Warning: Spoilers ahead!
When my sister and I came out of the theater, we had different reactions to Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters. My sister was an angry nerd. She was griping about it from the moment we walked out the doors, all the way to the car ride back home. Exaggerated she called it. And as painful as it is for me to say it, she is right. This reboot is an exaggerated version of the original. I didn’t mind the over the top CGI, or the prolonged hat-tipping. I was a happy fan seeing the cameos of the original cast, popping in at random times, like unexpected cracker jack surprises. And I could watch a repeated suit-up and ghost shoot-out montage all day long. But these aren’t the only things amplified to excessive proportions, the characters themselves feel exaggerated to the point of cartoony. Which I think is my biggest let down in this movie.
The scales tip to the “silly” more than the “real”. The four characters, Erin (Wiig), Amy (McCarthy), Holtzmann (McKinnon), and Patty (Jones), while I very much enjoyed seeing them be all out silly, they didn’t feel real to me. And despite the expositiony back stories for Erin and Amy, they overlooked a very vital question. Why did these two besties grew apart? Especially since the answer to this is important in creating the emotional connection in the big climax. So Erin jumping into the vortex in order to save Amy, and saying that she will never again abandon her, felt empty. When you a have a movie than banks on friendship, you have to make sure the group of friends feel like real people, and make the audience feel invested in their relationships.
Okay so why did I feel less of an angry nerd than my sister? Because while Ghostbusters has its faults, it is just so much fun to watch! It was only when I truly began to take apart the movie in my mind did I notice the imperfections. But while I was sitting there in the theater, for the whole two hours, I was having a blast! And It’s because of the cast. I think the big personalities and great talent of these four awesome comedians eclipsed the characters they’re playing. So you don’t see Erin, you see Kristen Wiig. And Holtzmann disappears under Kate McKinnon. Patty is basically Leslie Jones being Leslie Jones. And Amy feels like a scientist version of Melissa McCarthy. Which is really for the better because the characters they were given were underdeveloped anyway. And really, these ladies are such a joy to watch! All those gadgets made me feel like a giddy child! And every single time they turn on their proton packs and aim for the ghosts, I was ecstatic! And sure the jokes were being dispensed relentlessly, but it allowed the ladies to be their true funny selves. And that theme song is mad awesome as always! This movie doesn’t suffer from a lack of spirit that’s fer sure! Get it? Spirit!
Ghostbusters isn’t a fantastic movie, but it isn’t terrible either. This movie brings on the laughs and the ghosts in heaps. Just don’t think about the narrative too much and your good. In my book, these b****** can bust ghosts anytime! And I wouldn’t mind a little flying beefcake on the side.
3.5 / 5 Stars