Ghostbusters (2016) is an all-female, modernized reboot of the now thirty-year-old franchise starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the titular busters of ghosts. Right off the bat, you can really feel the camaraderie between all of the actresses, their dialogue never feels forced and the jokes never stray too far from what two friends might actually say to one another.
While the first two Ghostbusters films seemed rooted in the 80’s goofy action, the reboot finds itself a comedy that happens to keep extensive sections of fake techno-babble and ghost-butt-kicking, but also includes two quite tense moments that actually dial up to decent (albeit small) scares.
Luckily, the best riffs are not placed in the trailers, or frontloaded, but rather effectively peppered throughout the film. If I was really pressed to estimate, a good 4 out of every 5 jokes landed effectively; there are only a few duds in the system that left me not laughing. Normally I wouldn’t comment on the rest of the audience, but an interesting thing to note was that different movie-goers seemed to laugh at different parts of the movie (from one another) which I had never witnessed consciously before.
I only have three large criticisms about the film, the first of which comes in the form of just how ridiculously stupid Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) is, to the point that it becomes entirely distracting – cartoonish in stark contrast to the relatively grounded rest of the cast. The two other points of contention regard the finale of the film, one in the similarity of the monster design to that of previous films, and the other being the trans-dimension rift-hero-moment I’ve seen in dozens of other films.
Ultimately, I recommend that people go into this movie with an unbiased mind, as the experience is (perhaps) surprisingly pleasant. There are laughs. There are neon-emblazoned action sequences. There are even more laughs. It may not stand up to 30+ years of rose-tinted nostalgia, but it more than holds up its candle proudly and strongly.