Friday, July 15, 2016 marks the official US theatrical release of Ghostbusters – the remake/reboot of the 1980s original. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the official early press screening on Tuesday, July 12 courtesy of Sony/Columbia Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
As anyone with an internet connection can probably tell you, the Ghostbusters remake has had the internet absolutely ablaze with very polarizing responses ever since its first trailer hit the web back in March. In fact, the trailer was so polarizing that it actually became the single most “disliked” movie trailer in YouTube history. But enough about that, let’s get down to the real question on everyone’s minds… was the movie itself any good?
Read on to see for yourselves!
Ghostbusters opens up with Dr. Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig of SNL) a professor at Columbia University. After a paranormal incident occurs at a nearby historic site, word of her co-authored book claiming that ghosts are real surfaces leading to Columbia Dean Harold Filmore (played by Charles Dance of Game of Thrones) to fire her. Believing the book was no longer in publication, she tracks down her co-author, paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy of Gilmore Girls) who has been working in the “paranormal department” of a less-than-reputable college alongside nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon of SNL).
As the two reconcile their differences, they are joined by New York Subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones of SNL) and hire dimwitted receptionist/aspiring male model Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth of the Thor/Avengers series) to form their Ghostbusters outfit, headquartered in a cramped space above a Chinese restaurant. They borrow a hearse from Patty’s uncle, and modify it into the revamped Ecto-1 car, suit up with proton packs, and are off to face the quickly-growing influx of ghosts in New York City. With giant portals opening up, and hordes of undead attacking the city, what will become of the new Ghostbusters lineup? Well, you’ll just have to watch it and see for yourself!
Presented like a love-letter to the original Ghostbusters franchise, this film is absolutely jam-packed with fan service and nods to the original. We get cameos from all of the still-living original cast in Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, and of course… Slimer! There is even a very special reference after the credits are over that you’ll definitely want to stick around for! I won’t tell you what it is, but if you’re a longtime Ghostbusters fan, you’ll probably be able to guess it!
The cast are absolutely brilliant here, particularly the main four ladies who display excellent chemistry together, no doubt developed from their time together on Saturday Night Live (something that also sort of serves as an homage to the original in some ways). The humor is a particularly enjoyable blend of witty and ridiculous, and the pacing is done so well that you’ll likely overlook a lot of the problems with editing, plot, and all that technical stuff.
That said, the film is not without its faults. Yes, it is very gimmicky and absolutely hams it up on the whole “gender-bending” bit that many critics have harped on (in various degrees of intensity) since its trailer was first launched, and yes the gratuitous amounts of CGI used on the ghosts, devices, etc. are pretty much impossible to ignore. But both of these faults are very easy to overlook, if you can simply look past the gimmick (and I will choose to assume that none of you dear readers have any problem with a female cast beyond just that bit of it), and CGI doesn’t really bother you that much… I mean, it is actually pretty good CGI. Also from a technical standpoint, the film does suffer from some less-than-stellar editing and camerawork, but again, this film is so fun that the average moviegoer will likely not even notice.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Ghostbusters is just a fun little comedy film. Is it perfect? No, but it also never takes itself too seriously, and serves as an excellent homage to the original series while never insulting itself, its audience, or its predecessors. Yes, it is every bit as gimmicky as you’ve read about, and yes it is a pretty campy comedy film… but that’s exactly what it was always meant to be! Most importantly – above all else – this film is just FUN! And honestly, that’s all any Ghostbusters film ever needs to be. So grab some popcorn, lighten up if you’re up in arms about it, forget about the trolls on YouTube, and go see this movie! You’ll be glad you did! -7.5/10
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine