Ghostbusters: A new classic? Time and box office will tell
There must have been moments, in the 30 tortuous years it has taken a third Ghostbusters film to get to the screen, when creators Dan Ackroyd and Ivan Reitman have had to look deep inside themselves and ask if anything was really worth this much aggravation. Perhaps it was when an unenthusiastic Bill Murray passed for the umpteenth time. Perhaps it was with the untimely passing of co-creator Harold Ramis in 2014. Or perhaps it was when, in 2015, having finally given the fans what they wanted, they were met with unadulterated vitriol that has continued right up to the film’s release: the most disliked trailer in YouTube history. The crime? Daring to alter canon by replacing the team of ‘84 with four of the most gifted comics in recent SNL history – who also happen to be women. Apparently this is still unacceptable in 2016.
The road has been rocky, that much is certain, but Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is finally here and, well, it’s really not the slime the fans (read “bigots”) would have you believe. Is it likely to join its ancestor on the shelves of the US National Film Registry? No. Accept it, move on. But this picture, while far from perfect, has a colourful charm that grows as it zaps from one set piece to another.
The plot is the same: ghosts appear in some old looking buildings, prompting estranged ghost hunting buddies Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin (Kristen Wiig) to join forces and save New York from an impending ghostly apocalypse. Shoehorned into proceedings are oddball nuclear physics guru Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones) and chronically inept secretary Kevin (a game Chris Hemsworth).
Boxes are ticked, homage is paid. But for every moment that feels overfamiliar, every joke that’s been forced into a take to make it funnier, there’s a morsel of surprising depth to win you round (see the brief insight into Holtzmann’s emotions as the credits roll). Feig has always paid tribute to the endurance of female friendships, but who knew he had such a way with sci-fi? The final showdown, with its blend of madcap choreography and brain-melting CG, is awe-inspiring.
Was it worth it? Time and box office will tell. It’s no classic but it is worth a chance. Ignore the trolls and enjoy it for the endearingly oddball thrill ride it is: often bumpy but frequently hilarious
Ghostbusters is released nationwide on 11th July 2016.
Watch the trailer for Ghostbusters here: