman who won’t take no for an answer and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. McKinnon is the quirky and eccentric scientist who’s constantly building new gadgets and is the faint ghost of Bill Murray’s character in the original. Chris Hemsworth gives the best comedic performance of his career as the dopey receptionist the girls can’t help but hire.
There are many nods to the original throughout the film and even some familiar faces. The filmmakers did a wonderful job at paying homage to not only the first film but also the fans of that film without crossing a line into it being obnoxious or a carbon copy. The ghosts and CGI where what should be expected in a film of this scale, giving a few updates to some old friends. Whether in comic mode or action these women are having a blast and it’s almost impossible not to join in on the fun and go along for the ride with them. With updates to the technology that the ‘Ghostbusters’ used in the original, the gadgets created are as exciting to see as their use taking down the ghosts. By the time you reach the ultimate showdown you are cheering along at the edge of your seats in awe of not only the action but also the impressive effects.
You will laugh and cheer and may even be scared a few times, so you may want to leave the little ones easily sacred at home, as a summer blockbuster goes you will have a blast. My only problem with the film was it’s pacing and at times some of my favorite moments fell flat because of it. I left the theatre feeling exhilarated and having had the time of my life rooting along for our new Ghostbusting team. Despite what some may think this movie isn’t made for females nor does it ever come across as a women’s movie, just like the original it is about a group of people who believe in ghosts even though no-one believes in them and despite what they are told, they come together to save New York City. All in all the new reboot, ‘Ghostbusters,’ is a complete success and everything you want in a summer blockbuster that you don’t want to miss.
‘Ghostbusters’ hits theatres everywhere tomorrow, July 15, 2016.
See you at the movies,