For those old enough to remember the original Ghostbusters movie from the early 1980s, including the unstoppable Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray combo, we said then, and I would still say now— it will take a lot to top the original. While this new Ghostbusters movie doesn’t quite do that, it is hands down the most fun movie of the holiday season, and good for the whole family, excluding small children. There are many things to like about this movie– it has a coming of age story, it has romance, it has intrigue, it has the supernatural in a quirky but fun kind of way. And thankfully the script writers do not, and do not have to rely on one big action scene after another, or one big CG effect after another, all there are some of both in the movie. No, this movie is plot driven, develops the character appropriately and cooks nicely along like a good pot of gumbo, before boiling over and moving to a fitting and fun conclusion. It has quirky humor (‘a grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartenders says ‘we have a drink named after you’ to which the grasshopper replies— you have a drink named Steve?’) and it has some heartwarming family drama as well. Not to mention the truly quirky character who is called Podcast because he’s constantly doing one. He is somewhat reminiscent of Ned in the Spiderman movies.
As for the exploration of the supernatural in this movie, it really isn’t about heaven and hell, its about ghosts, and pagan deities like Gosar that is associated with ancient Sumerian culture. What is interesting about all this is that the ghosts are not really spirits of dead humans, but more like gluttonous demons who associate with mega-demons like Gosar. In ethos this movie, with its deadpan humor and the supernatural is rather like the first Men in Black film, and equally entertaining for 2 hours and 35 minutes. Both Ann and I enjoyed and laughed again and again. The movie is not trying to make a serious statement about the supernatural or the afterlife, but does have some serious lessons about combatting evil, about the importance of not misjudging those you know and love, and the joy of watching children grow up and become brave in the face of evil. There is no bad language or sexual scenes in the movie, but there are some Gosar scenes which are probably too scary for small children. In the end, it would help if one had seen the original Ghostbusters movie from the 1980s, but it is not absolutely necessary to appreciate this film which has been so nicely put together by Producer/Director Reitman.