Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Yeoman
WRITERS: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
MUSIC: Theodore Shapiro
Before this movie came out, I started to get excited about the reboot for “Ghostbusters” when they announced the cast. I got a little more excited when they hired superstar comedy director Paul Feig to helm the movie. Then, the marketing took over and there was a sense of dread.
The trailers and just about everything else that was released to promote the film seemed mediocre at best (one semi-decent TV spot) and outright terrible at worst (the new theme). The movie was then hated on by pretty much every person on the internet and not entirely without good cause. Yes, there are sexist assholes out there, but I believe most of us were just upset because it looked like Sony and Columbia Pictures were promising us a real stinker.
Thankfully, there are only three truly bad things I can say about this movie. First, it has a slow first act to get the ball rolling. Second, Sony needs to fire whatever marketing team they hired to promote this movie. Finally, that new theme from Fallout Boy still sucks.
The movie starts off with Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) preparing to receive tenure at Columbia University. This is threatened when her old friend and colleague Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) puts an old book of theirs about the paranormal up on Amazon. Erin heads to tell Abby to take the book down when they encounter a ghost at an old house.
Abby has been continuing her studies into the paranormal with her new colleague, the eccentric Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and so she also joins them. The three women begin their own company in order to try and capture a ghost in order to prove they are real. Finally, an MTA worker named Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) has her own encounter with a ghost and after hiring the Ghostbusters, she joins them due to her knowledge of the city and being able to secure them a hearse which turns into this film’s Ecto-1.
Like the original film, there is a reason why ghostly activity is increasing, but I don’t want to spoil everything here. Earlier, I mentioned a slow first act. What I meant by this is that the movie takes its time setting up who these new Ghostbusters are and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, the writers definitely skimped on the jokes at this point. You can tell that the cast is trying to throw out whatever they can to improve the act, but this is where the film suffers the most.
Then, Chris Hemsworth’s inept character Kevin Beckman is hired and jokes finally begin to connect more frequently. I’m not saying that it’s because of Hemsworth though he is funny in his own right. What I mean is that when you see him enter the picture, the movie from there on out improves and never lets up.
Not only does a steady amount of laughs begin, the action also picks up. Feig definitely treats this as an action comedy and the action presented is quite spectacular. Jillian’s creations from the classic proton packs to quite a bit of new hardware gives this film an original vibe. It pays its tributes to the original classic, but is not afraid to go in its own direction.
The third act is a CGI-ladened set piece featuring hundreds of ghosts assaulting Times Square. The action is rock solid and the ghosts, which I was actually worried about after watching the trailers, come off as pretty decent. There are even a few ghostly cameos that the fans of the original film will particularly like.
That was another thing that they pulled off. There are several cameos of the surviving cast of the original movie and several winking moments as well. The good news is that I never felt like these were forced and they were welcomed.
One of my favorite “cameos” is when the camera focuses briefly on a bust at Columbia University. The bust is that of the late Harold Ramis and I definitely give the filmmakers props for not forgetting the immortal Ramis.
I’m sure there are idiots out there that will go into the movie deadset on hating the flick. I doubt that this film will be able to sway them. However, make no mistake about it. This movie is the victim of bad marketing and it turns out to be a more than worthy addition and a decent reboot of the franchise.