RELEASE DATE:July 15, 2016
STUDIO:Columbia Pictures (Sony)
MPAA RATING:PG-13 (for supernatural action and some crude humor)
STARRING:Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Chris Hemsworth
GENRE:Comedy, Sci-Fi, Horror
[divider]The long awaited third Ghostbusters film is finally here! But it’s not what the fans have been demanding for twenty years. It’s a (cue dramatic drum roll) REBOOT! With women replacing the original quartet! In a (relatively) completely original film! How can it possibly work? Are they ruining our childhood? Will the world ever be the same?!
Let’s all calm down just a bit. Before we go any further into the review let me state up front that I do not have problems with remakes and reboots so long as they are done well and have some respect for the original source material. They should not “remake” the original film but “reimagine” it. With that said here comes the review…
Ghostbusters (2016) is more successful than not and, with the audience I watched it with, was full of laugh out loud moments. It’s impossible to not review this film without comparing it to the original in some way. To me, the film managed to play out like a love letter to the original film by including fun cameos from the original actors (not reprising their original roles) and even cameos from some familiar specters. The cameos were not distracting and were welcome nods to the original film. If anything the filmmakers may have spent too much time working in the cameos than they should have. But that’s a nitpick I can live with.
The primary cast is familiar in it’s dynamic of four ghostbusters. But how they come together, how they capture/slay ghosts, is very different from the original as is each character’s personality. These four women, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon (in the most fun role of the film) and Leslie Jones deliver fun performances and are obviously having fun together on screen. It’s this fun that makes the film work for me, and is what made the original work as well. The chemistry of these women is wonderful and their interactions are fun to watch. Especially when Chris Hemsworth steps into the film as their physically perfect but dim-witted secretary, in what is the second most fun role in the film to watch.
The film also benefits from advances in special effects technology to deliver some pretty incredible ghosts and action sequences. The way the Ghostbusters use their proton packs is much more action oriented and McKinnon’s character is constantly improving and evolving their toolset. Something that was a lot of fun to see on screen. However, these advancements in special effects are also a hinderance as some of the effects work is too clean and sometimes gives the film a “video-game” vibe. The ghost effects and the color palette of this film is more akin to Ghostbusters 2 than to the original. Not a problem necessarily, but occasionally felt too cartoony to me.
Overall this is a very enjoyable film if you allow yourself the opportunity to sit back and just be entertained. Is it as original as the original? No, by its very nature it can’t be. Is it a worthy successor to the original cast and the first two films? I think so. And I hope this cast gets another chance to show us their stuff. (Oh… and NO… this film will not RUIN your childhood.)