(If you do not want to be spoiled what so ever, please stop reading this now.)
I recently saw the new Ghostbusters movie on Tuesday. On Wednesday I watched the original Ghostbusters. After seeing a numerous amount of negative reviews, I have to say I really do not see why the rebooted Ghostbusters has garnered the undeserved hate from critics. The new movie is an upgrade to the old movie.
There, I said it. I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed the movie much more than the first Ghostbusters. I am a fan now of the new movie and I held off making that decision until I even saw it. I had not seen the 1984 film in years so I decided to view it and give those criticizing the new movie a chance. Was the old film so memorable that nothing could replace it? I wouldn’t say that exactly.
Many of the negative reviews seem to insist the new movie cannot live up to the old movie. I simply disagree. While I would say Ghostbusters 1984 is a decent movie, the new Ghostbusters breathes some welcoming fresh air into the 32-year-old franchise.
A critique I have seen lobbed at this movie is it was not very funny and there were some jokes that fell flat. I laughed a lot in this movie. There were many times I wished the hilarity would slow down for a moment so I could relish my enjoyment. The women were a riot!
Erin Gilbert, played by Kristen Wiig, is trying to secure tenure at a prestigious college and does not want her past studies in the paranormal to be discovered by her employer. She meets up with her long time childhood friend and co-author, Abby Yates played by Melissa McCarthy, about their studies and their book. Abby’s new paranormal science partner is Jillian Holtzmann, actress Kate McKinnon. The hilarity begins with these three and continues when they hire a sassy local history buff, Patty Tolan played by actress Leslie Jones, and handsome secretary, Kevin, actor Chris Hemsworth.
Each one of these characters brought some very funny moments to the table. Wiig’s character is an awkward nervous scientist who would like to pretend she is normal but always seems to find herself in embarrassing predicaments. McCarthy as Abby is a scientist that is proud to be who she is and works hard on her science despite the judgments from others. McCarthy’s interaction with the other women is a delight to watch. I loved it when the villain’s spirit, Rowan, took over control of Abby’s body. Holtzmann knocks on the door and Abby is two inches from her face with sudden jerky movements and an off-kilter smile that divulges something is definitely wrong with Abby!
Leslie Jones’s character, Patty, is smart and sassy. I think she helps to keep the others grounded at times. She explained some of the histories behind the locations of where the ley lines intersect when they discover Rowan is hoping to release ghosts onto the world. She bravely and uproariously saves Abby and Holtzmann from Rowan. While Patty seems realistic yet sarcastic, Holtzmann makes awkward quips throughout the movie which ranges from plain brilliant to complete oddball, which makes this mad engineer very endearing.
These women had wonderful chemistry between each other and it was a joy to behold on screen. The interactions felt natural. Moments such as when looking for a home, Erin, being the worried responsible character she is, knows they cannot afford the first location while Holtzman and Abby twirl on the pole and pose trying to sell it to her. Fun small moments similar to this portray each character as their own interesting individuals, yet they still had fun together in the Ghostbusters world.
Another criticism I have seen is Ghostbusters wasn’t meant to be a comedy, but after just watching Ghostbuster’s 1984 film I am not so sure I agree. The old film had a lot of humor in it, I do not think it was as funny as the new film. Humor is subjective so maybe it seemed funnier in 1984. Many of the jokes fell flat in Ghostbusters 1984, which was a criticism I’ve seen of the new flick.
I do think Ghostbusters of 1984 did set up suspenseful moments for the characters better than Ghostbusters 2016. The use of music and the slower pacing drew those moments out a tad more to put us on our seats in 1984. Ghostbusters of 2016 rolled at a quick constant pace with humor, interactions, and cameos galore. I found myself wishing we could slow down a little and have some time to digest it all.
The plot was fine in both movies. Some complaints of Ghostbusters 2016 have been about the villain being too simplistic unlike the old movie when the city faced down gods. The villain could have been more complex, but this does not take away from the plot. On most accounts, both stories are pretty much on equal footing in world building and storyline.
Ghostbusters 2016 was a fun movie I would watch again and again. The women in this movie were priceless and had some of the best chemistry on screen. Each one of the characters was an interesting individual while also being able to interact with each other in the world to build a story which is similar, yet different, from the original.
I have not been able to justify all of the criticism and flat out hate of Ghostbusters 2016 even after watching Ghostbusters 1984. I am relatively young so I don’t really have an attachment to the old Ghostbusters in the same way others might. There are other franchises with which I am very attached. I would have a hard time if the characters and stories I loved deeply, changed. I totally get this! Sometimes change is hard and scary! I love my characters the way they are!
But does this have to mean I can’t be open to the idea of something new and different? It might even be a better story that hasn’t been told yet. Allowing stories to be told whether new or not is positive for our future in geekdom whether it flops or not. It will only make our future stories that much better. Are we so attached to our nostalgic rose colored glasses?
I gave Ghostbusters 2016 and the criticisms a chance and I really loved the new movie. I fell in love with the characters and now I want to see more!