Female “Ghostbusters” for a New Generation
By Skip Sheffield
To get to the point, “Ghostbusters” is more enjoyable than I expected. It probably helped that I saw the screening with two young females; my daughter and her significant other.
Director Paul Feig (“Spy, “Bridesmaids”) has basically recycled the original 1984 plot, but with women instead of men doing battle with CG-enhanced paranormal forces in New York City.
Those women are paranormal authors Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy); nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (a scene-stealing Kate McKinnon) and MTA worker Patty Toland (Leslie Jones).
This movie has rated terrible word-of-mouth even before its release. How dare they!, etc. So I invited two young women to see it. Surprise! They loved it.
Feig cast four of the funniest women in the business, plus dreamboat hunk Chris Hemsworth as their dim-witted receptionist, Kevin, playing the Annie Potts role.
I saw the original movie only once, but it left enough of an impression that I noticed sly references to the original.
Of course there is the New York City setting, which is loaded with ghosts. The ghost-busting girls first set up shop in a Chinese restaurant, then move to a decommissioned firehouse, as in the original.
They even have a Cadillac ghost-busting car, though it has been updated from a 1959 limousine to a late 1980s hearse, which is on loan from Leslie Jones’ character.
In another tribute to the original, Bill Murray plays a cameo as a paranormal debunker.
Is “Ghostbusters” better than the original? No. But it is a tolerable bit of nonsense that lets the girls have their day to play.