Why Ghostbusters might just be the surprise movie of the summer


Since the announcement of the re-imagined Ghostbusters, people were criticizing it. Fans of the originals were claiming it will ruin the originals, or at least the first one. Now whether this was just because it was cast with an all-female cast or because it was the simple fact they didn’t like the cult classic being touched is up in the air. Honestly, I think it was a bit of both.

I must admit I was skeptical myself. Not because I wasn’t a fan of the cast. On the contrary, I thought the casting was great. What I was worried about was that it would try too hard to be the other movies. The jokes would be the same, the plot would be the same, the overall story would be the same. However, when I went to see it for myself, I was pleasantly surprised and I think fans will, too.

Let’s start with the characters. I tried to keep an open mind going into the movie, but I couldn’t help the fear that they were going to copy and paste the characters from the first ones and shoehorn a gender bend on them. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Of course you had the same tropes: the brainiac, the “jump right in” personality, the just a little off her rocker, and the comedy relief. The way they cast these roles was perfect. Kristin Wig’s awkward humor was perfect for the role of the brainiac. Kate McKinnon dug into her SNL roots and pulled off the wacky, crazy Holtzman. Melissa McCarthy played the optimistic character with a “can do” attitude that was sweet, but you knew she could get it done. Of course Leslie Jones was the comedy relief, and she played that role perfectly. Her timing was perfect, the humor fit and didn’t seem forced at all. The only casting that seemed a bit off was Chris Hemsworth as the clumsy, airhead of an assistant. Hemsworth just doesn’t play weak, clumsy, or stupid well, so why they cast him is a bit of a mystery. That aside, the characters fit well into the story and stood on their own. They didn’t lean on the reused jokes or humor of previous movies.

The plot, however, is sort of a mixed bag. Of course when you are making a new version of the Ghostbusters, you don’t want to stray too far away from the source material while at the same time not leaning on it. With that in mind, there are understandably some cross points such as taking place in New York, ghosts trying to destroy the city, only the Ghostbusters can stop them, and of course, everyone thinks they are a joke until they save the city. I’m okay with that, though, and I think fans will be, too. There are enough differences in the story that keep it separate. What I did have a problem with were the plot holes that came across as somewhat sloppy editing to save time. We all know that not every scene shot makes it into the movie, which is understandable due to budget and many different hands involved. The result can be unnoticeable, or in this case, very noticeable. One example is how Holtzman continues to come up with weapons with seemingly no time to work on them. All of a sudden she has more and they’re better than the last ones. Another scene is where one character has seemingly left the team for an unexplained reason, only to save the day in the 11th hour. I think most people will be able to overlook those, but it does give a vibe of not paying attention in post production.

Lastly, I want to mention the nods to the originals. Another big fear that I believe I shared with the majority of fans was the cheap attempts to insert references to the movies in an attempt to appease fans. I waited for the whole movie to hear “Don’t cross the streams!” And you know what? It wasn’t said once and I loved it. Of course there were subtle and less subtle nods such as appearances from all living original Ghostbusters in various roles, the original receptionist, and even Sigourney Weaver had a cameo. When looking for their headquarters, they actually looked at a firehouse that looked very similar to the original. There were others, but I would rather leave some a surprise. As a fan of the original Ghostbusters, I was pleased with the nods and the utter lack of imitation.

Overall this was a great movie. Tons of laughs, fun story, and just the right amount of nostalgia. Though there were some blatant plot holes, I believe audiences will be able to overlook them and just enjoy the movie for what it is. One critic said that fans of the originals should check their nostalgia at the door in order to enjoy this movie. I don’t think that is the case at all. If anything fans should keep it to appreciate the nods throughout. This movie isn’t a sequel and I wouldn’t even call it a reboot. It is best described as a re-imagining of the story we love. Will it win any awards? Probably not, but it is just a fun summer movie and there is nothing wrong with that.

Final Rating: 4 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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