Director: Paul Feig
Screenwriter: Paul Feig and Katie Dippold
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 116 minutes
Release Date: July 15, 2016
It’s easy to see why a reboot of a film like Ghostbusters could be met with such resistance. But that resistance has to come from the right place, otherwise it will sound like white noise. Now that we live in such a progressive period of time, we are more likely to see changes that would fuel such a resistance, and it’s no surprise that we are seeing that in Paul Feig‘s reboot, Ghostbusters.
The 1984 original film is such a classic film for many of us who have either lived during that time or have watched it on home video and learned of its existence through the two animated series. There is also the 1989 sequel, as well as board games, comic books, and video games, all of it based on the success of the franchise. Until now, there really hasn’t been any changes to the franchise, and as such there will be those who will probably have a strong attachment to the two films they are very familiar with. Which brings me back to the idea of resistance. No matter how you spin it, no matter how great it is, no matter how funny, there will be those who will not welcome this film with open arms. And that is the wrong way to approach it. The new Ghostbusters film, while flawed, is funny — very funny. It is one of those rare reboot comedies that’s sharp and clever, and isn’t afraid to make fun of itself or acknowledge some of those critics who may have been vocal about not wanting to see the film since it was first announced. The full review of 2016’s Ghostbusters is here below.
Erin Gilberg (Kristen Wiig) is on the cusp of getting her tenure at a prestigious university when from out of nowhere a failed paranormal phenomenon book she co-wrote with Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) reappears on Amazon. Erin is forced to confront Abby to put a stop to this so that she can protect her reputation. However, when a believer suspects that an apparition has appeared in a local haunted house tour, together with Yate’s eccentric engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon, they discover that ghosts are real. And they aren’t the only ones who believe. MTA worker/history buff Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) witnesses a ghost in a subway line and contacts the three to see if they can do something about it. As more ghosts start to appear in New York City, the group is forced to increase their staff, and bring in Patty as well as the dim-witted Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) to work as the Ghostbusters’ receptionist.
Regardless of this review, you have probably made up your mind on whether or not you are going to see the movie. And if you are of the group that isn’t going to because for any number of reasons, but mainly because it’s a female cast, then that is a bit unfortunate and it’s definitely the wrong reason to not see the movie. And if you are still content with it, if you still adamantly believe that you are not going to see it because you think its not funny or that the four female leads are not funny, then this review cannot change your mind. This isn’t the only positive review of the film that is out there, so don’t even try to convince me that the movie isn’t funny. Because it is, and there’s plenty of other people who think it is, too.
Now, there are a few flaws within this film, namely portions of the second act that just disrupt the fluidity that the first act worked so hard to create. The entire build-up from the first act was just funny, with the banter just hitting you at all sides. Neil Casey‘s character could have used a lttle more work as the film, as it seemed to gloss over why the creepy character was motivated to unleash ghosts upon New York Cty. But one of the film’s saving graces comes from the chemistry that Wiig and McCarthy share. We’ve seen the two do this before in Feig’s Bridesmaids, and that chemistry has obviously spilled over onto Ghostbusters. Jones is definitely not a token black character in the film, and Feig and Dippold obviously knew better than to write a character like that. Instead, Jones’ Patty is a proud MTA (that’s NYC transit) employee who also happens to be a history buff. She knows the historical context of every building, which is very important to the story, and you will see why if you choose to watch it. McKinnon is also one of those leads who deserves more screen time than she gets. As Jillian, McKinnon brings her oddly hilarious sensibilities from SNL, at times making funny faces, saying strange things, and randomly lip-syncing to DeBarge’s “Rhythm of the Night.” But that can also be a bit of a weakness since there isn’t much else for her character than just doing random things. Still, it’s funny, and somehow it works.
Despite some of the setbacks and missteps the film makes in the second act, Feig and Dippold’s script makes up for it in the action-packed third act, which has equal parts of excitement you would see in a climatic action finale that takes place in Time Square and the screenwriters’ brand of comedy and ability to bring the show to a fulfilling close.
But the fact that the film takes the idea of “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” but directs it at its critics and misogynists is really meta and great.
It’s not called Ghostbros, bro. It’s called Ghostbusters. And I highly recommend it.