Last night, I saw the new and slightly controversial Ghostbusters movie (for the second time, may I add), and probably not the last. There are so many things to say about this film, once I find a way of putting them into actual words, instead of the loud pterodactyl shriek I produce every time I think about Kate McKinnon dancing with blowtorches. (Can you tell I liked the film?).
The second I heard this movie, led by Melissa McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), was being made, I was hyped. Super hyped. I loved the original Ghostbusters, but I couldn’t wait to get not only an up to date version, but one at the helm of an all-female, all bad-ass, all round hilarious cast, led by of some of the funniest women in cinema and TV at the moment. However, the backlash online spoke of a different story. There’s no way us females could star in a film and not encounter the oh-so-delightful and ever increasingly common form of communication that is online abuse. Who knew us women were such monstrous creatures, eh? Yet the film cleverly both addressed and quashed the backlash, with the Ghostbusters ladies reading out an internet comment saying that “ain’t no bitches gonna bust no ghosts”, instantly proving that all the abuse was unnecessary because they could indeed bust some ghosts. It is their job, after all.
While it was the women who were at the forefront of the action, some of the funniest moments of this film come from Chris Hemsworth’s performance. His cheerful disposition and clumsiness, mixed with lack of knowledge on what his actual job is, ensures his character is the adorable puppy dog that you want to take home and take care of. His performance also highlights the film’s progressive side, as he fulfils the overplayed role of the ditsy receptionist only used for eye candy. Another massive plus, in my eyes.
One thing that has been overlooked about this film is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is incredible. I never thought I needed Fall Out Boy to collaborate with Missy Elliot, but now that it’s happened, I don’t know how I survived without it. And I think it’s safe to say that Kate McKinnon dancing to DeBarge is the way to everyone’s heart.
It must be said that the writers did not forget about the original films and the legacy they left behind. There are several, clear and subtle, homages to the originals films that the writers squeezed in. This allowed this revamp of a classic to stand on its own with a new story, while still honouring its beginnings. Whether it was cameos from the original Ghostbuster actors, ghost cameos, or the iconic Ecto-1 being revamped as a hearse, the writers made a strong effort to nod to the original films while at the same time distancing itself from its origins. This was, in my opinion, a nice touch and a thoughtful way to pay respect to a dearly loved film, while at the same time cementing this female led Ghostbusters as the start of something new.
Let me say, if you couldn’t tell already, I loved every darn second of the film. It surpassed my exceedingly high expectations; it was funny, it was smart, it was everything you’d expect and need from a comedy in 2016, and so much more. While this film ticked all the boxes in the entertainment category, (did I mention Kate McKinnon’s dancing with blowtorches?), but the film is much more than a few special effects induced gags. The inclusion of a fully female cast for a blockbuster like this has been a long time coming. For the first time in my life, and this is shameful as I’m 21, I was watching my favourite movie genre, and relating to it. That’s not to say that I go off fighting ghosts every morning, (though I wish I did, because imagine the Instagram potential), but it meant I wasn’t sitting there, on the side lines, just like most female film characters, watching a group of men save the day and get all the glory. It’s a huge step in the right direction for cinema. Overall, it seems to me that this is going to be the movie of the summer, and for good reason. It was women, it was empowering, not to mention laugh-out-loud material, and it was hopefully the first of many. Judging from the reaction on social media, this has the potential to turn into the movie of a generation, where little girls will grow up knowing that they too can be the badasses kicking the bad guys’ butts. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to build a proton pack.