Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)


Title: Ghostbusters
Release Date: 15 July 2016
Director: Paul Feig
Summary/Review:

When I heard a new Ghostbusters movie was being made I was hoping it would be 30 years later and due to turnover they had a new crew, mostly because I’m tired of reboots.  But what I think about things doesn’t really matter because the makers of this movie have managed to make a Ghostbusters film (and a Ghostbusters origin story) that is totally fresh and original. There are lots of moments that pay tribute to the 1984 original – such as the firehouse, the Ghostbusters logo, Ecto-1, Slimer, and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man – but after the first moment of recognition these things are subverted in humorous ways.  The original cast also all appear in cameo roles (even the late Harold Ramis appears as a bust). But  despite all the nostalgia this Ghostbusters stands on its own with original ideas, a terrific script, and laugh out loud lines.

What really makes Ghostbusters terrific are the characters and the actors who play them.  There’s Erin (Kristen Wiig), the academic who appears alternately awed and enthused that her lifelong belief in ghosts is vindicated.  Abby (Melissa McCarthy) is an unabashed nerd.  There’s a special place in my heart for Patty (Leslie Jones) who brings her encyclopedic knowledge of the history of New York to the team.  But pretty much every scene is stolen by Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and her blasé weirdness. The main plot involves a villain who is using the ghosts to extract revenge on people  who made fun of him growing up, which is wonderfully contrasted with the Ghostbusters who also have tortured pasts but come together in solidarity and use their “outsider” traits to benefit the common good. It also can’t be overstated how important for girls and women to see themselves represented as funny and heroic in a movie like this.
Rating: ****

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