Even before it saw the light of the day, even before the idea was conceived, Ghostbusters was destined to become a classic; if not of cinema as a whole, then just of the comedy genre. Given its status, I understand perfectly why some reviewers suddenly become conscious of its popularity and why their fingers tremble when they're about to accept to the opposite. Unlike films, say, Ben-Hur, Casablanca and 2001, which are clearly not accessible to all (not to say they're adult films or anything), Ghostbusters is for all ages, and it's only appropriate it should receive one-sided commentary. But, just like any good film, the film, and the fans, should learn to take criticism as well.
The gist is this that a trio of seemingly down on their luck good guys open up a new business: hunting and catching ghosts. In a fortnight they become the new sensation of town, with ghosts appearing left and right. The first half is very unassuming. It seems tired, bogged down by its tedious phase and lack of memorable moments. Enter second half: here is where the funny enters, with Venkman getting slimed and his devil-may-care attitude being shown in great light. Also, Egon and Spengler have some funny moments of their own coupled with the genuinely hilarious sequence of Louis in his apartment. It was, however, the third half that had me worried. The introduction of Winston sets off vibes of impending doom; a disaster that is confirmed by making the third-half randomly somewhat-religious and fully-irritating. By that mark, the film is decent enough, but it quickly loses its focus and becomes borderline-irritating, like someone not closing the bathroom door or a fly buzzing too close to your ear.
The above point is not the only reason for me disliking this film. Though laxly funny, it was too deadpan and pokerfaced for me to thoroughly enjoy it. Unlike most other comedies, especially the ones of the mid 90's, which have the occasional jab at being clever or smart, Ghostbusters doesn't employ anything like that, and instead relies on improvisation - the reason for the static effect of the dialogues and the virtually non-existent chemistry between the trio. As for Winston: he was a total joke, the most poorly written character for the film. In fact, the only character I found interesting was Louis Tully.
From the performances, Bill Murray was almost too perfect in his role as Dr. Venkman. A master of the deadpan, he made the character his own, just like how Jim Carrey does. But, rather unfortunately, Venkman unfashionably emerges as an ambition-poor, irritating character by the end of the film. I also enjoyed both Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Egon and Dr. Spengler, respectively. Sigourney Weaver was also likable in her role as Dana, but I guess she bought in solely because of her iconic role in Alien - 5 years previous - because Ghostbusters makes quite a few references to Alien. The part where she emerges from the gargoyle's body is very reminiscent of the alien eggs. Before he retired, Rick Moranis was one of my favorite funny actors back in the day. He made Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Flintstones bearable to watch, just as how he kept making things interesting in this film as Louis Tully, the unfortunate soul of the story. The rest of the cast were decent enough, although too under-developed to be taken seriously.
In conclusion, is Ghostbusters is a great film? The world says it is, but this reviewer thinks different. This reviewer thinks there are better comedies out there, and if he wants to watch ghosts, he plays a random Casper, the friendly ghost episode on YouTube.