[Movie Review] ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Heats ‘Em Up
The Ghostbusters are back on the big screen in a new form, transformed like Dana Barrett was into a terror dog in the original film, but the same fun spirit is still alive underneath.
The original Ghostbusters released in 1984 and starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, the late Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver is a legitimate classic of American film, one of the all time great comedies, with just enough horror and romance elements to appeal to pretty much everyone of all ages. So when the new reboot was first announced, there was some immediate backlash mainly from the most hardcore loyalist fanatics of the original, which has only grown into a venomous, hateful attack that almost sunk the movie before it was even released.
It’s unfortunate that these fans of the original can’t just sit back and take the reboot for what is, a loving ode to a classic that is plenty funny in its own right, while admittedly probably unnecessary unless of course you consider all the little girls who picked up lightsabers after The Force Awakens and will now be rocking proton packs this Halloween, thanks to the stellar casting of four really talented females in the new lead roles.
Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, who were so hilarious together in Bridesmaids, play best friends who wrote a book about the paranormal years ago and have since become estranged, until the theories in their book are proven to be true when actual ghosts begin popping up around New York City.
SNL standout Leslie Jones soon joins the team after she goes to them for help regarding an angry ghost she encounters in the subway, but it is Kate Mckinnon who completely steals the movie as the brainy, odd, and very funny Jillian Holtzman.
In keeping with the gender-switching theme, Thor himself Chris Hemsworth is the ladies’ new receptionist, dumb as a brick but always nice for Wiig’s character to drool over. He is especially effective and funny to those of us more accustomed to seeing him saving the world as a superhero god from another world in the Marvel Avengers movies.
I am still not sure why the army of ghosts are all pilgrims from the pioneer era of New York City or how a bunch of giant Thanksgiving parade character balloons becomes possessed and comes after our heroes, as their proton packs don’t work but popping the balloons does, so that means they were not ghosts after all, right? But then why were they glowing and acting like ghosts? Anyway, it’s that sequence that allows for the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to show up briefly, so I guess it’s okay?
Of course the best nods to the original are when the cast of the 1984 Ghostbusters each show up in fitting cameos throughout the new film, symbolically giving their approval to this new group to carry on the franchise for a new generation.
In the end, the Ghostbusters reboot is exactly what it claims to be, an alternate retelling of a classic story, updated to fit modern times but with enough homages and call backs to the original classic that the respect and love for it among the cast and crew of the new movie is obvious.
And if if you have a problem with a class five full-roaming vapor, who else you gonna call?
Official Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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Ghostbusters (rated PG13) is now playing locally at RC Theatres in Kill Devil Hills (through Aug. 4).