“Ghostbusters” is an extremely goofy idea. So you got these three scientist dudes, smartass Bill Murray, dork Dan Aykroyd and the always serious Harold Ramis. They study supernatural manifestations and parapsychology, that is until the university financing them throws them out of the campus. So they decide to start a business specializing in helping people faced with spectral nuisance: Ghostbusters! Nonsense keeps piling up as we learn that there’s that big building in Manhattan that seems to be the portal to a parallel dimension that will let in an evil god of some sort and kick in Judgment Day.
I admit it, I didn’t understand what the hell all of this was about. But it doesn’t really matter. Director Ivan Reitman takes this silly premise and turns it into a surprisingly imaginative and sustainedly hilarious movie. Ok, the music is ultra cheesy and the abundant special effects now look ridiculous, but that’s part of the charm of ’80s movies. You gotta enjoy Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song, and that big marshmallow monster sure is a memorable sight!
But if it wasn’t for Murray (and screenwriters Aykroyd and Ramis), “Ghostbusters” wouldn’t be such a classic comedy. Practically every one of his lines is laugh-out-loud funny and quotable! It’s like, Murray is caught in all these over the top situations yet he always has a witty one-liner or a sarcastic remark to say. It’s like he’s taking everything as a joke, never worrying too much about it. He’s an everyday comedian who finds humor in every situation, and it always works.
I especially like his scenes with Sigourney Weaver, who lives in the cursed building and is eventually possessed by evil forces, as is her nerdy neighbor played by Rick Moranis. Murray is both cheerful and cynical, and it’s quite a charming mix. And he’s such a natural performer: it never feels like he’s acting.
“Ghostbusters” is a movie that doesn’t try to change the world or to make big statements, but Murray turns it into a movie you want to watch over and over.