‘No Chick Flicks’ Review of Ghostbusters (2016) PG13

Ghostbusters (2016) PG13

Okay, let me start this off by saying I had zero expectations of liking this movie. I went in with a struggling objectivity. You see, several of my fellow feminists and I took issue with this film pandering to women with an all-female cast. We felt it was unnecessary to replace a male cast simply to gain a more diverse audience. Plus, why even remake such a cult classic? Digressing now.

Ghostbusters starts with some excellent dry humor to set the mood. The first things I noticed about this reboot were the parallels between the new and original characters. They didn’t completely redefine the crew from the 1984 Ghostbusters. There were just enough similarities to Murray, Akroyd, Hudson, and Ramos to remind you that you are, in fact, watching a remake, but the new actors made these characters their own. Kristen Wiig, whom I always find awkwardly delightful, was just the right amount of silly and smart, while Melissa McCarthy was her usual brand of funny; abrasive and charming. SNL alums, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, stole the show, in my humble opinion. Jones was more than the “token black actor,” as many suspected. Her character added value to the story in a way that Ernie Hudson’s character, Winston, could have only dreamed about in 1984. McKinnon was my absolute favorite. Her quirky humor was exactly what this movie needed in order to be more than just a remake. She had me nearly choking on my popcorn several times. Chris Hemsworth nailed his “stupid but pretty” sidekick role. It was a far cry from his usual characters.

Obviously, with the advancements in technology, the special effects are far superior to those from the 80’s, but they still manage to pay homage to the style portrayed in the original film. Neon green and blue spectral spirits with exaggerated ghostly characters terrorize the city of New York. There are some excellent cameos that were completely unexpected, and a few “inside jokes” that point to the first film. Also, there are some one-liners that should stick out for quite some time. The story goes a little deeper into science vs paranormal this time around, rather than just tossing around a few ideas of what could be. And I’m not 100% certain, but I think they tried to reference Poltergeist.

So, let me say this; I am completely annoyed with how much I enjoyed this movie. I went in with an attitude against it, because I felt that a remake of a classic with a replacement cast of female leads was mildly insulting to the female audience. I was wrong. It showed obvious intersectional feminism and let the cast shine in their own right. This new Ghostbusters was not only a great hat tip to the original, it is a wonderful stand-alone movie that will bring in a fresh audience of younger followers. It has pushed its way into its own franchise, even setting up for a sequel. Begrudgingly, I recommend you shake off any misgivings, and go see this movie.

4/5 stars

–AB.

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