I was a fan of the original Ghostbusters and to be quite honest I walked into Ghostbusters 2016 with some doubt. Once I accepted that this film is for a new generation, I eased into this new story featuring an exciting and hilarious cast. The “new” Ghostbusters definitely entertained and I approve of the all-female cast as well as the storyline. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Adams kicked butt as paranormal UFC styled fighting machines.
Dr. Erin Gilbert is a professor at Columbia University on the brink of tenure when she learns a book she co-authored years ago surfaces on Amazon. A book that she thought dissolved along with her friendship with co-author Abby Yates. Gilbert searches for Yates who is also working at a college and pleads with her to take the book down. Yates agrees but only if she helps her investigate Aldridge Mansion Museum for paranormal activity. Gilbert and Yates along with Abby’s associate Jillian Holtzmann’s visit the house to come face-to-face with a slime breathing ghost who doesn’t seem too excited to see them. Unfortunately, Gilbert loses her job once her supervisor gets wind of a viral video with her proclaiming that ghosts are real.
Gilbert, Yates and Holtzman band together to help protect the city from paranormal activity and start “Department of the Metaphysical Examination”. They take residence above a Chinese restaurant and hire Chris Helmsworth as their receptionist. He’s easy on the eyes but a bit incompetent with just about anything that has to do with office work. Meanwhile, Patty a subway worker (Jones), comes across a ghost in one of the train tunnels and seeks the Ghostbusters to let them know that she is partnering up with them. She knows the city like the back of her hand and persuades them that she would be an asset to the Ghostbusters.
Insert villain Rowan (played by Neil Casey) a misunderstood guy who suffers from low self-esteem and feels bad for himself. He’s mistreated, no one listens to him and he wants his revenge! He’s also a genius and can conjure spirits from another realm. Rowan takes shape as a couple of characters- one being the Ghostbusters logo. He’s been planting devices all over the city which releases ghosts and causes mayhem. Ghostbusters answer the call to save the city but are road blocked by the mayor’s (Andy Garcia) office. They want to keep the onslaught of ghosts a secret and not cause panic and paint the Ghostbusters as criminals.
As a parent, I appreciate that young girls (and boys) can look up to these smart, funny and talented women. I think the new Ghostbusters has great messages for girls about friendship, equality (girls can do what boys can) and that women don’t have to be sexualized. These four women, these Ghostbusters, show their wit, intelligence and beauty while wearing jumpsuits and proton packs! The movie started off slow but eventually steamed ahead with fabulous slime-filled sequences and cameos from the original cast as well as an updated Ecto-1. The chemistry between some of the ladies was familiar, maybe because of their work together on SNL. Kate McKinnon definitely stole the show with her nerdy charm, steampunk styled spectacles and ghost-hunting equipment and was definitely my daughter’s favorite, “Mom she’s awesome!!!”
My daughter is 8.5 and she can be sensitive to certain imagery and she was frightened by the ghost apocalypse scene. This movie was her first introduction to ghosts and the paranormal and she was definitely curious to see how the movie would play out. I think this film may not be suitable for young children who scare easily but parents should have a gauge for what their kids can’t and can handle. I’m sure many families will enjoy the suspense and thrill of the scary scenes. The 3D was perfect but again could be intense for little ones. I’d suggest 2D if your children are hypersensitive.
I would definitely recommend Ghostbusters to families with kids in middle school and up (again use your judgment). It’s fun and not here to replace the original but is a good introduction to the Ghostbusters to the younger generation will enjoy an updated version. I’m happy to see the franchise back and “busting”!
Movie Fact: Ghostbusters was filmed in Boston! I’m happy to see that the film industry is filming there more! That makes this Boston girl happy. Do you recognize any of the locations?