I grew up loving 1984’s original “Ghostbusters,” but I’m not one of the — if the Internet is to be believed — millions of people angry that a remake has been made.
In case you’ve somehow missed it, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the new “Ghostbusters,” which releases in theaters Friday, and I’ll be honest. I reached a point where I didn’t even want to see this movie simply because I grew tired of reading comments from fanboys insisting their hatred of a movie they had not yet seen had nothing to do with sexism over its all-female leads. They could tell by the first trailer released that it was an absolutely no-good terrible movie.
Personally, I'm not one to judge until I actually see the movie itself, but that's me. Case in point: the first trailer for Disney's "Frozen" led me to believe I would be seeing a movie about a fun friendship between Sven the reindeer and Olaf, a goofy snowman.
After seeing a preview screening of the new "Ghostbusters" Monday at Regal Hollywood 20, I’m relieved to be able to say I actually really truly enjoyed the movie. No, I’m not saying that because I’m a woman and the new cast is all-female. I really did enjoy it, and so did my friend who saw it with me who was never that big of a fan of the original to begin with.
That said, the new “Ghostbusters” isn’t without its flaws, and I strongly caution parents against taking children younger than 13 to see it. Oh, how I wish parents could take their young children to see what is essentially the first all-female superhero-type movie ever made, but there’s a lot of profanity, inappropriate jokes and scary moments.
Director Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” follows the formula of the original movie, opening with a scene of a spooky haunting in a historical house instead of the library. University professor Erin (Kristen Wiig) is a former ghost enthusiast trying to hide that fact because she’s up for tenure at Columbia University. A series of events reunites her with her childhood friend and fellow scientist Abby (Melissa McCarthy), who has continued studying the paranormal at a smaller community college. Abby’s colleague is oddball scientist Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and the three decide to make a private business of busting ghosts. New York subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones) joins the team after first coming to the Ghostbusters for help. The foursome quickly deduces that someone is summoning ghosts, and it’s up to them to stop an apocalypse.
So what should parents know?
“Ghostbusters” is rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor. There is quite a bit of mild profanity throughout the movie. In one scene, the administrator of a college gives the finger to the women, multiple times, in a joke that just isn’t that funny. There is also some sexual innuendo. For example, their dumb-as-rocks receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) suggests the Ghostbusters logo be a buxom ghost because the team is all women, and Erin inadvertently wiggles her behind in front of a man who has walked in without her knowing. Erin also ogles Kevin because of his beefcake good looks.
The biggest reason parents should use caution in seeing “Ghostbusters” is because of its violent and frightening scenes. One of my friends told me afterward that the movie would have scared her kids to death when they were younger, and I’d have to agree. Some of the ghosts, like Slimer, are played for laughs, but others are menacing and frightening — more so than in the original. The ghosts also demolish a lot of Manhattan, and the Ghostbusters themselves do a lot of damage.
The bottom line: I think tweens and teens will really enjoy this movie. While many will think the original is better based on sentimental value alone, the new “Ghostbusters” doesn’t deserve the hate it’s drawn and will likely connect with a generation that has no comparison to make. The cast is great, by the way, and even when the jokes fell flat, I still found myself smiling. That’s because this movie does exactly what you would expect of a summer blockbuster. It’s fun and entertaining. It won’t win any Oscars, but neither would the original.
Speaking of the original, stay through the entire end credits. You won’t want to miss all of the fun cameos in “Ghostbusters,” and trust me — there are a lot.
“Ghostbusters” opens Friday, July 15 in theaters nationwide.