“Ghostbusters” has received a lot of ire. As soon as it was announced that their would be an all-female cast in the remake of the 1984 classic, the naysayers made themselves known from the jump. A lot of it has been sexist rhetoric, with the assumption that women can’t fight ghosts or that it won’t be good because of its female cast. Which is simply ridiculous, especially given the fact that no one had even seen the movie at that point. I am personally not overly attached to the original as some may be. But rest assured that the 2016 update is not at all bad and is, in fact, highly entertaining.
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a professor awaiting tenure, but she’s forced to confront her old friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), when an old book about the science of ghosts they wrote together comes back to haunt her. A man believing a local mansion is, in fact, haunted seeks her advice, having picked up the book online (and Erin was sure she burned both copies). Abby is bitter because Erin completely shunned her and their book, but Erin is horrified that she’ll be passed up for tenure if the book is discovered so they make a deal to check out the mansion for actual ghosts before Abby agrees to remove the book from Amazon.
But once it’s discovered that ghosts actually do exist, with video proof and a face covered in ectoplasm to show for it, the two team up with fellow scientist, Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and former MTA employee, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), who knows her way around New York City and was one of the first to see a ghost. Together, they have to stop a deranged man from unleashing the “4th cataclysm” upon the city.
“Ghostbusters” is another remake in the world full of ’80s remakes these days. However, it is able to keep all the things that are beloved from the original and, in many instances, puts a spin on things, events, and characters that update it to the 21st century. Above all else, the film is fun and feisty, with a sense of humor. Even going into it with trepidation, it isn’t long before it wins you over with its charm. There are even on-the-nose gags about the blatant criticism the film has received in an instance when Kristen Wiig is reading comments under a YouTube video after the team took down a ghost at a concert. Melissa McCarthy advises she not read them or risk getting irked.
The lead cast have great chemistry and onscreen camaraderie. They work together pretty well and, although not all the jokes work out, when they do, it’s hard not to laugh. Sure, it’s all silly and ludicrous, but just like the original, the film allows itself to live in the absurd even while anchoring itself to the relationships the characters build with one another. Even Chris Hemsworth, as their well-dressed, but mostly incompetent receptionist (he removed the lenses from his glasses because they “kept getting dirty”), makes for some stupid, but fun laughs. Many of the original cast–Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts–make cameo appearances and they’re all pretty great. And with the 2016 summer movie slate having been disappointing so far, at least “Ghostbusters” is able to bring the fun and humor back around, making it an enjoyable remake and one undeserving of the hate.
"Ghostbusters" is actually fun, with callbacks to the original present without making itself out to be an exact copy. It has its own brand of charm and is pretty entertaining for a summer flick.