Ghostbusters screenshot

Ghostbusters (2016)

A group of scientists attempting to prove that ghosts exist form a team known as the Ghostbusters when they uncover an evil plan to break the barrier between the ghost world and our own.

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Paul Feig's Ghostbusters has the unenviable task of revitalizing a film franchise that's been dormant for nearly thirty years. With the passing of Harold Ramis, and the other actors now being well over sixty years old, a direct sequel starring the original Ghostbusters is out of the question. Feig's film accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, telling a new, original story in the vein of Ghostbusters that doesn't directly follow the same path, but respectfully pays homage to the previous movies along the way.

Estranged childhood friends Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) are reunited when Abby publishes their book of paranormal research. With Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), they begin investigating strange occurrences, and when Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) joins the team, they become the Ghostbusters. Their antics draw the attention of the public and the authorities, who set out to discredit the scientists. Even when they're the only ones who can save the world from a psychopath named Rowan (Neil Casey), they still don't get the credit they deserve.

Ghostbusters screenshot

In a world of sequels and remakes, studios are blamed for a lack of originality, but audiences only show up for summer blockbusters with name recognition. Sony can't be faulted for resurrecting a stagnant movie property that still sells toys, video games, comic books, and T-shirts a quarter century after the last movie came out. Nor can they be faulted for trying something different by changing the team of four male Ghostbusters to a team of four female Ghostbusters.

Sometimes, the movie feels like it's going through the motions, and hitting all the spots "required" in a Ghostbusters movie. Of course each of the previous stars, including Slimer, has to have their own cameo. On the other hand, each of these moments, though rooted in nostalgia, is fun and entertaining without drastically slowing down the plot or distracting too much from the new cast and their story.

In the end, Ghostbusters is about letting go of caring about what others think. It's about finding happiness within yourself, and surrounding yourself with people who truly make you happy, rather than seeking the approval of society at large. The ultimate goal in life shouldn't be popularity and acceptance. Erin finally realizes this when she makes a spectacle of herself, confronting the mayor in public and running down the streets screaming at the people of New York to evacuate the city. When Rowan is defeated, the public is unaware that the Ghostbusters saved the day, but Erin happily accepts the fact that they will never get the credit they all deserve.

Ghostbusters poster Ghostbusters title screen

Director

  • Paul Feig

Cast

  • Kristen Wiig as Erin Gilbert
  • Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates
  • Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann
  • Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan
  • Chris Hemsworth as Kevin