No recent film has come under more scrutiny than Ghostbusters. Few people wanted a new film in the franchise to begin with, and the idea of it being rebooted with an all-woman cast seemed blasphemous, as if changing up the formula would somehow ruin the previous films. And to be honest, the trailers didn’t instill much confidence in the new direction, either. Give Ghostbusters a chance, however, and you’ll see that it’s a hilarious new take that pays homage to the original while bringing its own style to the franchise.


Ghostbusters follows the same basic story structure as the original 1984 film. A group of paranormal scientists are called to investigate a possible haunting. When it turns out to be an actual phantasm and not some joke, they decide to form a team to catch them and prove to the world that ghosts are real. As paranormal activity increases around the city the scientists uncover an evil plot to destroy the world by bringing in all the spirits from another dimension, and only the Ghostbusters can stop it.


The team is comprised of Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), the so-called leader and most sane member of the group, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin’s childhood best friend and constant true believer, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), the resident techie and overall badass, and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), the non-scientist and New York native who knows the city best. They are also joined by their receptionist, Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), a handsome but dumb hunk who causes more problems than he helps solve.


Any doubts or reservations I might have had about Ghostbusters were quickly dissipated once the team was assembled. The chemistry between everyone is fantastic. Kristen Wiig seems to be content in being the upright character who does a good at making everyone else look just a little bit more eccentric in comparison. But the biggest laughs by far come from the antics of SNL castmate Kate McKinnon. She steals every scene she’s in and just genuinely looks like she’s having a blast at all times. Chris Hemsworth is also hilarious and has some great gags. He no doubt plays the dumb jock stereotype well. Everyone brings their own style of humor to the table and makes the film work.


Part of that is because Ghostbusters is well aware of itself and isn't afraid to get meta with some of the humor, often poking fun at the fact that it’s an all-women team and the massive backlash surrounding its production with not-so-subtle jabs at its naysayers. There are also plenty of references to the original films and cameo appearances by the original cast. Some are done better than others, but I can’t say all of them didn’t bring a smile to my face.


Ghostbusters isn’t perfect, however. Things start to slip in the third act as the film becomes more about the action than the humor. It felt weird and out of place to see the entire army pose for a dance number that never comes or to see Slimer driving the Ecto-1. The callbacks to the franchise are nice, but I would rather have seen them be used in ways that were meaningful to the story rather than just there for the sake of being there. These by no means ruin them film; the film just loses a bit of steam after come off such a strong start.


Simply put, Ghostbusters is plain fun and a guaranteed good time. It’s spirit remains unchanged as the film unabashedly does its own thing while still paying tribute to the original that started it all.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook