The internet basically exploded when word came along that Ghostbusters was getting rebooted. Not only was a beloved movie getting the reboot treatment, but *gasp* the cast was to be comprised of… women! If hearing that news is the worst thing that happens to you in your day, then, to be honest, you really have no reason to complain. But the world being what it is, the hate and vitriol started almost immediately. Rotten Tomatoes has been inundated with 1-star reviews for months before the movie even released, but then a funny thing happened… people started to actually watch the movie. Sure, some of the feedback has been negative, but most have been at least accepting, if not completely positive. Now that moviegoers will be able to go see Ghostbusters for themselves, the question on many a mind might be “should I go see it?” Keep reading this review to see what one humble moviegoer thinks.
I want to get this out of the way right from the very beginning: I have not, up until this point, been a huge fan of Kristen Wiig — though I thought she did a great job as Annie Montrose in The Martian. Melissa McCarthy has been hit or miss for me as well. I didn’t particularly like Bridesmaids, which stars Wiig and McCarthy, and was directed by Ghostbusters writer and director Paul Feig. You’d think with that sort of track record I might just want to skip this film entirely, but I’m honestly glad I didn’t. This isn’t some sort of high theatre, or a movie meant to make you think. It is an action/comedy and it hits both of those notes well. As per usual, I don’t plan on including any spoilers in this review, though I will obviously talk about some story and character elements throughout.
Our movie starts with a tour of an old New York mansion, said to be the only one that was untouched — both inside and out — from its heyday. The tour guide (Silicon Valley‘s Zach Woods) explains its haunted past, and before completing the tour manages to spook a couple of the tour attendees. He then learns just how haunted the house really is. We then cut to Wiig’s Erin Gilbert, preparing for a lecture at Columbia University. She is approached by Ed Mulgrave (Ed Begley Jr.), the curator of the mansion, who has come to Gilbert for help. He had found a copy of a book she’d written in the past with Abby Yates (McCarthy) about ghosts, which Gilbert believed was not in circulation. Mulgrave explains that he was able to purchase the book on Amazon, which sends Gilbert into a bit of a panic. She has a meeting regarding her future and tenure at the university in a few days and didn’t want something so clearly “speculative” as this book finding its way into the wrong hands at the university.
That action starts to push the rest of the story into motion, and while not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, it was entertaining, and it was funny. The jokes were really on point, and I laughed quite a bit throughout the entire movie. Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann is maybe just a little bit too over the top at times, and the antagonist is somewhat forgettable all in all, but Chris Hemsworth was really very funny as Kevin the receptionist. There are plenty of nods to the original movie, and plenty of cameos as well. The special effects were good, not great. Many of the ghosts were a little bit spookier than they were back in the 80’s, though advancements in CGI since then help account for the improved visuals. There are a few parts that are even just a little bit creepy, though they’re usually sandwiched with humor to keep from overwhelming things.
This isn’t the kind of movie that is going to win a bunch of awards, but it’s honestly a fun film with a lot of laughs. Ghostbusters isn’t trying to remake a classic, though it is definitely an homage to the original film. So ignore all of the blind hate and go see this movie. There are definitely worse ways for you to spend two hours of your day. One thing I think we can all be happy about in the end, there was very little of the new theme song, only appearing in short snippets throughout the film.
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