Movie Review: Ghostbusters

ghostbustersI finally made it to see the new Ghostbusters movie on Saturday and I’m unbelievably glad I did, as I’m fairly certain I laughed far more during this version than the original.

“Paranormal researcher Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.”

I enjoyed the original movie and I watched it pretty consistently when I was growing up. It was an iconic classic which touched on a subject that wasn’t widely known when the original movie came out. It was campy and ridiculous and took a topic that before the original movie came out was serious and disturbing. I was happy to see the new movie follow in the same vein as the original and even add in more continuity to increase the story’s believability factor.

The characters in this movie were all absolutely unique and different and not once did anyone’s relationship status come up, with the exception of Erin who repeatedly hit on Kevin in the most awkward ways. No one ever mentioned exes and no one ever mentioned current romantic or sexual relationships, which I think is a much more accurate representation of modern life than the typical way women are portrayed in movies. In most movies, women are cast as secondary characters and rarely given their own character arcs. This is such an issue that there are tests to determine whether or not female characters have their own story arc, whether or not they can be switched out with a sexy lamp and not impact the plot, or if there are even more than two named female characters who talk to each other without mentioning guys.

Erin, Abby, and Holtzmann are all smart to the point of social awkwardness and Patty is just plain wonderful. Patty and Holtzmann were both my favorite characters; Holtzmann because she is unbelievably nerdy and creative at making the most fantastic engineering feats, and Patty because she was so smart about the entire history of New York and how much energy and life she brought to the movie. Both had high levels of intelligence in fields that are not widely known or appreciated and that made those characters all the more fun and interesting for me.

I think one of the big sources of disgruntlement was that everyone kept comparing this movie to the original. While the movies shared the same title and the same general premise, these movies were handled very, very differently. The science of the time was a lot different than our current levels of science and that was keenly displayed during the new movie. While the original movieĀ discussed an often hidden topic, the new movie acknowledged how the paranormal world has impacted society and our popular culture. The new movie also paid homage to a lot of the original content and the original cast, which I thought was both hilarious and tasteful. Treat both movies as separate entities that share common science and humor mixes and you can then appreciate them both without having to compare and contrast them.

There are so many reviews about this movie out there that talk about the characters and how fantastic it is to see true women interact and how much fun that can be, as well as highlighting the strength of friendship. There is even a lot of loyalty in this movie, as the team agrees to save Kevin, even though he’s not the most effective receptionist around. There were no self-derogatory jokes, no fat jokes, and no social appearance jokes. They started wearing the coveralls because it was a convenient way not to get slimed all the time, but each of them stuck with the footwear they were most comfortable with and they all wore their coveralls in a manner suited to their individual styles.

Overall, this movie was easily a three on my rating scale. I would very much like to own it when it comes out and I am likely to watch it again.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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