My reaction to news of any movie remake is nearly always “why, why again?,” followed by an audible groan. And, that’s exactly how I felt about the 2016 version of “Ghostbusters.” Uh, that is, until I saw it.
The original 1984 film wasn’t overwhelmingly funny, but it had a catchy song and some talented actors. And, it was an amusing way to escape the summer heat more than three decades ago.
The new film is a shocker, a comedy that defies you to get bored with it. The female ghostbusters may look familiar in their jumpsuits, but they are wildly original. They pay tribute to the original ghostbusters without falling into the trap of becoming a carbon copy. I like these four women for completely different reasons than I liked Bill Murray and his gang.
The women of “Ghostbusters 2016” are Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, all with great comic timing. I’m sure they had plenty of help from a good script and a capable director. But, let’s heap some praise on these women. They take us through this comedy adventure with the greatest of ease. The temptation would be to overplay the roles in pursuit of strained hilarity. But, when I laughed at these gals, it was because they were truly funny. There was nothing forced about their work.
Like the original “Ghostbusters,” the updated story is about how four heroes try to save New York City from an end-times event. The original wraith wranglers’ story is not part of this universe, but the actors who played them pop up in amusing cameos throughout the film. You’ll notice similarities to the original, but then it’s twist-time and the story turns a different direction. That’s called an homage not a knockoff.
You’ll hear the original Ghostbusters music, but again the film uses it sparingly. Everything about this summer comedy clicks. It’s completely disposable entertainment, but just like in 1984, a perfect excuse to escape the heat inside a cool theater with a cool movie. Grade: B+