Ghostbusters opens with a tour guide showing a group of people around a historic home. He’s inundating them with factoids about the history and architecture of the house, and because he’s good at his job, he’s also telling some of the spooky stories that typically come along with houses this age. After the tour ends, we find our guide walking the property, making sure everything’s secure while closing up. As he finishes his rounds, he comes face to face with an unfriendly apparition. Terrified, he runs for his life.
Our tour guide’s boss reacts as most of us would in this kind of situation; he looks online for answers. During his search he comes across a book on paranormal research written by Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). In a desperate attempt to find help, he tracks down Erin Gilbert at Columbia University where she’s currently a professor of physics. Gilbert wants nothing to do with this man or the paranormal because she wants to be a respected scientist. Enraged, she decides to search out her former partner in research. Abby is the only other person who knew about the book and Erin aims to demand she scrub it from the Internet. Erin’s had enough of being harassed and ridiculed for her interests, so she’s opting out of the whole damn thing. She just needs Abby to sever the ties once and for all.
As you may have guessed, Erin doesn’t get far with her former colleague because she’s immediately sucked back into the game.
That's right. It would appear the paranormal life chose Erin.
This latest version of our beloved Ghostbusters is the story of people doing what they love because they know no other way. I went in with high hopes and I came out of it a huge Kate McKinnon fan. You'll have a good time with this gang, but there will be times when you’re going to have to fight to stay engaged. Being the eternal slacker that I am, I struggled with this.
Is it safe to say that Kate McKinnon is a national treasure yet? No? OK then that alone is reason enough to see this movie. McKinnon is outstanding as Hotlzman and you should see for yourself. Her brand of outlandish and borderline nonsensical physical comedy is exciting and particularly engaging. Her star shone brighter than anyone else in this film and that was a thoroughly appreciated surprise.
In addition to an awesomely whacky performance by McKinnon, there’s other stuff to like about this movie. For example, it was fun to indulge the gender role reversal. Plus, it’s always nice to ogle beautiful people, so thanks to whoever cast Chris Hemsworth as Kevin, the sexy receptionist. Plus, with him you’re actually getting an actor who knows what he’s doing, so that’s nice too. Through great comedic timing and a genuine knack for the absurd, Hemsworth makes the most of his part as the resident himbo.
Paul Feig (Director). Makes a commendable effort to pay homage to the original film. His valiant effort will not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Ghostbusters 2016 is, if nothing more, a great nod to one of the new classics. I enjoyed this movie, but I wanted to love it. I already love Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, so I didn’t think it would be much of a stretch for me to love a girl powered version of Ghostbusters. Unfortunately, instead of loving it, I liked it. Feig keeps a quirky pace that I assume is meant to enhance the comedic styles of his most popular leading ladies. Unfortunately, that extra beat for emphasis just didn’t do it for me, not this time. In this film it came across as somewhat hollow and distracting.
In addition to the awkward pace and timing of the film, Wiig and McCarthy felt muted and distant in their performances. Leslie Jones is fun and endearing, but hers and McKinnon’s performances simply weren’t enough to make up for that questionable pace of the film, even with a Bill Murray cameo thrown into the mix. Now, I know that sounds harsh, but I’m still going to go ahead and say it was pretty damn funny.
So the timing is a little weird. Maybe there are one too many beats in awkward places. Who cares? So some performances felt hollow at times. Whatever. You can look past that. I know you can. Did you see that scene where each of the ladies locks and loads their proton pack as they prepare to kick some ghost ass? It was exhilarating. Plus, did I mention McKinnon is worth the price of admission?
Get on it and go. This movie is far from the travesty rabid fans of the original would like you to believe it is. In fact, the folks in my theater applauded when it was over and I LOLed quite a bit. Turns out Ghostbusters 2016 won’t ruin your childhood after all, so long as you have your expectations in check.
Ghostbusters 2016 - B-
B- =This is a pretty good time and you should give it a whirl. You never know, you might enjoy it more than you think going in. It has its pitfalls, but overall worth your time.