Sunday, July 17, 2016

Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters is a summer spectacle. It's light on plot and heavy on laughs and action -- a perfect escape! This reboot of the beloved 80's franchise stars four of the funniest women in show business today: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Their chemistry, including with the hilarious Chris Hemsworth, together with the cameos, soundtrack, and special effects, make for a terrific moviegoing experience.

Probably the biggest thing about the reboot is all the actual ghostbusting. Armed with weapons cooked up by mad genius Holtzmann (McKinnon, who electrifies every scene she's in), the Ghostbusters are on a mission to trap and study the paranormal. This means, of course, that the movie has legitimate scares: spooky doors opening, mannequins moving, a character trapped with a vengeful spirit. While the emotional core of the movie is the physical and emotional reunion between Wiig's Erin and McCarthy´s Abby, even that takes a back seat to findin' and bustin' ghosts. 

Which is what we came for! Wooooooo!

When the threat escalates, the weapons improve and the action amps up. There´s a particular sequence where I had to stop myself from leaping up and clapping wildly after our heroes triumph, it was that exhilarating. And then there was the very funny coup de grace against the Big Bad, which I did not see coming but seems obvious in hindsight. The only problem is that the sound is so overwhelming that even shouted dialogue gets lost in the din. 

While the pacing is brisk, The Ghostbusters takes time to give nods to the actors from the original movie. There were a lot of claps from the audience during the cameos, especially the last one. And there was laughter aplenty, since the dialogue is so ridiculous (in a good way) and every actor has excellent comedic chops, from the four leads to Hemsworth to the various well-known comedians onscreen. 

My beef with the film, apart from the loudness, is the editing. A number of scenes end abruptly, and while everything ultimately builds toward a cohesive story of four friends who save the city, the movie could've used more Holtzmann and Patty (Jones). A more compelling villain would also be very welcome.

Overall, the new Ghostbusters hits all the right notes: it's irreverent, high-energy, and relies on the chemistry and charisma of its team. Stay until the end for the easter egg!

TL;DR: Worth watching in 3D!  

This post brought to you by Boston's Outside the Box festival!

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