Ok, so I’ve heard a few people talk about being bored or just not thinking Ghostbusters was funny.
So, when did you have your soul surgically removed?
No, seriously. I don’t know what I expected. The trailer was meh, the internet hype with all the whiny manbabies was just out of control. I hoped for ‘doesn’t suck.’ What I got was something that made me laugh so hard I hurt by the end of it. It’s the kind of film where you miss jokes because you’re still laughing at the previous joke. And the fact that the villain of the film was essentially a stand-in for all the whiny manbabies who screeched about it before they even started filming just made it better.
Ok, so it starts off with a tour of an historic mansion, and history jokes, which I am a sucker for. Then we see Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), getting ready for a lecture, psyching herself up and a dude comes to ask her for help with a ghost. She finds out her old research partner Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has published their old book on ghosts and it’s selling on Amazon, just as Erin is up for tenure at Columbia. Needless to say, Erin does not get tenure and she winds up teaming up with Abby and her new research partner Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). It doesn’t take much time before MTA employee Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) joins they crew and we’re off and running. Oh, and we cannot forget Chris Hemsworth’s excellent comedic turn as Kevin, their ditzy receptionist.
So there’s a lot of humor that refers back to the original and does some comparing and contrasting. The most obvious relates to the original firehouse when they ask the rent the agent says $21,000/month. In the 80s the firehouse was affordable because no one wanted it. Now, it would have 12 start-ups in a shared workspace and a tech millionaire living upstairs.
Nearly the entire cast of the original movie shows up as cameos. Which has led to the head-canon created by my friends that those WERE the original Ghostbusters, but in some sort of witness protection program when the mayor decided to hide them after THEY saved New York. And the cameos are great.
The special effects were stunning. The timing is excellent, and Holtzmann.
I’ve had several straight dudes express confusion over Holtzmann. They don’t know what to do with that character. She’s not as much Egon (in spite of hair that resembles Egon’s hair in the Ghostbuster’s cartoons of the 80s), as she is Venkman. Only she’s written to appeal to ladies who like ladies, and without all the creepy boundary pushing. Granted Erin gets a little Venkman-ish, when Kevin is introduced. But Holtzmann steals the show, from that little wink, to licking her proton-pistols, to the awkward declaration of friendship at the end, she’s fucking amazing. Damn near every non-straight woman I know has a raging crush on Holtzmann.
And on to Patty. So Patty has a much more active role in this film, I feel, than Ernie Hudson’s character did in the original. She is their source of New York history. She knows what happened where, when. She’s the one who tells them that executions used to be performed right over that subway line. She is supremely knowledgeable about New York and they need her, really need her, as an active and valuable member of the team, and not just as comic relief.
Honestly, I loved this movie so much, and I pity the people who can’t see it as the lovingly crafted homage to the original that it is. It’s brilliant. Once again, the city of New York is a character itself. There are some stunning takedowns of sexism. The cameos were fucking brilliant. If seeing Sigourney Weaver’s cameo doesn’t make you giggle, I don’t think we can be friends. It’s a wonderful film, a terrific action comedy, and I look forward to seeing it in the theater again. Oh, and Annie Potts’s cameo made me shriek.
PS. Sorry it took me so long to do this. I’ve just been crazy busy on a secret project.