Jul 25, 2016

[Movies] Ghostbusters (2016)

When news of a Ghostbusters reboot movie first hit the internet, I wasn't particularly affected. I did enjoy the original movie and the animated TV series was definitely a part of my childhood as well. But it was never an integral part of my childhood either given I always veered more towards stories of robots and space-based science fiction. So not even the news about having an all-female cast mattered all that much to me in a positive or negative manner.

But my partner Tobie and I were certainly curious enough to want to see it given all the hype and the back and forth internet sniping regarding its inherently feminist message and all that other politically correct silliness. Sure, I had my concerns as well about how certain characters were being crafted and how they'd link to the original characters, but by the end I was just over all this internet argument nonsense and just went to the movie hoping to be entertained.

The end result was totally surprising to both of us and we ended up enjoying this movie a LOT. And I'm totally surprised at how much we ended up enjoying this movie. But no regrets at all and I'm glad we went out to see it.

Synopsis: Ghostbusters is a 2016 supernatural comedy movie reboot of the 1984 movie of the same name. The movie was directed by Paul Feig with a screenplay by Feig and Katie Dippold.

Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristin Wiig) is a physics professor at Columbia University and she's determined to secure tenure after all of her years of work. But all that may come to an end when a book about the supernatural that she co-wrote with her friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has somehow resurfaced and this may ruin her chances with the university. So she journeys to seek out Abby to demand that she take the book off of Amazon and finds that Yates has continued her studies into the supernatural and now has a colleague in the form of the engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). One thing leads to another and the girls eventually have their first encounter with a ghost and this slowly gets Erin back on Abby's side as they see more and more of their theories confirmed. They're later joined by MTA employee Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), who also has an encounter with a ghost and eventually seeks the girls out.

First, I have to give credit to the writing team given how they managed to craft a pretty solid origin story that remained witty, well-paced and quite involving. You have the girls first starting out to prove that ghosts exists and then continually refining their technology to deal with the more malevolent spirits out there. You also have them initially bumbling about individually and later coming together to be a decent enough team. So yeah, the reboot worked in that regard.

I was rather impressed with the level of humor involved, especially given Paul Feig's involvement. We aren't exactly the biggest Bridesmaids fans, and The Heat still had a tendency to go in the direction of gross-out humor. Spy was better than the others, but we're also Miranda Tate fans. So definitely had very mixed feelings about this aspect of the movie since his brand of humor often rubs me the wrong way. However the movie turned out to be a lot better than that and I felt a serious effort within the writing to pay homage to the original movies. And I'm not just talking about the blatant cameos by many members of the original cast. There were just all these little nods and small touches that you could consider to be Easter eggs I suppose but on the whole they're fun things to notice.

But we cannot talk about this movie without talking about Kate McKinnon's scene-stealing performance as Dr. Jillian Holtzmann. Her character was brilliantly-written and Kate really made the most of this zany, eccentric engineer. The end result is a brilliant powerful character who is genuinely inspiring given her constant need to innovate and create new gadgets for the team and her gung-ho attitude and sense of adventure as she runs into danger in the name of science or something like that. She is just so much fun and I'm glad that they created a character with such pure exuberance.

And as much as they had Chris Hemsworth as a satirically inept secretary character, the movie was nice such that there was no need for a relationship as one of the major arcs. The movie was all about the science, the adventure and a heck of a number of ghosts pouring into our world. And that's a good thing since not every movie needs some romantic sub-plot just because women are in focus.

On it's own, Ghostbusters is a solid piece of entertainment and a great movie to watch. Stop thinking about there being some feminist conspiracy or other silliness like that - just enjoy the movie as it is. Thus I'm happy to rate it as a solid 5 great cameos by original Ghostbusters actors out of a possible 5.

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