Ghostbusters Review

The Plot

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Mellissa McCarthy), nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

The Good

Director Paul Feig manages to pull off one of the most controversial franchise reboots of recent years, giving Ghostbusters a worthy update. With cameos from original cast members scattered throughout, and a worthy succession in the form of four brilliantly funny actresses. Kristen Wiig holds the film up as the films central protagonist, Erin Gilbert who, after discovering her book on the existence of ghosts is being sold online, reunites with her co-writer (McCarthy) and soon finds herself hunting down and catching the real thing! The entire cast mixes in well with Paul Feig and Katy Dippold’s consistently funny script. However, the stand-out performance undoubtedly comes from Kate McKinnon as the wacky Holtzmann. The SNL alumni manages to steal every scene she appears in and then some.

The story is simple enough with another ghost invasion threatening Manhattan. While it’s not a complete rehash of the 1984 original, it will certainly bring memories flooding back. What’s most satisfying is the four central Ghostbusters, but, without a doubt the most surprising performance comes from Chris Hemsworth who manages to bring a shocking amount of belly laughs as ditzy receptionist Kevin. Whether he’s discussing his brilliantly named cat or just chewing up the scenery in the background as he tries to grab a phone in the fish tank, Hemsworth is a joy to behold in one of his most unique performances yet. Here’s hoping it leads to him dipping his toe in more comedies.

The Bad

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you’ll no doubt be aware of the controversy surrounding Paul Feig’s decision to gender-swap the Ghostbusters. It’s somewhat disappointing then, to find that, while the film is perfectly entertaining, it will be hard to sway the naysayers. Part of this problem comes from the aforementioned cameos. They start off subtle, with a bust of the late Harold Ramis popping up in a blink or you’ll miss it scene, before constantly ramming it down your throat. It’s especially disheartening when it’s clear that, with just a few tweaks of the script it could have quite easily become a much bigger success. Had less time been spent trying to jolt the audiences memories of the 1984 original and a bit more time spent strengthening the frankly weak villain of the piece it could have convinced the naysayers.

The Ugly Truth

Paul Feig has hopefully kickstarted an updated reboot of the classic franchise, with some great performances, most notably Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth. It’s just a shame to see it stutter a bit.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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