Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Directed by: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
After paranormal activity rises in New York, a team of scientists and the street wise Patty unite to find the cause and prevent the city from being overrun by ghosts.
Given the initial controversy that surrounded the female cast, let’s start by addressing the leading ladies in Ghostbusters, all of whom are distinctive and memorable in their respective roles. Melissa McCarthy plays a slight variation on her traditional badass role, while Kristen Wiig is her childhood best friend and ghost confidant. Kate McKinnon is easily the best of the bunch as Holtzmann, who is more than a bit crazy, being a pure delight to watch. Leslie Jones also fits into the team well, making use of her knowledge of the city’s history to good effect. Thankfully the film avoids making Patty the stereotypical ‘street wise’ black person that many feared she would be, skewing the character type somewhat.
Chris Hemsworth is perhaps slightly overused, at times stealing time from the Ghostbusters themselves; he’s a bit pointless to the overall plot, feeling almost like the token male. However, Hemsworth’s brand of doofus comedy is able to keep the time he’s on screen enjoyable, raising some of the biggest laughs in the cinema. Meanwhile the main villain, Neil Casey’s Rowan North, is a creepy, misogynist with the scientific know-how to unleash Hell on Earth, quite literally. Unfortunately, he fails to be all that scary; even in his final giant ghost form Rowan is easily defeated by the busters.The film carries Paul Feig’s brand of comedy, replacing much of his toilet humour with jokes about ectoplasm instead. The comedy styles of the Ghostbusters are mixed together well without being jarring, though there are occasions when the jokes bomb or are less successful than intended, but as a whole the film is able to be consistently funny.
The new Ghostbusters is more action packed than the original, with the film making use of the classic proton packs and Holtzmann’s new gadgets. Experiments to capture the ghosts are humourous and unique, but it’s the showdown in Times Square against an army of ghosts that’s the standout action moment of the film, being fast paced and giving all the ladies something to do. The final fight against Rowan on the other hand isn’t as exciting as it could be, simply making use of the proton packs to pull him into a portal.
The film ends on a sweet note that establishes the new Ghostbusters as a legitimate team. It’ll be interesting to see where the franchise can go past this point if they choose to do a follow-up, with so much being covered in the first outing. It doesn’t feel like it really needs a sequel, despite how inevitable one is likely to be. Haters, whether due to their love of the original or latent misogyny, are sure to insult the film before even giving it a chance. However, the reboot is a fun summer blockbuster that takes the franchise in a new direction and doesn’t disappoint.