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Review: Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters was funny.

Yes, I mean the new one.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, laughed a lot, and really liked what each of the four leads did with her part. They had a nice chemistry and played off each other well. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were both given a lot of responsibility in terms of plot and exposition, which meant Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon were more free to cut loose, but each of them had their moments.

I also have to call out Chris Hemsworth for his small but vital as the dim and oblivious assistant. He was a revelation. It made me wish the Thor movies didn't force him to run around stopping universe-ending peril all the time and gave him space to be silly.

For the most part, this remake didn't try to hit anyone over the head with the fact that the male leads in the original had been replaced by women. It just did its thing, trying to be spooky and funny and showing enough callbacks and cameos to pay homage to the original while still having its own identity. But the arc of these characters who start out as nobodies and have to prove that they know what they are doing was one thing that took on a very different flavor than it would have if an identical story had been played out by male characters. They are not taken seriously because they are talking about ghosts, but you can feel a subtext that they are also not being given the benefit of the doubt the men would be getting in the same situation. To its credit, the film never explicitly calls this out, but I felt it there, a steely core of real feeling underneath all the mayhem and one-liners.

But this was never meant to be a "messsage" movie about feminism. It was just supposed to be fun and funny, and it was; it's been forced to bear a lot more cultural weight than it ever was built for just because so many whiny men on the internet made a big deal about it. Nobody's childhood was ruined by this remake of an 80's movie that wasn't ruined already by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Bill Murray Ghostbusters you loved is still out there. Go watch that again if you don't want to see the new one. Or better yet, see both - there is always room in the world for more funny movies.


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