The Wheel and Axle

Get Ghost, Part 2

by on Jul.26, 2016, under Film & TV

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Continued From:

Get Ghost, Part 1

Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates and Kristen Wiig as Erin Gilbert are ostensibly the main stars of the Ghostbusters ensemble, if only because the work of the characters was the root of the entire enterprise and their old friendship is the emotional core of the film. They also acted as the de facto leaders of the group when it became fully-formed, if only because Holtmann was mostly interested in building machines (oh, there go those misogynists’ heads exploding at the thought that a woman is actually capable of engineering) and Tolan was a non-science outsider who just joined later on.

That said, Melissa and Kristen were very good in their roles – what else did we expect from these comedy veterans? – but they were overshadowed by their co-stars.

The breakout star is Kate McKinnon as the off-kilter Jillian Holtzmann. She is my favorite in the entire movie, an eccentric character whose occasional hilarious random pronouncements are matched only by how awesome she was getting her hands dirty when in fight mode. It is Holtzmann who makes all the theories of Yates and Wiig a reality with her equipment and weapons. Yates and Wiig are science; Holtzmann is tech. As I had mentioned, it is strongly hinted that the character is lesbian just like the actress who portrays her, but this is just a matter-of-fact character trait that ultimately doesn’t and, in the context of the story being told, shouldn’t matter. This is what makes Holtzmann fascinating.

If there is one thing I would’ve modified, it would’ve been making the black woman a scientist and someone else the “commoner” – if only to subvert the undertone that the black character is not as intelligent as the rest. That said, Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan still proved to be a smart and well-read character – she was the one who knew a lot about the history of the buildings in New York, which was a key skill the group found useful – and it was a good nod to Winston Zeddmore’s everyman role in the original while giving her a more integral role than her predecessor ever did. Moreover, Tolan is the second best thing in the movie after Holtzmann, and the “secondary duo” in the quartet steal the show. Every. Single. Time.

Imagine that. The eccentric lesbian and the black woman are the best things in this movie. The haters must be frothing at the mouth, assuming they even bother to watch the movie. They’re probably too busy trying to harass and threaten celebrities on social media.

As for Chris Hemsworth, what more can be said? The hunk is a comedic genius, and just by virtue of this A-list leading man accepting a role in an action movie in support of four women not named Angelina Jolie, we love him even more. He certainly has no insecurity in his masculinity, and he takes on the role with much gusto and delight. Watch the end credits to witness more Chris awesomeness (and wait for the post-credits for non-Chris related awesomeness that will give any old fan of the franchise some happy shivers).

The few in that misogyny segment who did watch the movie, meanwhile, decry the “treatment” of Chris as a stupid himbo who is the butt of a number of jokes, and these morons claim “misandry,” conveniently forgetting that dozens of actresses have been portrayed as stupid bimbos in dozens of other movies which they had zero complaints about. “Stupid but pretty” is not limited to the females of the species in the same way that “science and technology and engineering” are not limited to the males of the species (nor to women who look like Milla Jovovich or, good grief, Denise Richards).

The heart and soul of this movie really are in its protagonists. While the rest of the main cast is okay, it’s really the women who shine and make it their own. Even the maim antagonist fell short of expectations, or perhaps I was expecting too much because, well, okay, I suppose Gozer is hard to top.

Clearly, we need Gozer back to take care of the online trolls.

Clearly, we need Gozer back to take care of the online trolls.

The biggest treat, of course, is the parade of cameos from the original cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver. They also found a clever way to “include” the late, great Harold Ramis, so I’m somewhat bothered that Rick Moranis declined to cameo as well. Barring that, I wish they found a way to get Slavitza Jovan to appear, too. (Okay, to answer your resounding “whoooo?” She played Gozer.)

All in all, Ghostbusters is a fun and enjoyable movie. Ignore the naysayers. If you haven’t seen it and it’s still in a theater near you (since Star Trek: Beyond just opened), watch it. Now.

Bustin’ will make you feel good.

My Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

Directed By: Paul Feig

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Andy Garcia, Cecily Strong

With cameos by most of the original cast. And Ozzy Osbourne. Because he’s Ozzy Osbourne.

 

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