I will start out by saying that I am probably in the minority, but I enjoyed the new Ghostbusters movie – I had fun watching it and it kept me entertained. Does it have its share of problems? Yes, but the places where it was lacking did not ruin my enjoyment of watching it. Now one of the first things that I do want to point out is that this is very different movie from the original Ghostbusters movie. I am not going to spend this review trying to compare the two because in my opinion they were just too different from each other. I understand why people are comparing them because this is the Ghostbusters for a new generation and this could be the only Ghostbusters that some kids know. At the same time I want to judge this movie for what it is.
That being said I really did enjoy this movie, it was a fun time and I don’t feel like it was a waste of my time or money. The big thing for me was that I really liked all of the four main characters, but there were definitely pieces of the story that were lacking.
Minor spoilers follow!
For me the best thing about this movie really is the different characters. The central characters are played by Wiig and McCarthy (Erin and Abby) who were best friends growing up and have grown apart. They are the two who have studied the science of the paranormal and ghosts, but then Erin went on to a more respected career path and Abby continued their research. They get forced back together due to their past catching up with Erin. The interactions between the two of them are pretty good. I feel like I cared about the characters and appreciated the struggles that they went through to get where they are today – the people not believing them, and each represents the path that could have been taken in face of the rejection.
The two sort of side characters are definitely Patty and Holtzmann played by Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Both of these characters are definitely underplayed in the trailer. We are introduced to Holtzmann working with Abby at the worst college imaginable and she is brilliant. The things that she invents in this movie are so impressive and I loved to watch her mind work. Then there is Patty who is the New Yorker working in the Subway who knows New York. The thing is that she does not just know New York – she knows the history of New York. She knows weird trivia about the history of New York City, which is actually a useful skill when looking for information about ghosts in the city.
Now the characters are great and I love all of them and they made me laugh, but the story is definitely lacking. Some of the problem is that they made this movie an origin story and it took a lot of time to introduce the characters and their skills. After spending all of that time introducing the characters they just did not have much time to actually introduce the villain so the main danger in the movie never fully formed. They introduced the ideas of who the villain is and why he is doing it, but the how definitely comes across just like it needed to happen to tell the story that way.
It would have been nice to spend a little more time understanding the how this actually happened portion. Now one thing that I have to say is some people are like “the villain is weak,” but for what the movie was I do not mind that the villain is kind of a joke in and of itself. I don’t want to give too much away, but the villain sort of feels like a commentary on the Internet trolls and commenters. At the same time it does not go deep enough to actually make a statement on these issues. In the end, I didn’t really care because I was enjoying watching the characters at work.
Is this the greatest movie ever? No. Did I just have a fun time watching a group of people work together and create some cool stuff? Yes.
This is a movie that I would put on again if I just wanted a good time. I do not think it will hold a place in the cultural lexicon the way that the original Ghostbusters did, but that does not mean that it was not enjoyable. One of the problems with the trailer was definitely that it gave too much away. There was supposed to be a twist in the movie that the trailer completely gives away. This turns the whole sequence when you are watching it in the movie to be slightly boring because we already know what is coming.
I do not think this movie is for everyone and it is important to remember that this is not your original Ghostbusters. At the same time if you are willing to look past a subpar story, the characters are pretty awesome and I think worth a watch (especially Holtzmann).