Ah, you already know how this goes: when ghosts start appearing in New York, a group of scientists – fresh from losing their academic posts – set out to capture evidence of the paranormal. Unbeknownst to them, the increase in spooky sightings isn’t random – someone is doing their best to break the barrier between worlds. Joined by a subway worker with an impressive knowledge of the city’s history, and a cute receptionist with an impressive lack of any kind of knowledge, can these ‘Ghostbusters’ prevent ghost-a-geddon?
Oh yeah, forgot to mention: the GB team are all women. But y’know what? It matters not a jot, so 😛 to all the people complaining about it.
All the naysaying about recasting the roles from the classic Ghostbusters (1984) with women has rather unfortunately overshadowed a rather fun movie. Reviews I’ve read tend to either rip into the gender-swap, or go overboard in ignoring it or bigging it up, and hailing the movie as brilliant – maybe as a backlash to the sexism, who knows? Honestly, though, I think neither of these positions is true: the team works just as well with female geeks as it ever did with males, but the movie is only okay, not brilliant. Not because it’s a remake, or because anything has changed, but – for me – just because only about half the humour worked for me. “Can I bring my cat to the office?” “I’m allergic to cats.” “No, no – Mike Hat is my dog’s name.” Urm, really?
The movie also slips just a little over the line for me in terms of referencing the original or other movies. The cameos – pretty much all the original cast – are all fun, with lots of little references like “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” However, by the end I was half-wondering if there were just a few too many such moments propping up the not-terribly-strong story. Which is otherwise fine – a little bit different from the original, so thankfully not a slavish remake, but still entirely predictable.
The only thing I did really love about the film was the character of Holtzmann, as played by Kate McKinnon. While the spotlight was more firmly on the Bridesmaids re-pairing of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, McKinnon was not-so-quietly scene stealing every wacky moment she was on screen, portraying the doesn’t-give-a-damn mad scientist brilliantly. The fourth member of the team, Lesley Jones, got rather short shrift from the script, I think, and Chris Hemsworth’s utterly dim secretary was slightly in danger of just being irritating – albeit great fun before that!
So. Recommended? Sure, why not. Worthy of either the hype or anti-feminist backlash? Nope. It’s an okay, fun movie, absolutely nothing more or less.
Released: 11th July 2016
Viewed: 26th July 2016
Running time: 116 minutes
My rating: 6.5/10