by Cassie Ochoa
“Women shouldn’t be ghost busting!” That has been the main reductionist and sexist stance on why the new Ghostbusters should not exist (and in fact is quoted in the film itself). Whether it be a childhood love of the original or the hatred of the remake/reboot trend, Ghostbusters is facing an uphill battle. Make no mistake, this is not a “girl power” film. This is a comedy film that just happens to star women.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a respected physics professor with a secret: she believes in ghosts. More accurately, she gave up studying the science of the paranormal with her best friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) in an attempt to be taken seriously, forsaking the book they wrote as a “gag”. Just before her tenure review, the caretaker of a historical manor arrives, begging for her help, claiming the manor is haunted and brandishing a copy of her “buried” book. Erin reluctantly agrees to help, introducing the caretaker to Abby and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). Suddenly the paranormal start popping up all over New York City. Who you gonna call?
Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) and writer Katie Dippold (The Heat) do a fantastic job blending action set pieces, comedy, and genuine scares. Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, most notably, do fantastic jobs with the material, mixing slapstick with verbal wordplay that would make one of the Three Stooges blush. Chris Hemsworth does a fantastic job as Kevin, the brainless secretary, helping raise the one note character into a goofier and slightly more realistic version of the “dumb hot secretary”. However, the heart of the film lies squarely with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig as estranged friends who are reunited by a childhood passion for ghosts.
On a technical level, the film definitely excels with the 3D format. Generally, if there are ghosts around, the 3D brings an additional sparkle to the class three and class four specters. Cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman is no slouch in the comedy film department—being the go-to-man for both Wes Anderson and Paul Feig—but does a fantastic job with 3D filmmaking. The score is fantastic, blending in notes of the original theme and making every moment feel both, fun and action packed.
Never fear, original film fans, Ghostbusters (2016) does a fantastic job of not only paying homage to the men who came before them, but also, bringing their story to life with enough originality to carry the film. The story never slows down, packing emotional heart and plenty of laughs into the film. It is both a fantastic heir to the Ghostbusters throne and a wonderful standalone movie. Ghostbusters deserves to be the most talked about film of the summer, except under a brighter light.
Oh, and be sure to stay for the credits. All of them.