Film review: ‘Ghostbusters’ is sure to lift spirits

July 31, 2016, 9:20 p.m.

“Ghostbusters” proves its worth as a franchise reboot, even in the face of criticism. With big-name comedic stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the film holds its own as a testament to girl power without outshining the 1984 original.

Brought together by a unique passion for the supernatural, an unlikely ghost-battling quartet forms in the middle of modern New York City. Mostly driven by science (or at least the Hollywood version thereof), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) try to prove the existence of ghosts, but find that Manhattan is in fact facing a ghost invasion. The women, with help (if you can even call it that) from their clueless and painfully stupid secretary, Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), try to save the city from supernatural takeover.

Without its comedic goldmine cast, “Ghostbusters” could have easily joined the collection of remake duds. Each star brought something different to the table. McKinnon earned laughs with her dry and awkward sense of humor, while Wiig’s timid sarcasm encouraged snickers. Mixed in with McCarthy’s and Jones’ loud exuberance, audiences can find themselves giggling around every corner. Though I expected some cute comedy from these actresses, Hemsworth’s hunkily hilarious quality took me by surprise. It was nice to see him spoof his own stereotypical hunk role.

What the original movie was lacking in action was certainly made up for in this new rendition. Special effects technology has come so far in 30 years, allowing for big action scenes to take place. At times, however, the action scenes seemed a little too frequent. The film tries to feed on the adrenaline of the audience, but it often forces some of the comedy to take the backseat. The big explosions started to make the film seem almost like a superhero movie. These effects, however, were seamless and well used. In 3D, which usually doesn’t appeal to me, the feature was used effectively where it made sense, even making me jump out of my seat on occasion. The CGI ghosts were especially impressive, as there were dozens of unique looking ghosts, all of which had an insane amount of detail. This made the story seem just a little bit more realistic, allowing the audience to suspend their disbelief for the duration of the film.

Despite the controversy surrounding this film’s female leads, the cast was able to show that women don’t have to be oversexualized or in love to be entertaining to watch. All in conservative clothing, finding companionship with only each other, they proved that women can be placed in similar roles as men and still save the day. Amidst a lot of talk about sexism in the film industry, this film cutely commented on the problem and sent a lot of messages about girl power. Though the film may never be a cult classic like the original, it sends its message in an entertaining way and is a step forward for women in Hollywood.

Though the feminist in me was hoping for the movie to be as good as (if not better than) the original, “Ghostbusters” still didn’t let me down.  There were many witty cameos and nods to the original for those in the know, but the film stands on its own and doesn’t require any knowledge of past storylines, making it appealing for all ages. With a great cast, “Ghostbusters” proves itself as an addition to the franchise and definitely won’t leave viewers shouting boo.

Contact Liz Ketcham at lgketcham ‘at’

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