GHOSTBUSTERS Movie Review
If Paul Feig has proven anything in his previous work, it’s that he knows how to build characters and he understands comedy. Working strongly in Feig’s Ghostbusters are the appealing characters and the powerful chemistry that they all have with one another. There’s also some great world building here that has me excited about the potential this revival has to push this franchise into thrilling new territory, but there’s also some problems that this movie has in it’s second half. It doesn’t sink this movie but it keeps from meeting the high standard that the first half of this new Ghostbusters completely nails.
For one, I appreciated some of the more subtle and clever nods to the 1984 original, but it begins to become overkill at a certain point and not everything that calls back to the original completely works here. For example, some of the cameos here are very fun and some even touching, but when Bill Murray enters the picture, he comes across like he’s being held against his own will to be there. Also the main antagonist of this picture has some clever ideas about his self-entitlement fueled sinister motivations, but the character fails to leave a strong impression or come across as threatening as he should. Despite some of these minor issues, this movie has so much vivacity and consistent big laughs, not to mention some decent scares (the designs on some of these ghouls are delightfully creepy) that it overcomes just about everything, from the terrible remade theme song to the problems in Katie Dippold and Paul Feig’s script when it shifts focus to it’s weakest link, which happens to be the conflict that these characters are faced with in an underwhelming final showdown. Despite the convoluted finale that lacks the personality that had been driving this picture up to that point, Feig still manages to bounce the momentum back to where he started and bring everything around to a satisfying conclusion.
I’d like to reinvigorate just how wonderful this amazing cast is. In the opening moments when Zach Woods’ tour guide character is leading a group of guests through a haunted exhibit and fires jokes one after another with razor sharp finesse and lands every one of them, I knew right then and there that I was in for something special.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abbie Yate’s (Melissa McCarthy) relationship is the soul at the very center of this movie and without their chemistry absolutely nothing else could work around it. Leslie Jones is dynamite and she has a raw energy that a young Eddie Murphy once possessed, I think her performance in this should put her on everyone’s radar and I can’t wait to see this talented comedian will be doing in the near future. Chris Hemsworth‘s scene-stealing performance as the ridiculously dumb but absolutely charming secretary is a great example of him stretching as a performer and his physical comedic antics are at times absolutely brilliant. Last but not least is the actress who absolutely stole my heart in this, Kate McKinnon who portrays the unpredictable science rebel Jillian Holtzmann. She’s putting her own spin on comedy the way that the silent greats and original SNL cast did before her and she’s extremely lovable. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a balance of empathy and anarchy tied into a single performance, which is exactly what she’s doing here.
I’m not interested in giving a side by side comparison of this Ghostbusters to the 1984 original, but what I am interested in is telling you that there’s too much good work here for this to be ignored. Everything from Feig stretching himself as a director and the gorgeous production design to Robert D. Yeoman‘s sharp photography and Theodore Shapiro‘s flattering score. I think that the possibilities are endless for exciting territories these new Ghostbusters can explore and I want more. In an extremely underwhelming summer movie season, I think this new Ghostbusters is just what the doctor ordered.