Originally posted July 15, 2016
I saw Ghostbusters today and liked it. I wouldn't call it a great movie but neither was it a bad one. I also never found the original Ghostbusters to be all that funny, although the first one had some great bits.
I thought the first third of the movie was just ok. I didn't find it particularly amusing and there was a lot of set up -- of the characters, the plot, etc. The funniest part of the movie to me, hands down, was Chris Hemsworth. Kevin's interview was hilarious and given that actors tend to be either head cases or goofs, I suspect he had a good time with this role.
Around that same time, the movie starts picking up speed. Although I'd say there weren't a lot of laugh-out-loud moments (and we saw the movie with about 25 people in the theater, none of whom seemed to be doing much laughing) there were funnier situations, the group was clicking together, the plot was starting to gel, etc.
By the time we got to Act IV and the big action finale, I felt quite invested. I really liked the team, plus today's CGI means that they could do a much bigger scale fight with the ghosts. One of the Ghostbusters in particular gets a big heroic slow-mo action segment which was fun to see. The original Ghostbusters got to do a few action scenes, but on the whole they weren't very action hero-y in their confrontations. By comparison today's team fits that bill, sometimes for comic effect but also with heroic acts.
Besides the bigger scale, and variety of fun new weapons, there are some nice bits of characterization, although the relative skimpiness of this aspect is probably part of what took me a while to really get engaged. I did love the running soup bit, and I also loved the whole De Barge song segment.
Speaking of music, we were the only people in the theater to sit through the whole credit sequence. Some people started leaving at once, even though there were continuing scenes interspersed with the credits. Even after those ended we got a really long scene of Chris Hemsworth dancing which, well, there's no bad there. There are images and bits all through the credits and then at the very end there was another scene which seems to set up a sequel. So if you're going, don't be in a hurry.
I thought what they did with the plot was fairly interesting. There were a lot of callbacks to the original film, and cameos from all the original cast except, I think, Rick Moranis. They worked in a bust of Harold Ramis in a scene too. Two key ghosts also reappear.
But on the whole the plot is original, completely different from either of the earlier Ghostbuster films. The connections are mostly at the beginning with similar connections made among the team members, though even there they're not identical.
They also didn't miss making some meta commentary on both the controversy about the movie and issues of social status, both in their choice of villain and in some of the dialogue.
One thing I liked is that there is no love interest in the film, nor is there any discussion of whether or why none of the women seem involved with anyone. Although Kristen Wiig's character is very interested in Kevin, nothing happens between them, and the only discussion of her interest comes from the rest of the team, which finds it inappropriate. (I also loved the fact that Melissa McCarty's character doesn't even find him particularly attractive). I just really liked the fact that this movie could focus on the women doing a job and being fascinated by their work with no reference at all that I can recall to relationships (outside of the friendships that are either renewed or developed among the women).
So all in all, we both had a good time watching the movie, and I'd be glad to see a sequel. Hopefully the response will be good and we'll get one.