Sometimes you just should get in your head that you are going to the movies for a fun time. The all-female redo of Ghostbusters under the guidance of director/co-screenwriter Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) is just that – a fun time. Nothing ground breaking or especially original just a good amount of laughs. I say this because even before the film came out or we heard really anything about it people were jumping all over it. Jumping all over it because it was being redone with women in all the main characters. Blatant sexism. That is discouraging and too bad because I am sure it influenced many from the get go not to go see the film. I’m here to say you should not believe the uneducated naysayers and your loss.
The only thing that should matter is that this version of Ghostbusters is a solid piece of summer diversion. Which is not really surprising considering the solid comedic cast. In this edition of Ghostbusters you have some of the best female comedic actresses working today. Three are Saturday Night Live alums while the fourth is probably the most recognizable female comedic actress working today. All have proven that they are willing to go to any length to get a laugh and that is a great quality to possess in comedy. In this film they will act like oddballs or geeks, get slimed, be thrown around the set, and all sorts of physical comedy. All four have their moments in the spotlight to shine and all take the bull by the horn. For me, the strongest was the brilliant Kate McKinnon in a role that could have easily been done with a heavy hand. Her take on the oddball character is done with a light touch making it all the more funny.
Just as she is up for tenure in the Physics department at Columbia, Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig – The Martian, Despicable Me 2) finds out her estranged friend Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy – from television’s The Gilmore Girls) has placed a book they wrote a long time ago about the supernatural on Amazon. Realizing this will jeopardize her chance at tenure she goes to speak to Abby, who now works at a much less prestigious school along with her odd sidekick, Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon – from television’s Saturday Night Live). One thing leads to another and Erin is fired from her job and now hunting ghosts with Abby, Jillian and former transit worker, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones – Trainwreck, A Guy Thing).
Soon they are fighting for respect again the mayor of New York (Andy Garcia – Ocean’s Twelve, The Godfather: Part III) while trying to save the entire city for a legion of ghosts which is unleashed by the unhinged Rowan North (Neil Casey – from television’s Inside Amy Schumer).
In a stab at the sexism all these female comedians have faced at one point or another they turn it all on its head by having beefcake Chris Hemsworth play the dumb secretary. He is really just there to be nice to look at not for his skills at the job. Oh, and the ladies also have to try and rescue him at one point. Man in distress. Quite funny and bravo to him for taking on the role.
Comedically it is solid with plenty of laughs to be had. Most of the humour is rather simple, but there is some nuance to it as well. A nice balance is struck between physical, silly, gut busting, and low brow. Director Feig really shows his command of comedy with the pacing and diversity.
Even fans of the original Ghostbusters directed by Ivan Reitman should find nothing to scoff at as this is not a remake per se rather a different take on the story and a tribute in parts. In a nice nod to the original film there are cameos by all of the main actors like Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. The only ones missing are Rick Moranis and the deceased Harold Ramis – though his son Daniel has a small part as a fan at a metal concert.