If there is one thing as a community we should have learned over the years is to never judge a movie by it’s trailer. Unfortunately the first (and if we’re being honest subsequent) trailer for Ghostbusters portrayed the movie to be a poorly written cheap laugh driven fiasco. The disdain for it was apparent all over social media ranging from crude comments on the YouTube video and rabid fanboy (and girl) rants on Facebook. I did my best to go into Ghostbusters with a sliver of excitement and no other intention but to enjoy the movie and? I did. Very much so.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is days away from receiving her tenure when an old paranormal book she co-wrote with her childhood friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) becomes available on Amazon. Terrified it would ruin her career she seeks out Abby after years, meeting the slightly unhinged albeit charming Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in the process. Together the trio accidentally stumble upon unusual paranormal activity occurring in the city and through a process of unfortunate events gain and opportunity to finally dedicate their lives to something they love. Busting Ghosts. Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) joins the crew early on in the film after having her own supernatural encounter and together the team discovers that overcoming public ridicule was the least of their battles as something far more sinister occurs around New York City.
The greatest portion of the movie is dedicated to story building. This felt appropriate and critical, especially when up against the crashing waves of criticism facing the film prior to it even being seen. It also help establish the dynamic between the characters, giving them time to personally develop and create relationships all while allowing us rabid 80’s Ghostbusters fans to segregate them from the original group. Paul Feig did an admirable job with this and half way through Ghostbusters I couldn’t help but adore each and every member for her quirks. Abby was filled with wit, Erin socially awkward and adorable, Jillian quirky and totally out of her mind and Patty full of energy and sass. Establishing itself as a separate universe was important but it was perfectly balanced through the crossing of the streams references to the original. From cameos to statues to one liners, Ghostbusters didn’t ignore where it came from rather it blazed forth to where it was going.
Without giving to much away the plot was solid and despite one or two pointless scenes (specifically near the end) that could have been cut, Ghostbusters had most of the audience applauding and laughing through the entire film. And if you can hold your sprint to the bathroom long enough the after credits scene sparks hopes for not just a sequel, but a stronger tie in to the 1984 Ghostbusters film.
So if you were part of the camp that wasn’t thrilled on the female team aspect of this film, perhaps finding this angle too gimmicky, give it a try. The 2016 Ghostbustersis refreshingly it’s own beast. It is respectful of it’s predecessor but strong enough to stand alone as a solid film. The entire cast and creative team provided far more than most of us expected.