REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

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2016, Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company

Director:
Paul Feig
Producers:
Ivan Reitman
Amy Pascal
Writers:
Ivan Reitman (original film)
Dan Aykroyd (original film)
Harold Ramis (original film)
Katie Dippold (screenplay)
Paul Feig (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Robert D. Yeoman
Editing:
Melissa Bretherton
Brent White

Cast:
Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates)
Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert)
Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan)
Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzmann)
Chris Hemsworth (Kevin)
Neil Casey (Rowan North)
Karan Soni (Bennie)
Charles Dance (Harold Filmore)
Ed Begley Jr. (Ed Mulgrave)
Andy Garcia (Mayor Bradley)
Cecily Strong (Jennifer Lynch)
Bill Murray (Dr. Martin Heiss)
Annie Potts (Hotel Desk Clerk)
Ernie Hudson (Patty’s Uncle)
Dan Aykroyd (Cab Driver)
Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Rebecca Gorin)

With the support of original cast and crew, the Ghostbusters are back, this comprised of some of the top females of comedy today. While it may not live up to the original, for a “reboot”, it’s surprisingly not as bad as people want to think it is.

Years ago, Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates were childhood friends who always believed in ghosts and even wrote a book on the subject. However, Gilbert has shied away from her beliefs to become a quantum physics teacher at Columbia University and she is due to get her tenure. However, when she learns that Abby had put the book up on Amazon after the historian of a museum informs her his museum may be haunted, she intends to confront her. However, with new partner Jillian Holtzmann, Abby convinces Erin to go to the museum. They soon learn that the ghost is real! Erin loses her tenure and job, but finds herself joining Abby and Jillian to track more ghosts.

Enter Patty Tolan, a NYC Subway worker who has experienced a ghost in the subway. After showing the trio what she has seen, Patty joins the trio with the benefits of providing them with new suits and a vehicle in the form of a hearse. As the group, nicknamed “Ghostbusters” by the media, begin to make waves, there are the detractors. However, they soon learn that one person is responsible for the recent wave of apparitions in the city and they must stop this person before they unleash more havoc all over the city.

Upon hearing of a reboot of the 1984 classic film, fans were more than ticked off and if that wasn’t bad enough, the trailer was one of the most disliked on YouTube. The idea, coming from franchise creators Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman, who opted not to do a third film after Bill Murray refused to return and the tragic death of Harold Ramis in 2014, was to reboot. It is a rarity that reboots or remakes will ever live up to its source film. While this will no doubt fail to live up to its original, as a reboot (where the source plot is known but with a dose of freshness to the story), it is not completely bad.

Co-writer and director of the new film, Paul Feig, lived up to his promise and cast four of the top female comic actors today. They include Melissa McCarthy, who once again shows her comic wit as Abby Yates, the female equivalent of Dan Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz. Kristen Wiig’s Erin Gilbert is a conflicted character at first, but seems to be the most underdeveloped of the group perhaps due to her conflicting nature and attempt to be the more serious member of the team, even if she gets the most slimed out of the group.

However, the real driven comedy comes in the forms of current SNL stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as Holtzmann and Tolan, who one becomes so stoked with becoming a Ghostbuster and is the techie of the group and the most outspoken member of the bunch. In a nod to the 1980’s cartoon series inspired from the original film, McKinnon sports a hairstyle similar to the cartoon’s Egon Spengler. Sadly, another flaw is that Leslie Jones’ most hilarious bits were pretty much already seen in the trailers of the film, yet for some reason, when seeing it all mesh together on film, it still is laugh out loud funny. Add to the mix Chris Hemsworth, who once again proves he is capable of playing a comic role with his bumbling and not-so-bright receptionist Kevin, who’s more into his looks and not his intellect.

It is clear that in a move similar to the recent reboot of 21 Jump Street, the original cast members have lent their support by making cameos in the new film. A bust in tribute to the late Ramis can be seen in the film with the only original cast member who had returned was Rick Moranis, who is contemplating a comeback to films but opted not to return here. Bill Murray once again brings his comic wit as a debunker of the Ghostbunkers while Dan Aykroyd can be seen as a cab driver during the fun-filled final confrontation scene. Ernie Hudson has a small cameo as Patty’s uncle, Annie Potts as a hotel desk clerk, and a mid-credits cameo by Sigourney Weaver just proves that some fans may not like the idea of a reboot, but the originals are all for it.

The female-led Ghostbusters may have some flaws in rebooting a classic, but it’s not truly as bad as some may lead to believe. Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth definitely drive the movie’s comic elements of the film with some ample support by Melissa McCarthy and the original cast members. Kristen Wiig makes the most of her underdeveloped role, but all in all, not a total dud.

WFG RATING: B-

DVD/BLU-RAY

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