Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

After what felt like for-fucking-ever, the 2016 reboot/remake of Ghostbusters finally arrived. Ever since it was announced over a year ago, it became one of the most controversial films to date, even though a movie about a farting corpse exists. The backlash seemed to stem, at first, why remake Ghostbusters? It's a classic film, just leave it alone. But we live in the era now where every movie under the sun is going to be remade so it was inevitable.

Once director Paul Feig was attached to it, then I got nervous. I'm not a huge fan of his movies but I don't hate them either. And to be fair, I haven't seen Spy nor did I finish watching the entire series of "Freaks & Geeks", which I wasn't a fan of either. Then when it was announced the main cast would comprise of women, I knew immediately Melissa McCarthy would be one. And again, I'm not a huge fan of hers. All her humor seems to be based on how weird and awkward she is. Which is OK once but every time?

Little by little, more details came out and the rest of the cast was announced. I love Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon is awesome on "SNL", and Leslie Jones was a surprise announcement but I liked it. So 3/4th's of the cast I was on board with. So I was willing to give it a shot.

Fast forward a bit and a trailer was released. The trailer consisted of gross out humor and what looked like crappy CGI effects. It's a terrible trailer. So naturally people hated it. And what made this unfair was a certain group of people said that people only hated it because it starred 4 women and had nothing to do with how the movie looked. And these same people said if you hated the trailer and refused to see it, it's because you hated women.

I've seen plenty of movie trailers, both with all men and all women, and said "I will be skipping that movie because I'm not interested." I'm sure lots of people have done that. I'm not sure what makes this movie so different. But I've said since that trailer was released that I will wait to reserve any judgement until I see the movie and I was still willing to give it a chance.

I finally got to see it last night.

First, let's get the plot out of the way. Kristen Wiig plays Erin, a professor at Princeton who's up for tenure. But a book she wrote with Melissa McCarthy's character Abby years ago about ghosts and how they're real suddenly resurfaces and Erin, who's a science professor, knows this will ruin her chance of tenure cause everyone will think she's crazy, gets nervous.

So Erin tracks down Abby, whom she hasn't spoken to in years, at a community college where she studies the paranormal alongside Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), who is an engineer and knows how to make awesome ghost catching equipment. While encountering Abby, Erin mentions that a guy who runs a museum found a ghost haunting it and wanted them to look into it, which they immediately jump at the chance to.

After the encounter with the ghost goes viral, Erin is fired and she, Abby, and Jillian decide to actually form the "Ghostbusters". They hire Chris Hemsworth, who plays Kevin, a super dumb guy to be their receptionist and they meet Patty (Leslie Jones) when she tells them about a ghost she saw in the subway. They find out that some guy is letting ghosts into our world because he's been rejected his entire life and this is way to get back at the world.

This Ghostbusters not only features cameos from, well, all the living members from the original films, but a lot of nods to it as well. Including the catchphrase and even locations. This movie also feels very 2016 with the movie taking it's time telling us the origin of the Ghostbusters instead of the 1984 version which had them start out then get famous for catching ghosts and now they're known worldwide.

The movie did make some clever use of the things from the old film, including making the ghost in the Ghostbusters logo an actual ghost they have to bust. There are some pretty funny moments and I'm happy to say that Melissa McCarthy's usual "schtick" isn't in the film and for the most part she plays it straight or at times dead pan, which works out so much better. The acting is great and honestly, all four ladies did an amazing job with this film. They had a lot of great action scenes and the scene stealer was Kate McKinnon.

Her character is so quirky and weird that it becomes too much but turns itself back around and makes us love her again. And she had the MOST BADASS FIGHT SCENE in the movie, it actually made the audience I saw this with cheer when it was over. And for anyone worried about Leslie Jones being over the top, she just tows the line but manages to reel it in before it becomes too obnoxious.

Whoever made the trailers for this movie should be fired because it doesn't represent this movie at all. They could've included some better jokes and not focus too much on the gross out humor, which there wasn't that much of. To anyone who doesn't want to see this movie for whatever reason, you should seriously reconsider it. Is it the greatest movie in the world? No. But it's a summer popcorn flick and in that regard, it does it's job. I hope they make a sequel cause I'm dying to see where they go from here.

Speaking of, stay throughout the entire credits, there's an interesting scene at the end.

4 stars.
-Jason

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