From The Vault: Ghostbusters
A new review thread that I have decided to create is called From The Vault. This will consist of a review for a movie that has been out for some time and I am now revisiting the film in the form of a review. For my first dip into my vault, I have to go with my favorite film of all time: Ghostbusters.
Released in the Summer of 1984, Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as scientists who find themselves down on their luck. Out of desperation after being denied further teachings and moved off campus, the three men decide to take a chance on a ghost busting business.
After initially struggling to find enough of a business to continue their venture, they then become overwhelmed with ghost busting that they have to hire another ghostbuster, Winston, (Ernie Hudson) while also employing their receptionist Janine Melnitz, (Annie Potts) full time as well.
During their spike in business, Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray) finds love with a client, Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). Dana, when not having to avoid the advances of her neighbor, Louis Tully, (Rick Moranis) swears that she saw a devil dog in her refrigerator which called out the name Zuul. During this time, Dr. Ray Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore (Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson) determine that Zuul is a demigod that serves for Gozer.
With all this information, the Ghostbusters must save Dana, Louis and New York City from the destruction brought forth by Gozer the Destructor.
Ghostbusters is one of those rare films where you have a high-concept idea and everyone involved is at the top of their game. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote a great screenplay that mixes over the top science with broad humor and brought those into a grounded reality where this situation feels like it could happen. The screenplay provides loads of technical mumbo jumbo, usually spoken in the film by Aykroyd and Ramis, that seems to make no sense, yet can be believable.
Regarding the top of their game, all the actors in this film were cast perfect. Everyone from Bill Murray as the smart-ass Dr. Venkman to William Atherton as the antagonistic EPA Agent Walter Peck. All the actors were brought together with the right material at the right time to create a rare film where everything clicks and works perfectly.
There is not enough high praise that I can heap onto this film. You have a bunch of great comedic talent in front and behind the camera. A smart and funny script is combined with great sets and (dated, but adds to the charm) special effects.
There is a sequel that was created 5 years later, Ghostbusters 2. Though I enjoy the film, you can tell all the returning parties tried too hard to recapture the magic of the first film. Ghostbusters 2 certainly isn't awful, but when compared to the brilliance of the first film, it is dwarfed in all ways possible. And because of how Ghostbusters 2 turned out, I truly dread if Ghostbusters 3 ever gets released.
One is all you need.