Film - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

If there's something strange, in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? We called Nate McKenzie who watched the new Ghostbusters film...

I haven't been shy about my disdain for movie remakes. Their prevalence is indicative of lazy film-making and a society too stupid to be bothered by the fact that we're bunch of dogs eating our own regurgitated ectoplasm.

When the Ghostbusters reboot was announced I was annoyed but not because it was an all-female headlining cast. I just didn't want another rehash of something we've already seen. Sadly, any viable criticism was quickly overshadowed by old-but-not-grown-up man-baby assholes that lambasted the movie because it "ruins their childhood" and because it features all women in the leads; this, before a single scene had even been filmed.

I have no problem confessing that I wanted the movie to be bad. Bombing on the back of a $144,000,000 budget would justify a complete shut-down of all remakes/reboots. (No, that wouldn't actually happen. I'm just wishfully thinking.) When the trailer released, and looked considerably worse than even I expected, I was certain the movie was going to be a flop.

However, I felt that I owed it to the universe to go see the movie - if only to offset the pedantic men that refuse to see it and are still writing shit reviews about it on the internet.

So, on Sunday I used some free movie tickets I had (if it sucked, I didn't want to hate myself for spending actual money) and checked it out.

Unfortunately, I have to say... Ghostbusters is really, really funny.

My girlfriend and my nine year old son both enjoyed it as much as I did. If you're counting, that's multiple demographics pleasantly satisfied with Ghostbusters. We were quoting it as we left the theater. Well, we were mostly quoting Kate McKinnon as she carried the movie. (It's 2040 and the President is a plant.) Kristin Wiig was her usual (almost borderline cliche) awkward character but I enjoyed her. The way she mumbles lines under her breath gets me. Even Melissa McCarthy didn't annoy me! I usually veer as far out of my way as necessary to avoid McCarthy in a movie, but she was subdued and was allowed to honest-to-goodness act, which she does quite well.

My biggest issue was Leslie Jones. She deserved a better role. In fact, her part was originally written for McCarthy and I think that would have served the film better, with Jones in a non-stereotypical role as the brilliant scientist that McCarthy played. Leslie Jones deserves something more significant in her future roles, for sure.

Chris Hemsworth

The internet is flooded with complaints from Man Inc. about how this reboot slanderizes Man Inc., making us seem either dumb or evil. Those complaints, of course, ignore the fact that women have been relegated to the damsel in distress/trophy wife/eye candy roles since before zoetropes were a thing. A movie full of dumb and/or evil men doesn't vilify men (we do that well enough on our own); it celebrates women that have to put up with a lot of shit and still somehow manage to not go on daily mass-murder rampages (like men do). Whining like toddlers with soggy diapers and name-calling a group of talented, successful women is what villifies us.

The especially refreshing aspect of this film was the realization that, although it starred women, there was no love story. Too often we have to wade through an otherwise quality film mired by a forced love story because of the antiquated idea that a woman's success (in film and the real world) is merely a supplement to her attachment to a man. Even though one of the characters in Ghostbusters is obsessed with Hemsworth's hulking form (warranted), it's played as a humorous gag; she instead derives her personal worth from the success of her work. It is a simple message but one that should be echoed in future films.

As for the writing: the story was bland, basic, and without much meat (Hemsworth notwithstanding), but the plot wasn't the focus. Ghostbusters is a comedy not a period-piece Oscar contender. I dare say that much of the dialogue, the one-liners and the quick witticisms, rivaled that of an 80s Bill Murray character. And I am not unaware of the weight of that statement. These women handle comedy as expertly as their fictional counterparts handle undead apparitions.

Those ghosts, however, left a lot to be desired. Though, I have to say that the featured fight scene between the Ghostbusters and the spectres was pretty damn cool (the gadgetry specifically) Also, there were no men that came to rescue the four women in their brawl. They won the fight with their own strength and ingenuity. What a novel concept!

You may not enjoy the movie as much as I did. But if you think this is the worst movie in history, you are an asshole - and mostly likely a man.

Go see it. Decide for yourself. Enjoy the cameos and stay for the after-credits scene.

Images - IMDb (Sony)