Busting, does it make ya feel good? join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
As the credits played over the end of Paul Feig’s much talked about new take on Ghostbusters, my mind was awash. Having grown up on the greatness that were the original Ghostbusters, I simply did not want to enjoy this.But to my surprise there was a lot I really liked. How did it measure up compared to the others?
Writers Paul Feig and Katie Dippold, whilst playing in the Ghostbusters world, clearly wanted to do something that set their movie apart from the earlier two. As such, it’s neither remake nor sequel, rather a sort-of-reboot that sets up the Ghostbusters and the supernatural again in New York City, with respective nods to the originals.
It’s a long time, in fact, since I’ve seen a blockbuster so very, very eager to please. The movie shoots out of the traps with a pre-credits spooky sequence, before introducing most of our new quartet of Ghostbusters The core four are Melissa McCarthy Abby (channeling, at first, a little bit of Susan Cooper from Spy, before settling well into her character), Kristen Wiig as Erin (who serves as our primary way into the movie), Kate McKinnon as Jillian(relentlessly active, clearly having a ball) and Leslie Jones take-no-shit Patty.
We get through a lot of exposition quickly, a consequence of the need to re-position the film’s world, with Wiig’s character in particular about to get a job, tracking down an old book, and meeting up again with an old colleague in what feels like double-quick time. It does mean that, as energetic as the opening third is, the movie takes a while to properly settle. McKinnon’s Jillian – who I’d imagine will be loved and not loved in pretty equal measure (I warmed to her) – is utterly in keeping with the tempo of things with her non-stop energy.
But as things do settle, this new Ghostbusters finds its feet. It doesn’t disassociate itself from the older films – the same theme and logo is there, and there are obvious and less-obvious callouts – but the tone of the humour has changed slightly, and the world the Ghostbusters live in is just a little more self-aware. Andy Garcia’s Mayor, for instance, is far more interested in image management than shouting down the Ghostbusters themselves.
What surprised me is just how effective some of the jumps are here. Feig is more naturally a director of comedy, yet he shows signs of a horror edge here, with one excellent leap-out of your seat moment in particular (Helped by the 4dx no doubt) . Furthermore, when he turns his hands to special effects, he’s wise enough to ensure you can actually see and follow what’s going on, even when things are ramped up for the inevitably huge finale.
His much discussed casting works, too. The four leads work nicely as a team, and there’s one sequence with McCarthy in particular that’s flat-out excellent. The new cast by not trying to base their performances on the Ghostbusters of old, McCarthy, Wiig, Jones and McKinnon had brought to the screen characters I’d happily watch again.
Chris Hemsworth as the receptionist provides plenty of laughs as the hapless simpleton that Erin displays an awkward fascination for.
The cameos, too, are a pretty good, a bust of the late Harold Ramis can be see early on and Bill Murray , Dan Aykroyd , Sigourney Weaver , Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson all show up having interactions with their counter parts, almost as if they were passing the torch to a new generation.
I can’t help but come back to this point, though: in era of cynical, bloated, effects-packed blockbusters, this new Ghostbusters, to its last breath, desperately, desperately wants you to have a good night out at the movies. And I think most people will. Perhaps there’s not enough in there to fully dispel the pre-conceptions about this film that half the audience are bringing with them, but particularly when it finds its own footing, this new Ghostbusters is a really fun night out at the movies in its own right.
So out of a possible five stars, Ghostbusters earns:
Indeed bustin makes me feel good!
And if you a sense of dread lurking around in your basement and need the Ghostbusters then call: 0800 2229 911
What did you think about this film?
Thank you for reading!