The original Ghostbusters came out in 1984. Who knew it was such an “untouchable” classic? The internet has somehow been outraged since the idea was first announced as if this is the first time an old film series has been kick started for modern day. And if this new film, directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy), being full of women in the leading roles is the only reason you’re against seeing it… then congratulations, you’re a sexist… because being a male was never given as a prerequisite in the original. Now that the film is finally out, it’s past time to judge this new Ghostbusters on its actual merit.
Like the original films, this one also follows three paranormal scientists and one regular, street savvy African American citizen as they band together to take out New York’s rising ghostly threats. Despite writing a book on the existence of ghosts, Physics professor, Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is trying to put her ridiculed past behind her. That is until a real ghost appears and reunites her with childhood friend, co-author and fellow ghost scientist Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). Together with Yates’ quirky engineer assistant, Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) they create ways to fight and trap the ghosts despite the New York City Mayor (Andy Garcia)’s attempts to keep the events private. With the help of MTA worker and eye witness Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), and with a not so intelligent secretary (Chris Hemsworth), they set up shot above a Chinese Restaurant as the Ghostbusters.
Even though the original film predates my existence, I grew up a fan of Ghostbusters and even had the toy play set as a kid. But I was admittedly skeptical about the film like many were as I was bombarded with goofy trailer after trailer and commercial after commercial. And in the first few minutes I almost felt like I was headed down a hokey path filled with sight gags and slime. But once all of the major players are introduced, this new Ghostbusters actually turns into hilarious summer fun. This is due, almost entirely, to the undeniable charisma and chemistry of the leading ladies.
Kristen Wiig’s socially awkward Gilbert comes off as endearing and her school girl crush on Hemsworth’s comically dumb Kevin works well. McCarthy is unsurprisingly solid in the leading role and her character’s reoccurring gag with the Chinese restaurant delivery boy (Deadpool’s Karan Soni) hits its mark every single time. Even Leslie Jones, despite being the weak link, manages to conjure up a few laugh out loud moments. But the queen of the film is Kate McKinnon. Whether it’s physical comedy or just snappy dialogue, the Holtzman character delivers every second she’s on screen and is enough to make even the surliest of movie goers chuckle.
Even the action sequence at the film’s too familiar climax manages to be exciting. Sprinkle in some hearty cameos from the original main cast and this movie does enough to make for hearty entertainment even if it is something we’ve seen before. The only glaringly bad thing about the movie is the awful remix of the original theme done by Fall Out Boy. It isn’t as good as the first Ghostbusters, but who said it had to be? This movie has enough in its cast to be enjoyed on its own without having to be compared side by side to a film that is over 20 years old. So if you’re a fan or a newcomer that’s willing to see a movie before you judge it and if you’re more interested in comedic timing rather than the actors’ chromosomes, then this new Ghostbusters should be time well spent.
FINAL GRADE: B