The all-female Ghostbusters reboot got a lot of flak from the franchise’s fans. From the time it was announced, to the release of the official trailer, and leading right up to its release.
And I don’t see that hatred dying down anytime soon. Haters will hate on Ghostbusters even more. Not because the movie gave them more ammunition, but because it’s not a bad movie.
It’s not the greatest movie I’ve seen, but this reboot is the second best Ghostbusters movie. And depending on what you think of Ghostbusters 2, that’s either high praise or a really low bar.
I’m in the later.
Ghostbusters 2 was atrocious. It set the bar for future Ghostbusters projects (this reboot/the 2009 video game) very low. The only thing any Ghostbusters project had to do is not suck as bad as Ghostbusters 2. This reboot did that.
I, like many of you, suffer from HRRF, or Hollywood Reboot/Remake Fatigue. So I was concerned that this would be another bad reboot.
Ghostbusters passed what I was expecting. The ghosts were colorful and fun to look at. The characters were funny and the in-jokes and nods to the original were well done and evenly spread throughout the movie.
One concern I had with this reboot was the character’s personalities. I was afraid director Paul Feig would try and match the female actors to a male counterpart from the original.
While the basic configuration was the same, three scientists and an average Joe (or Jane), Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold didn’t make a one-to-one correlation between the two casts.
The new characters with different backgrounds gave the movie a fresh feel. When Hollywood does a remake or reboot, sometimes the movie is shot-for-shot with minimal differences from the original (I’m looking at you Oldboy and Total Recall).
Kate McKinnon’s character stole almost every scene she was in. Her character was a weird, engineer that made the Ghostbusters’ gear.
Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig were funny at times. But McKinnon’s character made this movie worth watching.
And I can’t talk about characters without talking about Chris Hemsworth’s idiot male receptionist Kevin. That character was walking into sliding glass doors stupid and Hemsworth pulled it off flawlessly.
That said, there was one issue with this movie that kept it from being better than what it was.
While McKinnon and Jones’ characters were well defined, there were a lot of overlap between McCarthy and Wiig’s characters. Both were smart scientists who ad-libbed in awkward situations.
That was a strike against this reboot as it was one of the strong points of the original. Each character was clearly defined. Quirky scientist, average joe, the smooth talker, and the good guy.
That could have been an intentional decision since having characters mimic the original would have felt flat, making Ghostbusters another exercise in futile Hollywood reboots.
Wiig and McCarthy were funny, don’t get me wrong and if you’re talking about a comedy, that’s really all that matters. But at the same time, when you have a four-person team, usually each one has their own personalities.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the girls from Sex & The City, the Scooby Doo gang, and the main characters from Seinfeld had unique personality types. Using the four basic humors gives us a different character to identify with and makes the characters a bit more realistic.
Of course, all of this comes from my current perspective at 34. I could easily see my 6-year-old self-latching on to this movie much like I did to the original.
Regardless of what the 6-year-old me would have thought, the Ghostbusters reboot is an entertaining and funny movie. Sony has already announced a sequel. Hopefully, they’ll define Wiig and McCarthy’s characters a bit more and really crush it.