Ghostbusters (remake) – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

ghostbustersGhostbusters (remake) 3.5/5 – The ideas that spur the art of film come from many places.  Ideas can come from novels, short stories and various mediums.  Sometimes ideas come from previous films.  These are known as remakes.   These kinds of films can spur a lot of emotions from fans.  These kind of reactions come from the fact that a remake might not be as good as the original.  With this new Ghostbusters, it takes the idea of the previous entry and reinvents it with a female cast.  With a new story, crew and updated visuals, this is a film that’s ingenious and funny.  Even if the overall direction is a simple origin tale, Ghostbusters will have you laughing from beginning till the end.

Premise:  When ghost begin to appear, four individuals must come together to save New York.

In the main roles you have:

Kristin Wig as Erin Gilbert

Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates

Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann

Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan

Overall, these four do a great job in providing the audience with a refreshing take of a classic team.  With funny dialogue, whimsical situations and unique interactions, they provide something different, raw and inventive.  No matter if it’s conversations between themselves or contact with the paranormal; these four provide value to each of their characters.  That distinction comes from the individual personas created from the four comedians.  Each provide their own style of comedic flavor while also adding bravado and charm through their talents as actresses.  This helps build strong characterization.  The bantering is fluid and realistic; helping provide emotive depth when certain moments occur.  I can clearly say these four provide the anchor for the film.  With the supporting cast, it is mixture of cliché and one dimensional characters.  No matter if its Chris Hemsworth playing the ‘dubious’ receptionist or the former ‘ghostbusters’ providing their chops through cameo appearances; it all strikes that ‘one note’ mantra.  It is a very simplistic approach that doesn’t add much strength to the story, but at the same time it doesn’t hinder the entertainment value.  There is a blandness to the redundant factor of the cameos and other side characters, but the focus stays squarely on the four women leading the way.

The direction takes on a formulaic approach.  The director delves into the original material by spinning it within his style of direction.  By building off the idea of ‘chasing ghosts’; we get familiar tropes mixing in with modern comedic bravado.  By using the technical aspects of ‘building the group’, ‘common bonds’ and ‘point A to B’ plot driven devices, we are witness to how these four women come together to fight the supernatural.  Each element drives everything together in a linear method.  With this fast pacing, the audience gets a touch of exposition about other dimensions, paranormal and science.  This approach helps create intrigue by simplifying what could have been convoluted.  Even though the director brings in plot elements with an assumption factor, it helps keep the focus on the characters and the origin of their team.  As we move through the first act, we are carried through by the dialogue.  With the lack of explanation of some aspects of the plot, the strong lead acting helps bring everything together.  You might seem lost within some of the paranormal/scientific terms, but the colorful banter that glazes over this brings it across in an acceptable manner.  As the pace moves quickly through the first act, the story is layered further through two paralleling themes:

Figuring out the villainy plot

Defining the ‘Heroes/Heroines’ tale

As these themes help progress the film, it becomes a disjointed journey.  When the focus is on the characters, intrinsic dialogue and the unorthodox methods of the team; it works.  The humor is strong, the characters are wonderful and the situations keep you on the edge of your seat.  When the film goes away from any of these items, it becomes bland.  The good thing is that it doesn’t stray too far from the main cast, and is stays linear (for the most part).  As the team begins to unravel the mysterious sightings, all comes to head when the pieces come together in the third act.  The final act blends the ideas of the past films with the likeness factor of the current cast.  Once we get to the climax, it is a mixture of great humor, crazy action and the common ‘triumph’ ending.  Even with a ‘winding down’ epilogue, you will be smiling at this new spin of an old tale.

The visuals are a mixture of aesthetic appeal and CGI.  With it being based in New York City, the allure of the metro area provides a realistic setting for the surreal moments that occur.  Having actual places provides familiarity; helping bring a ‘common’ aspect for the characters.  The CGI is used for the special effects of the weapons, ghost, spirits and other creatures.  The creations are very obviously ‘computer generated’; but the obviousness doesn’t take away from their appeal.  The unique designs help provide believability, creating that ‘eerie’ effect from seeing ghosts in action.  The score is a mixture of new and old material.  With this being a remake, a lot of the ‘old tracks’ are used throughout.  This helps bridge the gap by flowing parallel to the new soundtrack used.

Ghostbusters is a remake that does enough to be enjoyable.  With a strong main cast and very wonderful humor, there is enough to keep you entertained.  Even if the origin tale is simplistic, it helps provide worth to the experience of a ‘new take’ of an ‘old classic’.  If you’re a fan of this series, the actresses involved or want to see something outwardly, this is one for you.  It is worth seeing at the theaters; a great time for the weekend.

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