Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)
By: Ani Thurman
There has been a lot of negativity towards the new Ghostbusters (2016) reboot, but if we take a step back and quit comparing it to the first one, I think it’s easier to appreciate the film. We all love the 1984 original, and the reboot makes an effort to refer back to it appropriately, even including cameos. That being said, the film truly does have strong enough legs to stand on its own. The biggest controversy with the audience is the casting. This time around, we have a all-female group of Ghostbusters. (Minor Spoilers ahead.)
Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a devoted physics professor at Columbia University, eligible for the position of tenure. When her interest in the paranormal are rediscovered because of a book re-released by her partner, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), her job is at stake. Erin and Abby had a falling out long ago, but this newly risen conflict forces Erin to confront Abby. She learns Abby’s new partner is Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), an engineer in training who creates what appears to be unstable devices, usually needing some touch ups after first use. Erin attempts to convince Abby to once again remove the book, making it unavailable for the public.
She reluctantly agrees, but after the three witness an actual ghost, things get interesting. A video is posted online, causing Erin to lose her job at the university. Even so, this doesn’t seem to be too bothersome, for an unlikely team is formed to prove the existence of the thought to be nonexistent. As more sightings are reported, our team gears up to eliminate what’s haunting New York City. Jillian provides new gadgets, and even constructs the proton packs.
They begin to provide their services for the community. Now, openly advertising their assistance, they figure they should get a receptionist. The only applicant that arrives to the Ghostbusters’ facility is Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), a dimwitted civilian. He doesn’t supply any help mentally, but makes up for it through loyalty. There was some debate regarding Hemsworth’s character, though I found that he brought on most of the movie’s laughs.
Later, they are brought to a subway tunnel where a ghost has been spotted. Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a subway booth attendant, leads the three to where she had discovered the ghost the night before. Because of this witnessing, Patty invites herself to become a member of the team she had just befriended momentarily. Resembling that of Winston Zeddemore, Patty insists that her knowledge of New York City will prove beneficial to the gang.
Little do they know, the ghosts are being summoned by devices built by Rowan North (Neil Casey), a mad scientist who is attempting to bring on the apocalypse as punishment for how people have treated him throughout his life. Soon, New York is taken over by ghosts, and the citizens seem to be hypnotized. A panicked Erin begs for a cab ride to which the cabbie, Dan Aykroyd, replies, “I don’t go to Chinatown, I don’t drive wackos, and I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”
The team devises a plan, and without any spoilers, New York is restored to normal. In conclusion, die-hard fans of the 1984 Ghostbusters most likely won’t be fond of this reboot. I feel like the plot escalates too late, and the CGI is a little too vibrant, giving the ghosts less of a creepy vibe and more of a fun one. I actually liked the cast, despite popular opinion. I recommend giving the film a chance with an open mind.