‘Ghostbusters’ Is Horror Comedy Gold (Spoiler-Filled Review)
No film, in recent memory, has dealt with as much shit as ‘Ghostbusters‘.
The Internet film community attacked this film with fury. Even one of the ‘Ghostbusters‘ trailers became the most disliked Youtube video of all time. Many thought the film would be dead on arrival. In a surprising twist, critics began to give ‘Ghostbusters‘ positive feedback. The words surrounding were kind ones with a more mature review standpoint. All of this drama made for one of my most anticipated viewings of the year and I thankfully was not let down.
Our new story begins with Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) working towards her tenure at Columbia University. That is until a book bout paranormal research co-written by her surfaces. She finds out Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) released it without her permission. Confronting Abby doesn’t work for Erin as she is lured into world of the supernatural and begins hunting ghosts again. Joined by Abby’s new friend Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), they encounter some serious apparitions. The girls meet subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) who joins them as the street-smarts of the team. Together, they attempt to save New York from an influx of ghosts.
Breaking Down The Film:
Simply told and properly motivated, the story was refreshing. Some parts were obviously edited out leaving more to be desired but those gaps allowed for cliched tropes to disappear. Never did unnecessary fights occur among the girls forcing the story to pause and the origin story was handled swiftly. As quick as the origin was, ‘Ghostbusters‘ did skimp out on fully developing the villain. We only briefly see Rowan North (Neil Casey) before he goes full villain, quickly switching to Kevin Beckman’s (Chris Hemsworth) body. Following that, there’s a giant ghost in the third act. You never get invested in one character before moving onto the next.
Like the original, the best part of the film is the dynamic with the team. Each Ghostbuster brings something interesting to the plate; specifically the show-stealer Kate McKinnon. Her character is this obvious lesbian bad-ass who borderlines on genius & insane. She cooks up all the gadgets and provides the most laughs. This role will place her at the top of a lot of casting director’s list. Leslie Jones also shines bright; she yells her way through some hilarious scenes.
Nostalgia was obviously going to be play a big part in the film. ‘Ghostbusters‘ has a passionate cult following and my particular screening would have audience members cheering for each wink to the original. My favorite was seeing Annie Potts return as a hotel desk clerk who can’t be bothered, similar to her receptionist character in the 1984 film. Also loved the return of Slimer. It felt like the least forced with all the ghost mayhem. But did we need a female Slimer? ‘Gremlins 2‘ anyone?
Director Paul Feig and the cast pulled it off. Tacking the gender politics and online controversy head-on, ‘Ghostbusters‘ was very self-aware. Thankfully they never got too in themselves and hit parody status but they didn’t hold back. They also didn’t allow cameos and easter-eggs to dictate every joke. If you are set on hating the film, it won’t change your mind but going into it with an open mind will allow you to see is what I think will be one of the best movies this year.