Release Date: July 15, 2016
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
Cast: Zach Woods, Kristen Wiig, Ed Begley Jr., Charles Dance, John Milhiser, Ben Harris, Melissa McCarthy, Karan Soni, Kate McKinnon, Bess Rous, Steve Higgins, Leslie Jones, Neil Casey, Dave Allen, Katie Dippold, Chris Hemsworth, Nate Corddry, Daniel Ramis, Pat Kiernan, Bill Murray, Michael McDonald, Jaime Pacheco, Adam Ray, Eugene Cordero, Davey Jones, Ryan Levine, Dan Teicher
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 116 minutes
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Feigco Entertainment, Ghostcorps, LStar Capital, The Montecito Picture Company
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Ever since the first day production of this film was announced, it’s had a tough time winning the enthusiasm of movie goers. It seemed like every form of promotional material was shat upon without any reliable sources to warrant that type of response. And learning that the iconic all-male cast was being switched to an all-female cast didn’t help convert the naysayers either. That’s sad given the director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) has true talent behind the camera. Once again he decided to team up with Melissa McCarthy as one of the leads, which on paper appeared to be a great idea. While a majority of film goers clocked out of this film before its release, due to ridiculous assumptions, the team up paid off again; being one of the better films of the summer.
From the start, the film knows where it’s going. Without even seeing a single ghost initially, the tone of the film was set as a fun laugh out loud comedy, not to be taken too seriously. That’s the attitude suggested to validate your experience in the theater. And my goodness gracious it was funny. The film embraced everything silly it had to offer, which is interesting considering the tone of the film and the surrounding characters. This made my respect level go up even higher. It’s filled with characters who appear to be a joke, or laughingstock, and ridiculed. But none of the characters cared in the slightest and just wanted to live their lives.
The backstory between the first two characters fit perfect like a glove. Kristen Wiig and McCarthy’s chemistry was apparent from birth. You know they’re friends, have a past, and respect each other. I had reservations about the involvement of Kate McKinnon. Not being too familiar with her work, it wasn’t clear if she would gel with the others. However, she did a great job being another comedic element and had a vast knowledge about technology. Leslie Jones, on the other hand, appeared to be a textbook stereotype to the tenth degree. While she filled a few of those shoes, she still ended up being a hilarious member of the team with a fair share of involvement of her own.
While you’re already having a good time, the environment of the film never ceases to rise. It was a delight to see the characters attack ghosts with the proton packs we know from the previous films and new gadgets Kate McKinnon brought to the fold. One may note the use of the characters’ real names, and that’s because they didn’t feel like real characters. That’s not a negative, because I did enjoy everyone’s performance. So if you’re looking for a real character, and not the actual actress, look out. With all the fun action beats and seeing the women blast the hell out of ghosts, the stakes felt inconsistent, and the film started to not follow its own rules. During one scene we’re taught that they have to capture ghosts to stop them, but later they decide to blow them up instead. There wasn’t any consistency there.
This movie isn’t anything remotely close to the previous films in the 80’s, and it wasn’t supposed to be. It was able to deliver enough fan service and cameos from the past to deliver those necessary goods you may be salivating for. With the trailer being disliked by all of the world during its initial release online, it appeared there would be no chance in hell for the film to survive. Even going in with high expectations still may get you smiling after you walk out of the theater, because it’s fun. I’m glad it did survive. This Ghostbusters remake was an extremely fun, hilarious ride with four genius women who are strong, have no fear, and are ready to get things done. That alone is enough to deliver a worthy experience, and what’s great is that it offers so much more.