Wow, did this film cause a fuss! The news of another movie in the Ghostbusters universe sent the zealots well over the edge, and then when the Ghostbusters themselves were cast as women the level of hatred aimed at this film was almost Biblical. I don’t think this being followed by a frankly appalling first trailer helped matters much either…
Now, I like both of the previous Ghostbusters and have very fond memories of these and the cartoon series. When I was in school I was so in love with these characters that I forgave the size discrepancies between the action figures of the Ghostbusters and the Marshmallow Man (they were almost the same size!). Yet my fondness of all things Ecto did not turn me into a raving lunatic who frothed at the mouth with every announcement made from a studio who may well be just “cashing it in” but are at least trying to put a different spin on the film and not just reboot. I am of the opinion that you should always watch a film before you pass judgement, which sounds basic but it needs to be written as some people had lost their minds over this without seeing a single frame of footage!
It’s a shame, as not only is the film a triumph, but it is also one of my favourite movies of the year so far.
This tells the story of three scientists (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon) who team up with a subway worker (Leslie Jones) to form the Ghostbusters when some spooky spectres start appearing in certain locations across New York. With the villain of the piece a mystery and the Mayor determined to label them as fraudsters to avoid mass hysteria, the Ghostbusters have got their work cut out to save the city from impending doom…
This film is a delight from start to finish. The humour is very different to its 1980s counterparts and is more akin to other Paul Feig films, but this isn’t a criticism as I don’t think I have ever laughed as much in the cinema. Proper belly laughs too… and very loud ones at that… I got some looks… It is cast to perfection as all four of the Ghostbusters are comedy geniuses and the roles are written to their strengths. Chris Hemsworth is by far the funniest in this as the dim-witted receptionist, Kevin. This guy has got plenty of comedy chops and is a revelation in the role. I’m surprised I heard a single word of his interview for the job with the Ghostbusters as I haven’t laughed so much through one scene in my entire cinema-going history and it was all because of great writing and super delivery from Hemsworth. A nod of respect to Andy Garcia’s Mayor also as it is only a small part but he gets the most out it.
The story is a fairly basic one but the enjoyment comes from the comedy and the action set-pieces; and it’s not short on either. It’s well put together too and the CGI fits the aesthetic of the Ghostbusters that we’ve loved for so long, despite it originally being mostly puppetry that was used to bring the ghosts to life previously (excuse the pun).
I cannot praise this film highly enough, but I have a few things to nit-pick. There are a few cameos in this and, for me, most of them don’t work. Whilst the writing is superb and the performances fantastic, I think McKinnon’s Holtzmann and Jones’ Patty could have been written a little funnier. In some scenes they are all set up to land a big laugh and just raise a titter. The final act also has similar beats to the first so it can feel a little familiar. All these though are such tiny gripes in an otherwise perfect film. It nods and winks at the original but this is its own movie and maybe, just maybe, hardcore fans and film lovers alike should treat it as such, as it’s a great one!
This bustin’ makes me feel good!
If you didn’t sing that last sentence you’re a liar!
Oh, and stay to the very very end of the credits for a sting.
Second “Oh”; it’s a 12A but, for the love of Pete, do not bring your four year old to the screening like some future winner of “mother-of-the-year” did to ours. Not only did the little mite talk incessantly all the way through (which was actually encouraged by said mother) but there are some scary moments in this film and he is sure to have nightmares as a result (he even whined in horror at some scenes. Shocking!).
Maybe it’s time to do away with the 12A…