Ah! I finally got to see it! I have been looking forward to this one for a number of reasons. My first reason is because Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies of all time. I adore Ghostbusters! It is my childhood with some of my favorite actors of all time and one of my favorite directors of all time. It is, without a doubt, a perfect movie. So when I heard that the Ghostbusters remake was coming out I was hoping that it could capture just a little bit of the magic that the original created for future generations to become hooked and watched the original as well. Second, I wanted to see a movie that could show the legacy of Harold Ramis, an amazing human being who tragically passed away a few years ago. Third, I was wondering how the movie would work after the abysmal trailer that was released earlier in the year. Fourth, I was hoping that the movie was going to be good just to shut a lot of people up who take remakes far too personally. Don’t get me wrong, I can be someone calling for movies to be left alone as much as the next guy. But I am not one who is going to dismiss a movie as trash before even seeing the movie in the first place. After seeing the movie, I have to say that I am glad to say that this was one of the best movies I have seen so far in 2016.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is an associate professor at Columbia University who is looking to become tenured at the prestigious college. However, things turn sour when they learn that Gilbert released a book with her friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) based on the scientific reasoning behind ghosts. Erin is fired from Columbia and Abby as well as her eccentric friend and engineer, Holtzman (Kate McKinnon), are released from their college after the Dean learned that they “still existed.”
Not letting this stop them, the group are able to see a ghost for real and decide to go into business for themselves. Working over a Chinese restaurant, the Ghostbusters are created to study and hunt the paranormal. While the Ghostbusters flourish, a young janitor named Rowan (Neil Casey) is creating devices that amplify paranormal activity to potentially start the apocalypse.
I am not typically a fan of Melissa McCarthy, I typically could care less about a lot of what Kristen Wiig does in movies, and I wasn’t much aware of Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon before this movie. But I’ll be damned, the combination of the four made for a perfect blend of intelligent comedy that was enjoyable and funny. Director Paul Feig is at his best when he is creating comradery among individuals and it shows in this film. The relationship between Abby and Erin is touching and understandable. You can see how Holtzman’s eccentric magnetism draws Abby and Holtzman together. Patty does an excellent job as the grounded voice of reason. She, just like the inspired Winston Zeddemore, does a great job at grounding the eccentric and academic attitude of her three colleagues.
Chris Hemsworth is perfect in his role and absolutely hilarious as the dim witted eye candy that Erin cannot help but be obsessed with his hunky sexiness. Hell, I can’t help but be obsessed with Chris Hemsworth’s hunky sexiness. Who wouldn’t? He is perfect mix of dimwitted charisma and surprisingly cerebral thinking as he continues to surprise you with just how many ways he can screw up the most simplistic of tasks.
The villain, writer Neil Casey who plays Rowan, is a wonderful villain who plays foil to the four. It is a surprisingly well written juxtaposition between Rowan and Abby and Erin. The three were picked on when they were kids for being “weird” and they looked to ghosts as an outlet for the aggression pushed towards them. But while Erin and Abby went into the worlds of academia, Rowan decided to use the paranormal to open a gateway into our world, start the “4th Cataclysm”, and try to destroy humanity… Everyone needs a hobby, right?
To put it simply, the casting of this movie is simply superb and was a set of perfect decisions across the board.
I loved every second of it! All of the original cast, save for Rick Moranis who has retired from all movies and video game appearances made appearances in the movie. Even Harold Ramis’s bust made an appearance in Columbia University which almost brought a tear to my eye when I saw it. Bill Murray was great in his role as the naysaying skeptic and, just as he demanded, he was killed in the movie which I thought was absolutely perfect. Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver all make cameo appearances in which I geeked out hard each time they appeared on screen. Their cameos made sense, did not take me too far out of the moment of the movie, and was a great way to include the original actors in the movie without making a potential “sequel” look like a tragic geriatric show similar to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The movie does have a tangential relation to the original, sure. The three academic minded people are kicked out of their job due to hunting ghosts. They go into business for themselves. Bill Murray plays the Walter Peck like character who just seems to want to kill the mood. Leslie Jones plays Patty who is the working class voice of reasons similar to Winson Zeddemore. Finally, there is a gigantic thing that threatens to destroy all of New York City and the world. Yes, there are some tangential connections between the two scripts. But, unlike Star Wars: The Force Awakens which was close to being a shot for shot remake of the original A New Hope, Ghostbusters manages to create a script that pays homage to its muse but does not recreate the entire movie.
The four characters have unique relationships with one another that benefits Paul Feig’s directing style. While each character may fit a similar archetype that Spengler, Stantz, Venkman, and Zeddemore filled, they are completely different and unique people with different needs, desires, and backstories. The villain is completely new and inventive. The movie does an excellent job at making sure the person watching knows it is a Ghostbusters movie but writes a script that is entirely its own entity.
It Doesn’t Compare to the Original… Obviously
I’m just going to address the elephant in the room. Is this movie better than the original? No, of course it isn’t. The original Ghostbusters is a perfect movie. Easily deserving of the perfect 5/5. You cannot top perfection. The 2016 Ghostbusters DOES NOT top the original. It is not better than the original. This is just a fact. You may enjoy it more than the original, but it simply cannot compete with it. The original is a classic in cinema and will be considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. Some would say it IS the greatest comedy of all time!
The 2016 Ghostbusters doesn’t compete and tragically, because you remake a classic, it will always be compared to it to the 2016 movie’s detriment. I can go on forever. The CGIed ghosts do not look as good as the ghosts from the first movie. They look overdone compared to the simplistic design of the originals. The original movie is better off without an extended generic fight sequence in which the characters just kick massive amounts of ass because, they can. The original doesn’t have a character who kind of takes you out of the serious moment of the potential destruction of our world by making the army and police take a disco pose. The original doesn’t have moments of line-o-rama in which people just start awkwardly talking to make a joke come out of it somewhere. To put simply the original IS BETTER!
But, I do want to take this moment to say that we all know that. I don’t think that anyone is trying to make the claim that the remake is better than the original. It seems that people I have seen are trying to find things to hate about this movie that are not there. It is the reason why Leslie Jones was harassed none stop on Twitter which is tragic and honestly despicable. It is the reason why people are claiming that the script is just a retreading of the original movie, but the same people didn’t make the AS BIG of an argument for Star Wars: The Force Awakens which was a much worse culprit than Ghostbusters 2016. All of this seems to be to protect an original from something that doesn’t need protecting and is coming from people who went into the movie already predetermined that they were going to hate it or worse yet, just didn’t see the movie at all, but still wants to complain about it. Of course this movie isn’t as good as the original. The original is perfection. It is like recreating the Mona fucking Lisa. But on its own, it is still a good movie.
Ghostbusters is rock solid. Is it a perfect movie like the original? Hell no, but it is still one of the best movies I have seen this year. The script is original with homages to the original movie, the cast is great, and the movie has received the endorsement of those of the original. It is an excellent movie that is definitely worth a watch this summer season.
Final Score 4/5
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