It was a sunny summer’s day on the 19th July 2016 and I was inspired by the vibrant rays to make the most of it all by sitting in a dark room and watching yet another movie reboot, heaven. The day’s outing was to go see the 2016 remake of the classic 1984 Spectre-cle Ghostbusters. This installment into the franchise was whelmed by the comedic powerhouse that is Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, who were reunited after their first foray into our hearts in the 2011 film The Bridesmaids. They were joined by the fresh and funny faces of current SNL players Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones playing the endearingly wacky engineer Jillian Holtzmann and the M.T.A come New York history expert Patty Dolan respectively.
I will admit I came into the theater with all of the pre-release controversy sloshing around in my head. I remembered the ridiculous reasons why people didn’t want to go watch a film that was set to be a bastardization of a cult classic. And I’m not even mentioning the gender swapping elephant in the room which I will address briefly later. I was glad to see that the second the lights went down and the theme music we all know and love began to play I new I was in for a good laugh at the very least. The pacing in the beginning scenes did feel a little bit unsure of itself. We had the premise establishing spookiness through us right into the ghostly visual effects that remind me a lot of a Disney ride. (Any them park tycoons may want to snatch those rights up soonish). But after a while I settled my over critical bones and let the silliness take me.
The performances started of a little bland with Wiig’s character, the stern was honest Erin Gilbert setting up a lesson in her current job in some unnamed university coming to some vague conclusion while looking at a series of apparently non senscial equations on a board. But soon after we were treat to the perfect combination of Wiig’s nice girl vibe and Melissa Mccarthy’s in your face comedic ramblings. It was quite clear that the cast of this picture knew how to be funny and they knew how to be funny together. The ensemble scenes were understated and the moments where characters got to take the spotlight showed each of their unique quirks in a favourable light.
I would say one of the things I wasn’t a massive fan of was how the film seemed to feel the need to keep making overly friendly nods to the original. I couldn’t go a few minutes without there being an appearance from an old cast member or a reference to the film’s cult heritage. It was good enough to stand on it’s own to feet and not have to remind both itself and the audience that is isn’t going forget where it came from. The hordes of aging film nerds aren’t going to pull the plug if a 2016 reboot of their precious cult film doesn’t live up to their standards. Enough people laughed and cheered to make Ghost busters a genuinely enjoyable movie.