Why am I not doing a straight review and why is this the header picture?
The answer to the first part is simple, I don’t want do the same thing everyone else has done with the movie. I want to talk about the element that stuck out to me the most about it, rather than critique the whole thing. I will give you a brief opinion on it though: It was good. Better than I expected. Not up to the first two, but still a worthy successor. It had some misfired jokes (namely when they dragged on too long, like the “cat is out of the bag scene”) but was mostly on point and the setpieces were great.
But to answer your question about the picture, its simple: the movie feels not like a successor to the ghostbusters films, but like a love letter to the cartoon. The cartoon was called the Real Ghostbusters due to legal issues with the Ghostbusters name with Filmation (they had made a show called the Ghostbusters in the 1970s) so it was called the Real Ghostbusters to both spite and avoid issues with them. In universe, the justified it as being that the movies were fictionalized accounts of their adventures, so they were the ‘real’ ghostbusters as far as the show was concerned. It has many subtle and overt homages to it, both in the visuals and the plot. Now to get into that.
The homage that caused this article:
The PKE Meter. it looked odd to me at first. Why did they change it? It took me seeing for a few minutes to realize that they really didn’t. I realized it was the version from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon (which ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy professed being a huge fan of) which shared similarities with the original movies, but managed to carve out it’s own niche. You can even tell by the character designs in the header image. For reference, here’s the cartoon version:
The prongs pop out and light up orange in the movie proper on the PKE meter, and it’s chunkier build completes the visual homage. The rest of the gear follows a similar pattern. First the proton packs:
Now the cartoon one:
It’s not a perfect fit, bit its more blocky than the original, like the Real Ghostbusters, as well as more colorful (especially in action.) I could go on, with the fact that the new gear feels like stuff they’d have gotten in the show. but I’d rather move on.
Now for the one people caught in the trailers:
Holtzman (Kate McKinnon). Or more specifically, her hair. It’s almost a dead ringer for animated Egon’s hair:
The reason they did this in the show was because for some reason they couldn’t use the actors exact likenesses and so they looked more distinct, hence the different toned jumpsuits. At any rate, its close.
The Tone of the film is not quite as dark as the first two movies. The humor is less deadpan and snarky and has more slapsticky bits. The movies feels less like a horror film with jokes (and extra absurdity) thrown in than a comedy with horror thrown in, at least in my opinion. This isn’t a bad thing. It still managed to be good, regardless, but it managed to be closer in tone to the Real Ghostbusters. Heck, the into is a much more over the top take on the intro to the first movie. The first ghost is a more glowy, less monstrous version of the librarian ghost (here it’s in a mansion). Not to mention, in the 3D showing I went to, all the effects popped out of frame, which definitely added to the lighter atmosphere.
The Finale (Spoilers, Duh. Proceed at own risk!)
The finale of the movie did something that surprised me. When I first heard that Rowan, the film’s antagonist played by Neil Casey (I wish they would have used Feig’s choice from the original pitch, Peter Dinklage, but I digress) turned into the ghost from the ghostbusters logo, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever. Boy was I wrong. Watch this video first before I explain the rest of my point, please:
It’s the original opening sequence to the Real Ghostbusters. Not that it actually has the ghost as an actual, well, ghost. And at the end, all the ghost gang up on them. They managed to turn that into the ending of the movie. First of all, Rowan unleashes all the ghosts (while possessing Chris Hemsworth, who does better in the role than Casey) and the Ghostbusters have to fight all of them. There is the thanksgiving parade going on (they don’t mention Macy’s) and some possess the balloons, allowing for a variety of ghost shapes, very colorful and cartoony. Which is a homage to the end credits of the Real Ghostbusters, which had them participating in a parade. Second, when they beat them, Rowan pulls the “Choose the form of your Destructor” card. Patty is the one who choses it, asking for something cute and small. Rowan responds by turning into the logo ghost, animated Roger Rabbit cel style, exactly like the one from this opening. As Patty compliments him, he decides to make himself not so small and harmless:
It looks a lot better and less videogamey in motion, think Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas’ canvas texture. In essence, Feig and co. weaponized the goddamn into of the cartoon. I at least thought this was pretty ballsy. They take him down (I’ll leave that up to you if you want to see it.)
The movie was a better homage to the cartoon spawned by the original movies than to the original films themselves. At least in this humble duck’s opinion. There’s probably more of these that I haven’t caught. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you think in the comments. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing this.