They're here to save the world
Although the fate of the upcoming "reboot" is as of this written article still undetermined, it somehow seemed fitting to wrap up a month of mixed-bag terror with something slightly more upbeat. A good deal of people already know if busting makes them feel good or not, but it's easy to forget that younger generations haven't always come across flicks that some of us wouldn't consider all that old just yet. Will nostalgia color the eyes like a particle accelerator paints walls, or perhaps you'll find your soul trapped in a movie too fun for its own good?
A librarian is about to have a very bad day. As she goes about her daily business of filling books away, books start floating between shelves behind her unnoticed. As she's walking past the index cards, however, she hears the noise of fluttering cards and pulled draws, and takes off in fear when nobody is there to cause such expulsions of paper. As she runs for her life, she turns a corner and screams as the room lights up in front of her. At the local university, a professor is running some experiments on negative reinforcement of ESP - or more appropriately flirting with the female volunteer - when one of his compatriots barges into the room all excited. They've seen a full body apparition over at the library, and they need to get over there pronto to meet up with their third cohort and check it out! When they get there, they ask the librarian some basic questions, and hurriedly enter the sub area when readings are picked up on some of their equipment.
The three search around - finding some interesting things like ectoplasm - as they search for the source of their readings. Turning a corner, they feast their eyes upon a free-floating apparition. The one that could be closest characterized by his mouth tries to communicate with it, but only get's shushed by the ghost - it is a library after all. Going to plan B, the heart of the operation says he's got a plan - that plan being to yell "Grab Her!" and all promptly running away when the ghost gets much more 'scary'. What should be one of their most exciting days start downhill when they find out the university has pulled their grants and is kicking them out however. Not one to stay down on his feet, the mouth decides it's time they go into business - the ghost busting business.
They find a place, they build some equipment, and they proceed on. Things are off to a real slow start, but slowly customers are coming out of the shadows to have their 'problems' dealt with - including a nice lady that the mouth of course gets all flirty eyed over. Not much is happening at her place however - seems all the activity has dried up - but that doesn't stop the busters from doing some research amongst all the other cases they pull. Cases which, by the way, are increasing at an alarming frequency. All signs point to something really big on the horizon, and to make matters worse some jerk from the EPA is being all crotchety towards them for some reason, and comes in threatening to shut them down. Will the crew be able to solve the mystery of what's coming? Will the EPA guy bey a jerk and shut them down before they can?
The plot is just as amusing as it ever was - oddly enough, we never really ended up with a huge string of Ghostbuster knock-offs to super-saturate the world like we did with a lot of other movies that did well enough to get a sequel. It had the pleasant approach of being more comedy focused than horror, and yet wanted to have enough attention payed to the effects that the movie could still be taken seriously while being entertaining. The flow of the movie never drops off too steeply, keeping one thing or another going so that you don't end up feeling like nothing is going anywhere at any real points - even if timing of things can be rather a bit confusing at points (where enough time has passed for character A to get across town, but characters B and C are still seemingly right where they left off when A left), but it never actually impacts the understanding of anything as far as the movie itself.
Although comedy could be argued over because it is pretty subjective, I at least found a good deal of the jokes to be humorous - maybe more so now than I used to, having aged some since I last saw it. The crew works well together, and the banter (or just actions) of the main trio especially will normally keep you amused. Sure, some of the jokes did fall a little bit flat for me at times, but what more than made up for that was actually the sheer amount of quotable content from this film. By the time the end roles around, you'll be dying to find a place to insert "if someone asks you if your a god, you say YES!" into a casual conversation. Part of this is no doubt thanks to the splendid acting job of the actors themselves, and this too seems to have aged just fine.
If ever there was a thing that would degrade the most over time, it would be the special effects department. To be the fairest I can, there are certainly things in that regard that haven't aged all that well - particularly any full body shot of the dog-form Keymaster and Zuul, which particularly stands out as being off. In a comparison to that, the upper-body only shots of said dogs still end up looking quite well, as do most of the practical effects such as flying cards, debris, fires, and "ghost" interactions. The ghosts themselves are a mixed bag as far as their actual movements, but their presentation is pretty uniformly splendid for it's time, and you might be surprised that that level of quality came from somewhere that wasn't ILM. It's also a bit to the effect departments credit that the most recognizable part of the movie - the Proton packs, traps, and the ghost dubbed "Slimer" - are all so well recognized by even those who haven't seen the movie.
I'd wager this one is a must watch, if for nothing else but being a highly amusing classic flick. I'd wager that parent's should probably check it out to make sure their kids would be okay with some of the content withing (as with any early PG rated flick), although by all means you would see far worse in a lot of modern movies that people have no doubt taken their kids to. It can be funny when it wants to, it has a pretty great cast, and you'll be quoting lines from it for weeks (or the rest of your life, I won't judge). For some, it'll certainly be worth a purchase, and given it's age it probably wouldn't be impossible to find it up as a two-pack with it's sequel. By all means, and to it's credit, busting does in fact make one feel good.