I am going to struggle to write this review, I think. How do you even do Ghostbusters justice? It is the perfect blend of a comedy, action and supernatural film. The cast is brilliant and all in their prime. Anything I say about this film will not be able to truly tell you how amazing this film is, but I will try.
Ghostbusters is about three scientists: Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). They have been kicked out of their university because they focus too much on supernatural nonsense. The only problem is, on the day they’re kicked out, the three guys had just happened upon their very first ghost. They decide to open their own business. They convert an abandoned fire house and purchase a souped up police car in need of a tune up and go out catching ghosts. They become celebrities in New York and inadvertently stumble on to a prophecy that will bring about the coming of Gozer, a really bad god-like person intent on destroying the earth. Also wrapped up in this ‘end of the world’ scenario are Venkman’s potential love interest and the first Ghostbusters client, Dana Barret (Sigourney Weaver), and her annoying neighbour Louis (Rick Moranis). The Ghostbusters, along with new recruit Winston Zedmore (Ernie Hudson) need to stop Gozer and save the city before Venkman’s new girl is turned into a giant dog for good.
I’m sure most people have seen Ghostbusters, and I don’t even know why I just went through the plot of the movie as most people coming to this blog should already know. This film is brilliant though. The chemistry between all of the leads is top notch. Bill Murray is at the top of his game. He is so perfect as the snarky scientist Peter Venkman. This role was originally written for John Belushi, and Murray stepped in at the last minute after Belushi died of a drug overdose, but I can’t imagine anyone but Murray in this role. He is so good, and has some of the best lines in the film. Aykroyd and Ramis are great straight men for Murray to go to town and be hilarious. They let him be funny really well and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Aykroyd and Ramis wrote this film, so it must have been hard to give all of the best lines to someone else, but kudos to them. Bill Murray is without a doubt, the star of this film. Murray’s chemistry with Sigourney Weaver is also really good. They work so well together as a couple.
I also have to mention the soundtrack, I’m sure everybody has heard the awesome theme song for this film. I’m happy to report it is as catchy as ever. I had it stuck in my head for at least two days after watching this film, and it was great.
When I was maybe 4 or 5 my parents rented Ghostbusters and said I could watch it. We got as far as Sigourney Weaver discovering the demon Zuul in her refrigerator when I’d had enough. This movie was just too scary for me, so my mom put me to bed and sat with me until I fell asleep.
Twenty-something years later I still thought this was a scary movie. I guess it just never registered that Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, and has a ridiculous (yet catchy) theme song. This couldn’t possibly be anything other than a comedy, but somehow I spent two decades thinking this was like Poltergeist or something. It’s strange how the mind works.
Now that I’ve finally seen Ghostbusters (twice!) I can tell you that it is insanely funny. This is Murray, Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson at their best as a group of guys ridding New York City of spectral beings. Sigourney Weaver is her usual awesome self, playing a woman who becomes possessed by Zuul, and Rick Moranis works his usual geek magic as her similarly possessed neighbor. There are a multitude of great one-liners, my only complaint being that most of them are given to Murray. Still, there’s enough fun spread around and everyone gets at least one scene where they shine.
Surprisingly, Ghostbusters is scarier than I thought it would be, though much less scarier than I remembered as a kid. This movie really blends the horror and comedy genres well. A large part of the credit for this is due to an excellent script, which fully develops the plot and characters. The idea of a giant marshmallow man rampaging through NYC is ridiculous, but it totally works here. The special effects are also still sharp despite the film’s age. This is why I will always love ingenious practical effects. CGI is great, but sometimes it’s just better to skip them. Ghostbusters keeps the computer generated effects to a minimum, and is better for it.
I don’t really know what else can be said about this movie. It’s simply a great film, full of laughs and the occasional scene that makes you jump out of your seat. This is something that will always be fun to watch, and despite how silly it is, has a theme song that will stay in your head for days.