Ghostbusters (2016) – It Did What It Was Meant To Do
I love the Ghostbusters. When I was a kid it was my favourite Saturday morning cartoon* (I didn’t see the movie, I was three). Egon and Winston were my first great loves, though even then I understood that Egon’s first true love was science. I saw every episode, many written by J. Michael Straczynski who would go on to become one of my favourite writers. I even nagged my parents into getting me the firehouse play set. And considering we were on the wrong side of the Wage Gap (or poor as we said in those days) it must have been a hell of a lot of nagging. As an adult I even bought the video game despite being crap at first person shooters.
When I heard a reboot was on the table I was concerned. Not because it was a reboot. I’m a born and raised Trekkie and enjoy those reboot films. No, my worry was that Michael Bay had somehow gotten his hands on it. My other two great Saturday morning loves were Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How they have squeeze five movies out of the hash Bay made of Transformers I will never know. I saw a Transformers toy in the store that didn’t transform into anything! That is called missing the point.
And I don’t even want to talk about Turtles, okay?
When details about the Ghostbusters reboot started coming out I felt a little more okay. Mostly because as far as I could tell Michael Bay was in no way involved. When I heard they were recasting with all women I was okay with that. Judi Dench was awesome as M. I knew the movie would come down to two things. Was the script funny and would the actors be able to pull off a funny script? Because, and this is something I think people are forgetting, Ghostbusters was a comedy! The cast was composed of SNL, Second City, and National Lampoon veterans. The script was intended for Belushi but he overdosed before it really got going. It wasn’t made to win awards or be high drama. It wasn’t meant to be the kind of movie that makes you question reality, boycott Seaworld, or get Ben Affleck another Oscar. It was meant to be a fun movie, and it was. It was fun to watch, it gave you a laugh, and you could tell the cast had fun making it.
Going into Ghostbusters (2016) I was only looking for one thing and that was to be entertained. I had no preconceived expectations. I could honestly say I’d never heard of the director and had seen nothing else he’d directed. I only recognized a couple of the actresses in a ‘hey, she looks vaguely familiar but I don’t recognize anything on her imdb page’ kinda way.
I got my ticket, my popcorn, sat down, watched some shitty looking trailers, and was entertained. I thought the cast was funny, the script was solid, they all looked like they were having a good time and played well off each other.** Hemsworth looked happy not to be wearing fifty pounds of armour and living off boiled chicken. The ghost effects worked for me as did the proton packs. I like that they didn’t recast the old characters but instead created new ones. I miss the tailfins on Ecto 1 but you can’t have everything. And anyone who is complaining about a slow first act needs to go back and watch a movie made between 1970 and 1995.***
So my review of Ghostbusters is ‘I Was Entertained’ which is all I was looking for.
* The Real one, not that weird ass thing with the guerrilla and if you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t go looking.
** I want Erin/Patty fic and I want it now.
*** Try Star Trek the Motion Picture if you want a first act that drags.