Hey everybody, my apologies for not having posted any reviews of movies from the 80’s in quite a while. However, the good news is that I’m back, and with several movies under my belt. This time round, I’m going to shine the spotlight on a movie that needs no introduction, and is especially notable for its infectious theme song- “Ghostbusters”(1984).
Everybody agrees that “Ghostbusters” is one of the most defining movies to come from the 80’s, not least because of the chemistry of the main actors, in addition to the light-hearted comedy. With Ivan Reitman directing, and the comedic talents of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd to add the laughs to a franchise which offers many thrills and sci-fiction adventures.
The first film sees disgraced college scientists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) being fired from Columbia University following an attack by a library ghost. Hoping to rid the city of ghosts once and for all, they employ the only method they deem effective- to go into business as a professional team of ghost exterminators. They set up headquarters in an abandoned firestation, and have limited success at first. When more ghosts start plaguing New York, they enlist a forth Ghostbuster, ex-marine Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). Eventually, it transpires that the ghosts are emerging from the apartment of Venkman’s would be love interest, Dana (Sigourney Weaver). Our heroes have to prevent Dana from being possessed by demonic sources, as well as facing diabolical EPA agent, Walter Peck (William Atherton), who plots to thwart the Ghostbusters’ success.
The sequel, “Ghostbusters II”(1989) sees the gang, having gone their separate ways, only to be beckoned back to their ghostbusting ways. Venkman reconnects with his ex girlfriend, Dana Barrett, who is now divorced and living alone with her infant son, Oscar. Little do they know, paranormal forces are out to possess Oscar…
I always enjoyed the first movie immensely, as it was offered a fresh plot and a fantastic cast. Bill Murray, in my opinion, is at his best when he’s dishing out sarcastic barbs, but is actually a softie underneath. He’s well supported by Dan Akyroyd as the goofy, excitable Stantz, the late Harold Ramis as stoic intellectual Spengler, and Ernie Hudson as the only sane man amongst the bunch of scientists, and Rick Moranis as Dana’s nebbish neighbour with a hopeless crush on her.
The second film, while not terrible by any means, is more divisive than the first, having much of the same plot as the original, although it does have some fans. I think that it’s credible enough, although it lacks some elements that made the initial installment great, namely the climatic showdown with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. There’s a third film rumoured to be in the works for 2016, so let’s hope it has the charm and energy of the movies which preceded it.
The “Ghostbusters” movies contain many jump sequences, crude language and racy jokes that may pass some kids by. On the contrary, older kids aged 12 and up may be suited to watch these movies. I give “Ghostbusters” four and a half stars out of five, as there’s no shortage of fun, and it’s become a notable staple of 80’s pop culture. Now, who you gonna call?