‘Ghostbusters’ is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise

ghostbusters 2016
It was always going to be a tough task to reboot the Ghostbusters as an entirely new franchise. Basically, you had to please fans of the original while opening it up to a whole next generation of potential audience members. This week, the product of that experiment opens in a reboot of Ghostbusters, which is co-written and directed by Paul Feig. Continuing a trend he’s had throughout his career, Feig opted to make this new film stand out by casting an all female main quartet. Of course, that led to some bizarre rage on the internet, but that’s just nonsense. I’ve seen the movie and really enjoyed it, so I’m all for his new take. Hopefully you will be too, since this flick deserves to be a hit!

The film follows a similar sort of plot to the original, though this works as more of an origin story for the new characters as well. We see how Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) come together to become paranormal exterminators/investigators known as the Ghostbusters. It’s a good thing they’re around, too, since Rowan North (Neil Casey) is conjuring all of the worst spirits to this plane in order to cause some major chaos. Along with their dim witted secretary Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), the Ghostbusters are open for business! Feig co-writes with Katie Dippold and directs, while the rest of the cast, in addition to Jones, McCarthy, McKinnon, and Wiig, includes Ed Begley Jr., Nate Corddry, Charles Dance, Andy Garcia, Steve Higgins, Cecily Strong, Matt Walsh, Michael Kenneth Williams, Zach Woods, and many more. Yes, there’s also cameos by Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, and even Sigourney Weaver (as all new characters), in case you were wondering. Cinematography here is by Robert Yeoman, while the score is done by Theodore Shapiro. Everyone is doing solid work here, with one or two standouts, as I’ll cite below.

Kate McKinnon Ghostbusters 2016
For me, Kate McKinnon is the clear highlight, though there’s plenty of things to like about this one. The whole cast has excellent chemistry with each other, in particular the four main women. Feig makes funny movies, so this unsurprisingly is a very amusing flick. It suffers a bit by not having a memorable villain, but it’s a worthy successor to the original and has the same sort of spirit, no pun intended, and that’s what counts. It feels like Ghostbusters. Awards wise, this is probably the Golden Globes or bust (and probably a long shot at that), with McKinnon potentially being an under the radar Best Supporting Actress nominee there. McKinnon steals every scene though, so she just deserves praise for that feat alone. She’s best in show, with Hemsworth’s silly supporting turn next in line.

Quickly as a bonus or two before wrapping up, here’s how I would rank Feig’s filmography so far:

1. Bridesmaids
2. Ghostbusters
3. Spy
4. The Heat

Also, here’s how I would rank the Ghostbusters cinematic universe:

1. Ghostbusters
2. Ghostbusters (2016 remake)
3. Ghostbusters 2

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Overall, Friday brings a fun summer blockbuster in Ghostbusters. It’s actually one of the season’s most successful outings, which isn’t really damning with faint praise, but more an indication of how crummy other titles have been. This is a solid bit of mainstream entertainment that could very well be a smash hit. If it fails, it could be due to the internet trolls trying to torpedo it ever since it was announced, and if that happens, that would be sad. Ignore that vulgarity and especially if you like Feig’s previous outings or someone in the cast, expect to enjoy this. It’s a good time at the cinema…

Be sure to check out Ghostbusters, in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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