The Ghostbusters was a popular movie franchise in the 80s as well as a popular cartoon in the early 90s. As Hollywood continues to monetize nostalgia, the newest Ghostbusters reboot was the subject of much scrutiny from idea to realization. From the casting of an all female cast, as well as the backlash from what some argued was relegation of the black character to a menial role alongside her scientist team. While some predicted that this movie would be crushed under the weight of its own expectations (read hype) Ghostbusters was a surprisingly enjoyable movie that lived up to the originals.
A few thoughts about Ghostbusters:
- Very funny – In the first act the jokes were coming at almost a machine gun pace. This movie leaned heavily on one liners and dialogue humor, there were many visual gags however the trailers showed many of them. What the trailer did not necessarily capture was the clever banter among the members of the team.
- Kate McKinnon was awesome – At one point early in the movie it seemed that Kate McKinnon would run away with the movie as the breakout star. She seemed to do for this movie what Melissa McCarthy did for Bridesmaids by bringing that very specific brand of weirdness that allowed the movie to have levels with its punchlines.
- It didn’t matter that they were women – There was a joke early in the movie that highlighted that these were women, however as the movie wore on there was nothing specific about them being women that made the movie any more or less of what it was.
- Great Chemistry – The movie seemed to operate in pairs mostly, there was banter between Mckninnon and Wiig, McCarthy and Wiig, McKinnon and Jones, and only a few times were there opportunities for all four of the women to crack jokes together on screen. This measured approach allowed for the comedy to breathe a little more and not bombard viewers with four individually funny woman attempting to steal the show. The chemistry made the movie seem like there was room for all of them to be funny successfully together
- Didn’t take itself too seriously – Many times the movie leaned into the silliness of the plot which allowed viewers to enjoy the premise that much more. Where the original movies went in a more adventure direction with comedy, this film leaned more on the comedy with adventure as the backdrop.
- Leslie Jones fit right in – while some were upset about Jones not being cast as a scientist, as the movie wore on, it didn’t seem to matter as much as they were all equals. Jones was funny, however she was not so zany that it felt shucky or jivey. Even the most questionable parts of her characterization (surmised by some from a trailer) made sense. She was enjoyable to watch.
- Unnecessary and gratuitous cameos – The cameos all felt a little forced. They pretty much felt like they were obligated to put in the celebrities that they did. It was done in a way to give each of them the spotlight that didn’t feel natural to the movie at all.
- Fun – fun just seemed to shine through the movie from the beginning to the end. There was something about watching these four women that kept viewers glued to the screen as well as being interested in what they were doing and what would happen to them next.
This movie was genuinely enjoyable albeit not perfect. However a perfect fun summer movie to keep you out of the sweltering heat. Bring your kids, but be warned there is some light ghost terrors, however the older of your kids will be able to handle it. 3.5 of 5 stars.