Brad went to see Ghostbusters (2016) with E14 Team member and Ghostbusters superfan (and Brother) Blake Harmer. Here’s what he thinks…
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones
Directed by Paul Feig
Right. Spoiler free review. I’ve downed a root beer and two Twinkies, let’s see where this takes us.
It’s really, really good. “I was smiling all the way through” good. Way, way better than the trailers suggested. In fact, forget you ever saw those godawful trailers. They are not a fair representation of the finished movie.
I was laughing from the very first few lines of dialogue, in which a snotty tour guide guide describes the surreal details of the stately home he is presenting to a group of tourists. I kept laughing throughout. The slapstick is good, the gross-out is good, the dialogue is brilliant; all sides are equally funny and well directed.
Okay, there is no getting away from the fact that this is a remake; but it’s a very good remake. It strikes the perfect balance between showing us something new, and having fun with something old.
What’s new? Okay, Holtzman, Gilbert, Yates and Tolan are all original characters. They are not just gender-swapped versions of Venkman, Spengler, Stantz and Zeddemore. They’re not even the same type of characters. They all receive roughly equal screen time, have great back stories, and are all likable. Yes, even Patty. I told you to forget all about the trailers, didn’t I? Oh, and Chris Hemsworth as Kevin? He’s fucking awesome. Some of the biggest laughs come from his scenes.
What else? The story is new. The journey is similar, the plot points are similar, but the story is all new. I’d say that the story of Ghostbusters 2016 is further from the story of Ghostbusters 1984 than The Force Awakens is from A New Hope. The bad bad evil dude is legitimately creepy. Gozer and Vigo the Carpathian (the Cruel, the Torturer, the Despised, the Unholy, the Butch) are great bad guys, but Rowan is uniquely creepy.
What’s old? The proton packs and traps look different, but they act the same and goddamn if they don’t sound the same. What’s lovely to see though is the expansions and modifications that Holtzmann makes throughout. Proton grenades (courtesy of IDW’s outstanding comic series), ghost-punching brass-knuckles, and plenty more keep things super interesting…and I can’t wait to throw them into a video or tabletop game as soon as possible.
The ghosts work and act in a similar way (with a few exceptions for the more powerful ones), striking the great balance between scary and comedy that Ghostbusters does best. The original cast make glorious cameos. They’re goofy, but if you’re a Ghostbusters fan, you’ll love them. If you dug the movies, The Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, the video game, the comics…this is just another installment in a series that has been – among other things – consistently fun as fuck.
In conclusion, I have to say that any fears I had about this movie were completely unwarranted. It’s a great, modern, alternate universe Ghostbusters story. Dig in.