Jeremy Henderson, Senior Writer
Look, if I panicked and ran to the doctor every time my penis felt weird, my doctor would own a boat named Jeremy’s Weird Dickboat, so the slight tingling I felt as I left the theater after seeing the new Ghostbusters film didn’t really register with me as all that strange. I chalked it up to any of the usual groin maladies that afflict men of my age, like Scrotal Settling Syndrome, or Perineum Tremens.
Going in, my feelings about the new Ghostbusters were decidedly mixed. The original is one of my favorite movies of all time, a cornerstone of my childhood, an endlessly quotable charmer of a film, featuring three genius comedians at the top of their game, Sigourney Weaver at the height of her power, and Ernie Hudson doing his best with what he’s been given. And while the new film featured a seemingly can’t miss cast, the initial trailer did not exactly thrill me, with a handful of hacky gags that seemed more suited to a shitty 80’s sitcom than a big budget comedy from 2016, and a confusing reference to the “three scientists” who saved the city 30 years earlier (the movie is a reboot, not a sequel, so the reference is complete nonsense within the reality of the film; also, Winston Zeddemore getting no love, again).
And of course, I heard the criticisms of the grunting man-children of the Internet, who were just pissy about a bunch of gross girls taking the places of their precious be-penised Ghostbusters of yore, and were convinced that this movie was a direct assault on their manhoods. But it’s easy to ignore them, because they are shitty, misogynists and racists, and have never been right about anything, ever. If anything, I wanted to see the film to spite them.
Oh, if only i had listened…
So anyway, I liked it a lot. The main strength of the original Ghostbusters is the chemistry and charm of the cast, and the new movie has that in abundance. Kristen Wiig plays Dr. Erin Gilbert, a former parapsychologist who has attempted to ditch her past as co-author of a book on ghosts and join the ranks of respectable academia. When she discovers that the book is still in print, she confronts her former best friend and co-author, Melissa McCarthy’s Dr. Abby Yates, who has been toiling away on her efforts to prove the existence of ghosts with Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, an eccentric engineer played by Kate McKinnon.
It’s pretty clear that Wiig, McCarthy, and McKinnon are playing the Murray, Ramis, and Ackroyd roles, respectively, but each brings enough of their own style and personality to their roles that it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to do impersonations of the original characters (which would have been disastrous). McKinnon gives a particularly fun performance as Holtzmann, a high energy fount of weirdness whose every gesture and facial expression threatens to steal any scene she’s in.
Joining the three scientists is Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan, an MTA booth worker and expert on the history and architecture of New York, who guides them on the search for the source of a spike in paranormal activity. Jones is clearly a stand-in for Ernie Hudson’s role in the original film, but Patty proves a far more useful and capable member of the team than Winston ever was, who was literally hired off the street to be little more than an extra pair of hands (again, my sincere apologies to Mr. Hudson, who I truly enjoy as a performer; check him out in HBO’s Oz! He’s great!).
Also joining the cast is Chris Hemsworth as Kevin, the team’s impossibly handsome, impossibly moronic hipster receptionist, who continues to prove that he is far and away the superior Hemsworth, and who I don’t want to make out with as much as I wanted to make out with Annie Potts back in the day, but I’ll be honest, it’s closer than I’m comfortable with.
So while I’d love to unconditionally recommend you see Ghostbusters, I can’t because I’m pretty sure it’s the reason that my penis fell off. Just...dropped right off, a few hours after leaving the theater, leaving kind of a weird, scabby patch of skin. And then the part that fell off turned into a hundred butterflies and fluttered away on the breeze. Now, do I know for sure that Ghostbusters caused this? No, I don’t. I suppose it could have been the $4 gourmet horchata popsicle I had afterward (delicious and refreshing, but fuck you, $4 for a popsicle), or one of the many, many wizards I’ve angered over the years (sidenote: wizards can suck the farts straight out of my butt, for real). But clearly, the most logical explanation is that a bunch of female comedic actors conspired to destroy the genitalia of the world’s male population by remaking a beloved movie from 80’s. I just hope this message gets out to the world before it’s too late.
Pros: A fun, lively reboot of a beloved comedy classic, with a great lineup of brilliant comedic performers who are clearly having a blast. Fun cameos from the original cast.
Cons: Action sequences too reliant on CGI. A few moments of cliche humor. Complete destruction of male reproductive organs.
Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)