'Ghostbusters' review: Five reasons the all-female reboot rocks
- Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson
- Directed by: Paul Feig
- Written by: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
- Duration: 116 minutes
The new Ghostbusters is exhilarating: fast, furious, funny.
The film will please fans of the original even as it wins new followers for Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones.
In a summer where so much at the movies is an unwanted sequel or a tired retread, Ghostbusters is genuinely inventive, clever and fresh — an oasis in this season of blah blockbuster bluster.
Here are five reasons why you’ll want to see Ghostbusters:
1. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION
Ghostbusters 2016 complements Ghostbusters 1984. It doesn’t compete with it, try to go one better or otherwise undermine what came first.
There are familiar elements — that chipper green Slimer, the 1959 Cadillac hearse, the logo — but this is a reimagining, not a throwback. As director Paul Feig told the Verge, “You want to reassure people that we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re changing the wheel, but it’s still a wheel. A lovely wheel that will make you feel good.”
The story has two scientists (McCarthy and Wiig) hoping to prove that ghosts really do exist, and getting way more than they hoped for with the help of an engineer (McKinnon) and a lifelong New Yorker (Jones). When the city is overrun by spectres, phantoms, poltergeists, wraiths and haunts, the women go to work.
The movie has adventure, action, some decent scares and a lot of great laughs.
2. IT’S REALLY FUNNY
The cast is awesome. McCarthy does her very best well-mannered-but-exasperated Everywoman here, and the dialogue includes bits of ‘polite women dithering’ that are truly hilarious. Wiig is at her best, Jones is a revelation, Chris Hemsworth is a wonderful surprise in the movie and Kate McKinnon steals the show.
They’re all weirdly endearing, too, and it has nothing to do with nostalgia.
3. THE WRITING IS TERRIFIC
The film’s secret weapons are Katie Dippold and director Paul Feig; they co-wrote it.
Feig directed Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy, and a lot of episodes of The Office and Nurse Jackie. He also wrote Spy and TV’s Freaks and Geeks, among other things.
Katie Dippold wrote The Heat and was one of the writers on Parks and Recreation and MADtv. She’s the pen behind Amy Schumer’s upcoming mother-daughter comedy with Goldie Hawn. Together, she and Paul Feig create comedy gold.
4. KATE MCKINNON
In an interview last week, Ivan Reitman — the Ghostbusters Godfather who directed the first two films — talked about what those movies did for the careers of some of the original actors, such as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. He reckons the new Ghostbusters will do the same for the women in the cast; that seems especially true for Kate McKinnon. You already knew she was funny from her brilliant SNL Justin Bieber thing, but Ghostbusters will show you that she’s spectacularly, fabulously, through-the-roof funny. Go see for yourself.
5. THE INTERNET TROLLS WERE WRONG
Seriously — with all that’s at stake in a movie this beloved, did you really think Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, et al would allow a screw-up? Did you actually believe that everyone involved with the first movie and responsible for its iconic status would permit this new movie to be mediocre? Give your head a shake.
The idea that an all-female ghost busting team might be a problem is rubbish; the idea that Leslie Jones’ casting is racist because she’s not a scientist is rubbish; the notion that remaking the movie could only be bad is rubbish.
What is true, haters, is that girls really do have sharp teeth all up in there. Sorry.
Ghostbusters opens Friday, July 15.