REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbuster's Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

Deepest apologies to all the haters, but this year’s reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise wasn’t the catastrophe that they all professed it to be. It was not a catastrophe at all. This new Ghostbuster movie was wildly entertaining and maintained the spirit of the original while still carving out its own place in the franchise.

The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS.

Here are a few things I enjoyed about this movie. [Spoiler free, of course];

1) The humor, pacing, and even the subtlety of some of the jokes definitely fall in line with the style of the original Ghostbusters. Some of the laughs were so solid that the laughter from the audience drowned out the succeeding jokes. Anytime your laughs overlap each other; you can call that joke a win.

2) The characters are all extremely likable. The dynamics between them work well considering they aren’t even a team at the beginning. There’s some evolution before they become any sort of team.

3) Cameos, cameos everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled because everybody (and I mean everybody) gets one. You’ll find them in some unexpected places. A question many have asked themselves – how do these characters connect to their 1984 counterparts? You’ll have to watch the film to find out. It’s a fun kind of video scavenger hunt.

Director Paul Feig and DP Robert Yeoman on the set of Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

Director Paul Feig and DP Robert Yeoman on the set of Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS.

4) Callbacks are plentiful. They aren’t afraid to remind the audience that there are roots shared between this movie and 1984’s Ghostbusters. Some reboots are a little ham-fisted with their callbacks, while this rendition of Ghostbusters balances honoring the source material while not particularly pandering to the existing fanbase.

5) There are no Mary Sues in this movie. In the quest for writing a screenplay with strong female leads, or in this case, an ensemble of strong female leads; writers can sometimes make the characters infallible, untouchable, and in many cases too good to be true. While on paper it may seem to work, the end result is often detrimental to the characters. As they are many times portrayed as immortal superwomen who can handle any situation they’re thrown into.

Ghostbuster's Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.

Ghostbuster’s Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS.

In the case of this iteration of Ghostbusters, I actually was concerned for the safety of the characters. Several parts had me guessing as to whether we were going to lose a member of the team. That, in itself, is the antithesis of a Mary Sue. I’m very glad they found their balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is merely a handful of elements that I enjoyed about Ghostbusters. Overall, I can’t recommend this movie enough. It’s smart, clever, and very funny. All the elements that made the original film a darling amongst many of us 80s babies – it’s definitely worth watching.

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