Movies: Ghostbusters Review (or ‘It Has Women In It. So What?’)

The furore surrounding the all-female casting of the new Ghostbusters movie is something I’ve failed to understand.

It’s a re-imagining of a popular 1980s movie but with women in the lead roles instead of men. So what? This isn’t a scene for scene remake and the characters don’t even have the same name, so why can’t they be ghostbusterswomen?

Now fair enough, I’m not the sort of person who sits back and sees this as a triumph for feminism or anything like that; I just don’t see why scientists fighting ghosts have to be men?

You might read this and think I’m being a hypocrite because I’ve said before that I wouldn’t like The Doctor to be cast as a woman in Doctor Who, but that’s completely different. The Doctor is a man and it would be a continuation of the same character. Similarly if you cast a woman to play male British secret agent James Bond as a woman it wouldn’t make any sense; if you want a female spy then call her something else and make it a movie of its own.

But no, there’s no issue from me in having female Ghostbusters.

Sadly, a combination of that and perhaps a failure to live up to some people’s romanticised view of a movie they loved as kids in the 1980s has resulted in this getting mixed reviews.

And I don’t think that’s fair.

Though I’ve only seen the original movie two or three times in my life and don’t have that same affinity with it as I do with Back to the Future, Star Wars or Indiana Jones, I’m still familiar with it enough to conclude if it was a rubbish reboot.

But it wasn’t.

It was a well put together movie with exceptional CGI and effects and – far more importantly – a razor sharp script with laughs all the way through.

And more than that, the women they cast were all exceptional and were more than capable of carrying the movie.

While a lot of people I know remarked that Katie McKinnon stole the show, I felt that all four women deserve an equal amount of credit for bringing their characters to life.

They also worked very well with Chris Hemsworth, who acted his brilliantly written male bimbo receptionist with style.

For fans of the original movie, there were plenty of cameos and nods to the past, but I think my favourite one was how – compared to the 1980s – the idea that a start-up business would have the money to rent out an abandoned fire station in the centre of New York City as an office was absurd. That was superb.

What wasn’t superb though was the inevitable modern rehash of the original theme music; they should have just stuck to the original.

So to conclude, I thought Ghostbusters worked well; it was funny and well acted, and though it paid tribute to the original it also worked as its own movie in 2016.

The only way you won’t enjoy it is if you go in with a deliberate mindset not to.

And life’s too short for that pish.



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