Ghostbusters (1984) starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Ernie Hudson, David Margulies directed by Ivan Reitman Movie Review

Ghostbusters (1984)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters

Who You Gonna Call

I doubt there are many who haven't heard of the gloriously entertaining "Ghostbusters" let alone not seen it because since its release in 1984 it has spawned a sequel, there is a "Ghostbusters 3" in the pipeline, there was a cartoon series, action figures and I believe a computer game as well. To put it frankly "Ghostbusters" was phenomenally successful and rightly so because the whole thing gels, the comedy, the story, the cast and characters and even the special effects, there is little if anything which is wrong with "Ghostbusters".

After been chucked out of university for their lack lustre methods scientists Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray - Stripes), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd - Trading Places) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis - Knocked Up) decide to set up a business as Ghostbusters. When their first success sparks a media frenzy business starts to boom but also brings them trouble in the shape of an Environmental Protection Officer determined to close them down. Matters are made complicated when sexy single woman Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver - Alien) starts to discover strange goings on in her apartment which when investigated turn out to be the start of something very big as her apartment is a gateway to another dimension.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters

The thing about "Ghostbusters" is that everything about it works starting with the storyline a mix of the supernatural and far fetched fantasy all delivered with a strong sense of comedy. It's not by any means of the word a complex storyline but its multi faceted from the 3 unlikely scientists going into business through to the evil Environmental Protection Officer who wants to close them down, the sudden surge of paranormal activity and that it all centres on the apartment of one of the scientist's girlfriends. Even so there are no major twists, nothing to make you wonder what is going on it's just a fun comedy romp around 3 guys who trap ghosts, have troubles and then save the day.

But it is inspired comedy and not just daft stupid jokes thrown together in a hotchpotch manner. From the introduction to Peter Venkman as he flirts with one student and electrocutes another as he pretends to be carrying out a study into ESP it's funny yet not out of place. The same through out, when Raymond Stantz slides down the fireman's pole when they are looking at a building to set up the business, it's funny yet not out of character and I could go on mentioning the way Venkman asks the librarian he interviews about is she menstruating at the moment or that their big battle sees them take on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, every single funny moment, every single scripted joke doesn't feel at odds with the actually storyline or feel of the movie.

Comedy is nothing without a good cast to deliver it and the trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis deliver it all perfectly. But it is their characters that make it all work from Murray's slacker like Venkman with an eye for the women, Aykroyd as the over enthusiastic Stantz and Ramis as the stiff and serious Spengler are a brilliant trio. The comedy natural bounces between them from Murray's smart arse delivery, Ramis dead pan delivery and Aykroyd talents for visual comedy it just works.

They are of course not the only ones and with Sigourney Weaver playing the object of Venkman's affections Dana Barrett, Rick Moranis as the nerdy Louis Tully, Annie Potts as the New Yorker secretary and Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddmore the fourth member of the team there are plenty of other characters to stop "Ghostbusters" being just about the main trio.

One of the spectacular things about "Ghostbusters" is that it is a comedy with special effects, something which doesn't usually work. But it does and although the ghostly effects and scenes where roads crumble look a little dated now they are still surprisingly good. In fact watching "Ghostbusters" now the slightly dodgy special effects add to the humour.

What this all boils down to is that "Ghostbusters" truly is a very good movie with every single element from the story, the comedy, the characters and the effects all gelling together to make a fun 105 minutes. But it is also the trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis who bring it all together making the comedy work in a strangely natural way and pulling off gags which in lesser hands would have been wasted.