When there’s something strange, in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Who do you turn to when your house is plagued with malevolent spirits of the dead?
Personally, I would turn to Ed and Lorraine Warren from The Conjuring series. They’re a nice couple with a lot of ghostly experiences, who can purge your house of evil while leading a nice sing-along on the guitar at the same time.
Since the Warrens have been out of the supernatural business for a while though, I would recommend the Ghostbusters instead. Yes, I know there’s a new team now, who are very different from what people are very used to, and so many have little faith in them. But they can definitely get the job done, and have a lot of fun in the process!
Don’t believe me? Watch the new Ghostbusters movie, directed by Paul Feig, a very entertaining ride. It manages to capture the spirit of the previous Ghostbusters movies, while being a decent movie in its own right.
The new Ghostbusters is a reboot: don’t expect to see Peter Venkman or Egon Spengler. Instead, follows Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), two scientists who write a book positing that ghosts are real. While no one takes the book seriously, Erin and Abby are forced into action after a spate of hauntings in New York City.
Enlisting the help of nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and streetwise subway employee Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), the newly-formed team must hurry to foil a supernatural scheme that will have serious consequences if it succeeds. Cue the usual trappings of a Ghostbusters movie: proton packs, ghostly threats and non-stop wisecracks.
This film faced a lot of backlash when it was first announced: many overzealous fans and Internet trolls condemned everything about it, from its all-female lead cast to the film being a reboot instead of a sequel. A successful campaign was even launched to make its trailer the most disliked on YouTube. The movie even makes references to this: some of its most amusing scenes are the Ghostbusters reacting to comments left on online videos of them.
After watching the film, however, it seems these attacks were rather unwarranted: the new Ghostbusters is pretty good. Feig (who also directed Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy) does a good job of balancing comedy and action, and effectively uses a talented cast to bring out the best of a rather convoluted plot.
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
Its many jokes are mostly witty and well-delivered, and its special effects are well done. The ghosts are well-designed and look amazing, and one scene involving a possessed parade is a visual spectacle. Watch this movie in 3D to really enjoy them in all their ectoplasmic splendour!
The film also contains many callbacks and references to the original Ghostbusters film, and many of the old cast return to make cameos. Unsurprisingly, Bill Murray has the most fun one, and there’s even a tribute to the late Harold Ramis. Stay until after the credits for a hint at a returning character!
Acting is generally good, with all four leads doing a bang-up job. Wiig and McCarthy play well off each other, and their banter and arguments result in some of the film’s best lines. Jones also does well as everyman Patty, despite veering dangerously close to the “sassy black woman” stereotype. She gets some great lines, particularly during an over-blown possession scene.
The most memorable character, however, is definitely Holtzmann, whose collection of bizarre quirks and dramatic eccentricities make her seem like a cartoon character come to life. Some of the movie’s biggest laughs also come from Chris Hemsworth’s character Kevin, a beefcake himbo who somehow becomes the Ghostbusters receptionist.
Not everything is perfect: the show’s biggest letdown is its main villain, Rowan (Neil Casey), a society-hating, supernatural fanatic with dark plans up his sleeve. While Casey does a decent job playing him, Rowan comes across as a cliched nutjob conspiracy theorist, and his rather slight scenes mean he never really has much of a presence.
In a film packed to the brim with ghosts, the character is somehow Ghostbusters’ biggest non-entity, easily forgotten once his role in setting up the movie’s climax is complete. This villain is more of a dozer than a Gozer, if you know what I mean.
Not all the film’s jokes work (a recurring one involving a Chinese restaurant deliveryman can get particularly tiresome) and scenes with quippy, jokey dialogue can sometimes go on for too long. And let us not talk about the soundtrack, which features Fall Out Boy’s supernaturally awful version of the Ghostbusters theme. If there was anything fanboys should really have been offended about, it was that.
There are also a few odd story beats, which feel as if a scene or two got cut from the film before its screening. For example, one character is separated from the main group for a while without explanation, and when she rejoins them later, the film strangely treats it as an “oh yeah!” moment, complete with dramatic music. Did she leave the Ghostbusters when we weren’t watching or something?
Despite all that, this new Ghostbusters is an entertaining watch, and is so much fun that it’s easy to overlook its flaws. They say women can’t be funny? This film proves that myth officially busted.