A labour of love for both Harold Raimis and Dan Aykroyd who both starred in the original two Ghostbusters films (1984 & 1989) from the 80’s. The two iconic actors, writers and Directors always had a third film in mind, for many many years.
Now, for a new generation comes a new generation of Ghostbusters. An all female cast (opposite the originals who were all blokes) with even the receptionist doing a gender swap.
So when the release date was announced for Ghostbusters I was worried about what would happen to my beloved childhood franchise.
Could they keep the same momentum going after all of these years? With a different Director and new actors at the realm, would it taint the franchise (and my childhood memories)?
Ghostbusters (2016) takes a new spin on the original films story, where a band of scientists focused on the Paranormal with one having a healthy dose of skepticism (to protect her career) they wind up getting fired from their respective Universtiy Professor roles and chase their dream of being Paranormal Investigators.
Doctor Erin Gilbert and Doctor Abby Yates co-wrote a book some years back on the supernatural and while Gilbert went the Academia track Yates had it republished to finance her research, which inevitably brings the two back together, along with a very eccentric physicist and engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.
While the trio are housed in an office above a Chinese Restaurant with their Department of the Metaphysical Examination, further developing proton / nuclear technology to aide them in their quest to prove the Paranormal, a bullied anti-social chap called Rowan North is placing conductors around the city of New York across ley-lines to summon malevolent spirits for his own purposes.
The increased ghost activity around the city sees the trio get called upon to investigate further possessions and the fourth of the gang, who worked at the MTA and witnessed ghostly activities herself, initially calls upon the scientists to check out the subway tunnels. Both fearing what she has experienced and intrigued, MTA employee Patty Tolan joins the group. The group that the public name ‘The Ghostbusters’.
Ghost activity continues to increase at an alarming rate and calls begin flooding in for the Ghostbusters to catch and contain the wayward spirits. The city Mayors Office also calls upon them.
Rowan North turns out to be more powerful than he seems and just like the very first Ghostbusters film there is an epic showdown of gigantic proportions.
Ghosbusters 2016 is a revamp of the first film. It is not a third in the saga. I highly appreciated the cameos of the original surviving Ghostbusters team and there are many throwbacks and innuendoes to the original movies. (And of course we see Slimer again).
The comedic value in this revamp seemed to be overly done to the point of grating at times, especially with the very unintelligent receptionist; Kevin Beckman. However there are many laugh out loud moments and the film was wholly enjoyable.
The original franchise, for me remains untouched, untainted and while it’s hard for me personally to recognise Ghostbusters 2016 as apart of this franchise, it is Ghostbusters but not as we remember it.
Running Time: 116 MIN
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Chris Hemsworth
Distributor: Columbia Films / Roadshow