Ghostbusters faced a huge uphill battle as it made its way to movie theaters this year. The problem is that too many people had pre-judged it before it ever hit theaters. There were the angry man-children who felt that no woman should ever step into a franchise that belongs to MEN. Those people almost ruined this movie for everyone because they wouldn’t shut up about their lack of security in their own sexuality.
The second group of dissenters are the people, like Tony Hicks above, who love the original so much that they can’t see the new movie for what it really is. The new Ghostbusters is a nice platform for some very funny women and is actually better than the original in some areas.
Sadly, I have to agree that it doesn’t quite reach the same level of excellence as the first Ghostbusters movie, but it is no fault of the women. Sorry angry man-children – the women who are now Ghostbusters are not the reason that this movie faltered. The biggest problem with Ghostbusters is that it seems like a patchwork movie, and while it might be because of the script, I feel it was more a case of uneven hands in the editing room.
Ghostbusters starts out with a fun scene where a tour guide (Zach Woods) for an old house uses tricks to make tourists believe that the house might be haunted. However, when a truly malevolent spirit shows up and attacks him, it is time to call on the Ghostbusters.
We then meet the new leads although, at the start, paranormal authors Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin (Kristen Wiig) are no longer on speaking terms. Erin is trying to get tenure at her university while Abby is investigating paranormal activities on her own at a smaller university. When the owner of the house (Ed Begley Jr.) asks Erin for help with the ghosts, she learns that Abby published their book against her objections and agrees to help Abby if she will un-publish the book.
When Abby and Erin actually see the ghost, they reconcile and immediately decide that they will reunite and investigate ghosts once again. They are joined by fellow scientist Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and a tough-as-nails New Yorker named Patty (Leslie Jones), someone who just seems to want to be part of something special and knows all the secrets of New York City’s past. They hire a dumb-as-rocks receptionist in Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), mostly because Erin thinks he is hot, and the new Ghostbusters team is ready to roll.
The plot is pretty simple. A nerdy guy named Rowan (Neil Casey), who hates the world, finds out that he can create objects (thanks to reading the book by Abby and Erin) to open up portals for ghosts to enter our world. His goal is to open portals in distinct places so that a hole can be torn in our dimension at the crosspoint which will release all the ghosts onto New York City at once. The new Ghostbusters realize what is going on but are stopped by NYC Mayor Bradley (Andy Garcia), who shuts them up to keep the city from panicking.
This is when the ghosts are unleashed and the new Ghostbusters are the only people who can stop them.
It is a good idea, and it is a great story idea, but the movie just seems to drift from scene to scene without much rhyme or reason. It is almost like Paul Feig found the best gags and then just pieced them together without bothering with transitions or leading from one scene to the next seamlessly. With a movie like Bridesmaids, that worked for Feig because it was a straight comedy. However, Ghostbusters is as much a horror as it is a comedy and needed better pacing and scene breaks, and that hurt the viewing of the movie.
However, that does not mean it was a complete failure. A lot of people loved Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann, and it is clear that she is the new Bill Murray in the franchise. I didn’t think she was as funny as some people, and felt her line delivery needs work, but I can see why others loved her. I really liked the relationship between Abby and Erin, and I feel they are what carried the movie to the heights it reached when it comes to comedy. Leslie Jones felt a little flat to me at times, but had her moments to shine as well.
Chris Hemsworth stole most of the scenes he was in as Kevin. Sure, most of his scenes were just one-liners, but there were some very funny moments with him and I don’t think I can ever look at Thor seriously again after seeing Hemsworth as Kevin.
The one big way that the new Ghostbusters movie really stole the show was in the final battle with the ghosts. The first Ghostbusters movie did what they could, especially with Stay Puft, but this one just pulled out all the stops. Sure, some people hate CGI, but I thought the final battle with the women fighting all the ghosts was a brilliant and very fun scene. This was something that really helped me forget a lot of the choppiness that led to the climax and made some of it forgivable.
I just hope there is a director’s cut that comes out on DVD that makes the movie flow better.
Another thing to look at here when it comes to old Ghostbusters fans are the cameos. I thought they were mostly distracting and weren’t needed outside of just paying tribute to the original movie. Bill Murray showed up as a paranormal debunker, and he seemed bored and disinterested the entire time (and not in the charming Bill Murray sardonic way). Dan Aykroyd got a one-liner, Ernie Hudson showed up at the end, and Sigourney Weaver got her chance in a mid-credits scene. Annie Potts was even there in a scene at the hotel.
I had heard about the Harold Ramis cameo (he died in 2014) but I didn’t actually catch it. For those interested, there is a bust outside of Erin’s office of Ramis. Also, watch out for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Slimer, and a post-credit scene with another of the legendary ghosts.