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Another summer, another Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy vehicle, one might think? After all, Feig as the director and McCarthy in the lead cast have joined forces in some of the 2010’s most successful comedies from Bridesmaids (2011) to Spy (2015). In a way the new Ghostbusters is a Feig and McCarthy vehicle but also so much more; it’s a refreshing departure from a mindless reboot with little thought but lots of cash behind it.
However, the film has faced hate-fueled controversy since the announcement of Ghostbusters being remade by an all-female cast and by a large part written by a woman (Katie Dippold). In fact, there was an unscrupulous campaign to make the new Ghostbusters trailer the most down-voted in YouTube history. Moreover, at press time, Leslie Jones, the black actress who plays the fourth Ghostbuster, was shutting down her Twitter account because racists attacked her with hate speech and intolerant comments and videos.
But why such anger towards a reimagining of an ’80s classic? Star Trek rebooted and they won at the box office several weeks in a row. Spiderman and Superman have been rebooted more times than my laptop and each time they make hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.
[alert type=blue ]Why such anger towards a reimagining of an ’80s classic? Spiderman and Superman have been rebooted more times than my laptop and each time they make hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.[/alert]
Ghostbusters may have had an uphill battle to be taken seriously as comedic summer blockbuster potential, but the controversy only made the cast shine more brightly. While the film has big names in Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, current Saturday Night Live cast members Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones stole the show with dynamic performances as over-the-top characters.
The film opens on sumptuous 19th-century mansion where paranormal activities are afoot. After a comedy of errors and much convincing estranged paranormal co-authors and enthusiasts Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) alongside Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) follow a positively smarmy Ed Begley Jr. to the scene of a ghostly occurrence. But after filming their first apparition, the women lose their academic positions at institutions with various degrees of respectability.
After finding a new space to conduct research (above a Chinese takeaway dive) through a series of events, both Kevin, the secretary (Chris Hemsworth), and Patsy the fourth Ghostbuster (Leslie Jones), join the action, just as the villain, Rowan (Neil Casey), appears. Like in the original, gateways are opened for ghouls of all sorts to escape and wreak havoc on NYC. But this time, it’s the ladies that have to clean up the mess.
Without giving much of the plot’s twist and turns and best quips away, it is safe to say that yes, the Stay Puft Marshmallow man makes an appearance as do Slimer – including surprising and funny cameos. There are proton packs, goblins, gadgets and lots of ectoplasm to keep the biggest of Ghostbuster fans happy, and they are easy on the language and scare factor to keep little ones entertained but not overstimulated.
To the naysayers, I declare the new Ghostbusters is not here to ruin your childhood. It will instill positive memories for a new generation of children and young adults. For the non-fans and those unfamiliar with the original, it’s enough to say that Ghostbusters is one of the funniest, action-packed comedies to come out this year.
Ghostbusters opens in cinemas on July 22.