I try so very hard not to go into movies with preconceived notions of how they should be. Equally difficult a task is going into a new movie and trying to not let the reviews you’ve already read and seen influence your judgment of the film. In either case, I absolutely LOVED the new ‘Ghostbusters‘ film directed by Paul Feig and I really can’t understand all of the shade that was and still is being thrown at the movie. For example, the Chicago Sun-Times called the film “a horrifying mess.” Yikes! I have to wonder if the reviewer saw the same movie that I did? Upon learning of the reboot, I will admit that I groaned and gave the normal eye-roll to the notion of yet ANOTHER classic and iconic film being redone and shaking my fist heavenward wondering why Hollywood can’t come up with something new. That being said, this ‘Ghostbusters’ feels new! It’s not a remake nor did I really view it as a reboot as much as it was a re-imagining. There is no wondering which character was the “Venkman” of the group and which one was the “Spengler” as each of the characters truly stood on their own. I’m also glad that the plot didn’t play out in the same formula that the original film did (I’m looking at you, ‘The Force Awakens.’) It was engaging, fresh and, most importantly, FUN!
What I was most surprised by was how much more I enjoyed Kate McKinnon‘s & Leslie Jones‘ characters over Kristen Wiig‘s and Melissa McCarthy‘s. All were great, but McKinnon and Jones were both an unbridled joy to behold. It was also hilarious to see Chris Hemsworth playing the airheaded receptionist after years of seeing him in roles like ‘Thor‘, ‘In The Heart Of The Sea‘, etc. Neil Casey as the villain Rowan was also excellent. He was never over-the-top but played it as one of those everyday, run of the mill psychos who the neighbors would not doubt be seen on TV saying “He was quiet and kept to himself.” I would give a great deal of credit to Paul Feig for directing such a talented ensemble while obviously leaving each actor to run with the direction given. (This should come as no surprise to anyone who saw ‘Bridesmaids‘ but it bears repeating nonetheless.)
Paul Feig and writer Katie Dippold are also to be commended for paying proper homage to the original 1984 film while still making the new one feel new and fun in its own right. All of the original cast members (sans Rick Moranis) make wonderfully placed cameos. Even the late Harold Ramis is appropriately placed by nature of a golden bust outside the Dean’s office at Columbia University where Kristen Wiig’s character Erin is employed. We even see Slimer AND the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the new version. There are definitely a few hiccups in the film: times where a joke didn’t land or when a line from a character felt unnecessary, etc. (I chalked it up to, perhaps, bad editing more than anything else.) Overall, ‘Ghostbusters’ was probably the most fun I’ve had at the movie theater this entire summer. I would invite you to pay no heed to the haters and go see the movie immediately. Or to quote Louis Tully from the original film: “Yes, have some!”
**P.S.: STAY AROUND ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE END OF THE CREDITS**