I saw the new Ghostbusters last night…and it wasn’t bad.
It’s not going to make my list of top ten films of the year or anything, but it was good light entertainment. The story line was familiar, but it’s not as if you can do a lot with the core premise — even the original Ghostbusters sort of exhausted all the potential of the genre. It’s a genre that’s actually sui generis.
The real focus of this movie, and of the original, is the characters. Murray, Akroyd, Ramis, and Hudson were independently and as an ensemble entertaining, and the movie was just an excuse to bring a group of unique comic characters together in a strange situation. This version is exactly the same, and Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon, and Jones pulled it off. The whole point of the movie is to bring four distinct, unique weirdos together and to have them riff off of each other.
What I also liked is that, while the story is familiar, and the whole point of the movie is the title characters, they did it without resorting to simply mimicking the original. You can’t line up Gilbert, Holtzmann, Tolan, and Yates against Stantz, Spengler, Venkman and Zeddmore and make any correspondences. As each of the original four were distinct from each other, the new four are also uniquely unique from each other and the originals.
And that was charming. Derivative as the story was, this one only added to the original by creating a new cast of distinctive individuals…who happened to all be women. Women with personalities? No wonder this movie has received all kinds of weird hatred from the alt right.