The New Ghostbusters Is Just Fine Without the Original Cast

Bill Murray and the original crew have plenty of cameos in the reboot, but their appearances didn't add much to the film.


‘Ghostbusters’ Photo by Hopper Stone / CTMG / Columbia Pictures

Even before cameras started rolling in Boston on the set of the new Ghostbusters movie, outraged fanboys were up in arms over the fact that the reboot would feature a female-led cast instead of the original ghostbusting bros.

While the film’s trailers didn’t do much to assuage the fears of fans, the ridiculous and often sexist overreactions to the production—which have been written about ad nauseum—weren’t really warranted. Critics have been giving the new Ghostbusters glowing reviews, so it’s clear that the movie isn’t even close to being the disaster that the haters were predicting.

Before the pitchforks come out, yes, the original Ghostbusters is still an overall better film, but that doesn’t mean the reboot is devoid of humor or unable to stand on its own comedically. In fact, the cast and crew did an amazing job on this summertime popcorn flick and were able to deliver some big laughs with their spin on the classic franchise.

Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon deserve all of the credit for bringing their comedy A-games to the project. The collection of actresses and Saturday Night Live alums created smart, funny, and fiercely independent characters who should have no trouble winning over audiences.

McKinnon is hysterical as the over-the-top engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann while Wiig shines as world-beating MIT grad Dr. Erin Gilbert. Another highlight is Jones’s extremely funny Patty Tolan, a no nonsense MTA worker who’s street smart, but with a twist.

There’s a lot to like about the new Ghostbusters, but it’s not perfect.


Photo by ABC / Randy Holmes

The reboot’s CGI ghosts aren’t that impressive or scary, and the movie’s run time is a bit long for a comedy of this nature. The biggest problem, though, is that the new Ghostbusters tries to cram in the nostalgia factor at every turn with logos that are constantly in your face and cameos by original cast members that were, frankly, mostly unnecessary.

Bringing back Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and other former players was an understandable move by the studio, as they likely wanted to appease dissenting fanboys. If director Paul Feig was a little more tactful in his use of these cameos, they would’ve been nice touches, but instead, they come across as disjointed and take away from the flow of the story.

Murray and company don’t even play their original characters as the filmmakers opted to have them take on brand new roles. Imagine if Christian Bale landed a role in Batman v Superman, but it was for a different character than the Dark Knight, a scenario that actually almost happened. If it did, audiences would’ve been super confused, which is probably what’s going to happen to more than a few people who see the new Ghostbusters.

Murray, who gets the most face time out of all of the original crew, has a somewhat integral role in the story. However, his extended cameo is distracting at times and the writers could’ve advanced the plot in a different way.

Aykroyd’s moment doesn’t really add much other than a played out catchphrase, while Hudson once again sees little screen time. Hudson’s character is teased early on in the film, but tragically he’s reduced to a short, late third act appearance.

To the film’s credit, it does have a fantastic, easter egg tribute to the late Harold Ramis. Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver also have the funniest cameos out of all of the returning cast.

As a fan, it’s always cool to see your favorite characters, but the new Ghostbusters tried to do too much with their legacy players, who ended up adding very little to the film.

Overall, though, the movie is a fine addition to the franchise and definitely worth a watch, no matter what the trolls say.