*WARNING – THIS ARTICLE MAY FEATURE SPOILERS.*
I, like many others, was dreading yet another Hollywood remake from the first moment I heard about Ghostbusters. But I let my mind wander free of all my reservations before I even sat down in the theatre—I was even a bit excited to see what this film had in store. Here are ten things that absolutely made this film a favorite of this classicist, in no particular order:
1. The gender-swapping. What many people, unfortunately, turned their backs on this film for was the fact that roles were reversed. That said, each isn’t without their own merits and demerits; the guys were written weakly for once—vulnerable, even—and it was they who needed saving this time around. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the tenderfoot secretary made for some pretty good laughs, and, while a tad overdone, worked for the remake. I like the flip-flopped idea of “dudes in distress”.
2. The girls. They’re side-splittingly-hilarious, and we have an all-female cast of Ghostbusters that do a pretty-damn-good job of kicking astral. Seriously—some of the action scenes in this had me really wanting to jump in there and grab up a proton pack, myself. Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann ended up being my favorite, for being soooo out there and science-y, but I thought the entire top-billed cast did an excellent job.
3. The ghouls. Again, something that people—myself included—were ready to walk away from this one for was the animation. It’s really something that can’t be avoided nowadays, though, as audiences just aren’t as fond of practical effects anymore. But the ghosts in the film aren’t half-bad, and have some pretty significant screen-time, too. A new, ramped-up Ghostbusters deserves some equally-dangerous specters to fight.
4. The plot. Though technically still just a re-rolled amalgamation of the first and second films, this new installment was still very much original. It’s clear the Paul Feig had smart writers on his side that knew what people were expecting to see, and tweaked those expectations just enough to make it seem like a new and enjoyable experience. Echoes were clear, as were Easter eggs and little love notes to the fans. Good to see that the filmmakers knew what they were doing on this one.
5. The cameos (and yes, all of them are public domain on IMDb.com). Okay, so, we look for Stan Lee in all his Marvel productions, but the surprise appearances by the top-billed original cast in this remake were fun, and not as ridiculous as some reviewers would have you believe. Nice to see that the original cast were all good sports about this remake and decided to play along. I loved seeing them all again.
6. The tech. If there’s one thing I frown at, looking back at the original film, is how crash-coursed it is. None of the science is really explained, outside of what we need to understand the plot, and neither are the origins of all the Ghostbusters’ tech. In this one, we get that—we see the trial runs and where all their stuff comes from, and that’s cool for techy types, like me.
7. Mid- and post-credits. The B-roll montage during the credits was enough to keep me in my seat and engaged, and is a nice deviation from typical end credits. The text was animated, there are a bunch of fun tid-bits…and a tantalizing teaser for the sequel.
8. The jokes. This film was pretty funny—aided, it goes without saying, by the SNL talent in the main cast. These women are hilarious. Those behind the words, the writers, know their audience, weren’t immature, and knew where to prod stereotypes and paradigms to get a grin and a laugh out of the viewers. This movie is a fresh start for the franchise, and those at the helm saw to it that it broke all the barriers.
9. The direction. There were a lot of ways this film could’ve gone; the trailer wasn’t great, and it surely didn’t end up doing justice to the film, writ large. Paul Feig knows what he’s doing and where he wants to take the future installment(s). It wasn’t a satire, it wasn’t a parody, it was Ghostbusters, plain and simple. Everything I loved about the original, cranked up to eleven… I can’t remember the last time I let out a post-viewing “Woooo”.
10. The upcoming sequel. Alright…no spoilers, but it was obvious to some that this would do so well at the box office as to merit a second film. If you haven’t seen it yet, please go, and stay for the end credits scene!! Fans of the original film will only be able to imagine where it can go and how it’ll get there, but I can honestly say that it’s a ride I’ll be looking forward to.