“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! If there’s something weird, and it don’t look good, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!”
I was a child in 1984 when Ghostbusters originally hit theaters. Even today whenever I hear Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic song, I smile as I think about how my younger brother Keith, who was obsessed with the movie, would walk around the house donning his proton pack and signature khaki coveralls. He would even lug his little boom box around with him, blasting the song as he saved my family from imaginary paranormal beings.
When I heard that Ghostbusters had been remade, my initial reaction was, “Why?” The 1984 version, starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, was a classic. Would the new version, starring some of today’s funniest female comedians live up to the beloved original?
My friend Erin and I went to the premiere, eager to see if the new cast of Ghostbusters played by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, could entertain us as much as their predecessors. Which crew of Ghostbusters would we like best, the male or female? Which characters would we forever associate with the singular word Ghostbusters: Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Raymond Stantz, and Winston Zeddmore or Dr. Erin Gilbert, Dr. Abby Yates, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, and Patty Tolan?
Erin and I were pleased to discover that the 2016 version of Ghostbusters has a different story line from the original even though both films have the same premise. Yes, the action takes place in New York City, and there are naysayers who doubt the legitimacy of the Ghostbusters, and yes, the Ghostbusters drive a hearse with a license plate that reads ECTO-1, but the new version has plenty of elements that makes it a movie all its own.
All four main characters were absolutely hysterical, and none of them were annoying or obnoxious; they were the perfect amount of funny! I especially found Kate McKinnon to be delightfully eccentric, and Leslie Jones made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. In my opinion, sometimes Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy have a tendency to go overboard, but they both did a fantastic job portraying brilliant scientists while still managing to pull off being humorous. Chris Hemsworth played the clueless and quirky receptionist Kevin, and Erin and I concurred that we had no idea he was a comedian in addition to being dreamy.
When asked what she thought of the movie, Erin said, “I think they got exactly what they set out to do! They set out to entertain people and make them laugh, and they did. They hit the nail on the head. I laughed the whole time!”
I agreed with Erin 100%. The movie was entertaining without feeling like I was watching a new cast recreate the exact same movie I loved 32 years ago. Fans of the original will be thrilled to see more than a few familiar faces as they make cameo appearances. There were moments, especially early on in the film, where I jumped, but overall I found myself laughing.
I assumed that the PG-13 rating meant that it might be too scary for kids, but kids over the age of seven will most likely say, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” If you’re considering taking kids under the age of 13 though, just a word of caution that there might be a certain hand gesture that you may need to explain so they don’t replicate it.
Let’s face it, no one who goes to watch Ghostbusters is expecting to see an Academy Award winner, but if you’re looking for summer fun mixed with a bit of nostalgia, go see this comedy! “You better call Ghostbusters.”
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Director: Paul Feig
Actors/Voices: Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
Rating: PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor
Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes