Who ya gonna call? 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, a science fiction comedy which had audiences on the edge of their seats back then, and still does now. Rarely do special effects blockbusters make effective comedies, but director Ivan Reitman wonderfully blends the two cinematic tools. It’s a family affair that deserves to be seen again and again.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis star as three oddball scientists who get a kick out of the cult. Together they set up shop in an old New York City firehouse and get into the business of busting ghosts.
Due to special effects requiring painstakingly detailed work, and the fact that comedy relies on spontaneity, one would think that Ghostbusters would be a flop. Historically speaking, it should have been, however this picture is the exception to the rule. The awesome scale of the effects does not dominate over the sly dialogue and witty sense of humour. The visuals keep us in awe, yet do not leave us completely breathless, and do not triumph over story.
It also helps that all three main actors have an abundance of personality and charisma that shines across the room. Even in the most tense and serious of times, Murray can’t help but make a humorous pun. Ghostbusters is full of intelligent observations and neat little spins on American cliches that just aren’t seen in modern flicks. It’s the rare big budget comedy that manages to be clever and original. While there is plenty of adult humor, it certainly is suitable for all ages.
Though many films about the paranormal bring up themes regarding Christianity, life and death, Ghostbusters is not one of them. Nothing should be taken seriously, as it does not attempt to have a side on such matters. There is a small horror element, which may scare some children, but by the time the giant “Stay Puft” Marshmallow Man appears, any anxiety the viewer has experiences will be thrown out the window by the nonsensical-ness.
Overall it’s a lighthearted commercial romp that serves as light entertainment. At times it is innovative, but it often sticks to Hollywood convention. Regardless, it is a fun fantasy that takes us far outside our everyday lives.
The ‘80s classic is set for a limited theatrical release in 2014 and thus if it is in a theatre near you then I urge you to see it. This is not your typical Hollywood blockbuster; it’s a revelation in American comedy. Unless your funny bone has been surgically removed, the laughs that will stem from this film will last a lifetime. Praise it!