Sony Pictures presents for 2016 Ghostbusters, directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) and starring Melissa McCarthy (Spy, Bridesmaids) and 3 Saturday Night Live alum: Kristin Wiig (who also starred in Bridesmaids), Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Ghostbusters is inspired by the popular franchise that began in 1984 directed by Ivan Reitman (who also serves as an executive producer for this film). The current Ghostbusters is not a sequel in any way to the aforementioned 1984 classic. Rather, Ghostbusters takes the concept of four people in New York investigating and combating ghosts and reimagines it as though the film were released today with all females rather than males in the lead roles. In addition to that, the film does have a plot and characters that can be distinguished from the original.
The first heroine we are introduced to is Erin Gilbert played by Kristin Wiig. Erin is a professor at a New York University who is about to get her tenure. In her youth, Erin and her best friend Abby Yates wrote and published a book on their theories about ghosts and the science of the supernatural. Years have passed and Erin has moved on but Abby (Melissa McCarthy) is still knee deep in her investigations. Abby has also partnered with a quirky but brilliant engineer named Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). A paranormal incident brings the three together as they investigate a land mark and find a ghost. Erin is a believer again and the three try to spread the word that ghosts are real. This draws the attention of Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) an MTA worker who also had a ghost sighting. Though Patty joins the group, the team also begins to gather negative attention in the form of social media trolls and paranormal debunkers. Undeterred, the group set up shop and begin their business of paranormal investigations.
They hire the handsome but dimwitted secretary Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) and then their adventures begin.
One major thing that distinguishes Ghostbusters from its predecessor is the tone. While 1984’s Ghostbusters was a supernatural comedy, it attempted to ground itself in a serious world with real people thrown into paranormal situations and featured the comedy found in those situations. 2016’s Ghostbusters, being directed by Paul Feig, has a tone more akin to his 2015 film Spy. Taking a more absurdist approach, this version goes for more physical comedy and characters behaving ridiculously. This new tone is definitely the kind of comedy more commonly seen in hit movies today. Another contrast is that 1984’s Ghostbusters had moments that could legitimately creep or scare an audience. 2016’s Ghostbusters makes its ghosts brighter in color and thus less terrifying.
This was likely done so that younger audiences could enjoy the film in theaters. These comparisons are not to illustrate which film is better, both are entertaining in their specific ways. These comparisons are instead to let audiences know to go in with fresh eyes and not to expect just a retelling of the 1984 version. 2016’s Ghostbusters was meant to stand on its own as a film and succeeds. Additionally, fans of the original will have something as well with the myriad of homages and in-jokes which only people who had seen the 1984 version will comprehend.
In summation, 2016’s Ghostbusters both stands on its own for audiences new to the franchise as well as being a love letter for fans of the 1984 version. Appropriately rated PG-13, Ghostbusters is perfect for preteens, teens and young adults.
Ghostbusters is in theaters everywhere now!