Ghostbusters review: reboot kicks ghost butt


Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.
Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.

WHEN a book scientist Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) co-authored years earlier about the existence of ghosts resurfaces, she is laughed out of her university job and the academic world.

She turns to her former childhood friend, co-writer and fellow ghost enthusiast Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and discovers she has dedicated her life to proving the existence of supernatural phenomenon, along with nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon).

They form a team of ghost hunters and recruit subway worker and fellow ghost witness Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and hire dopey beefcake Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) to answer calls at their new enterprise.

Business is booming because hotel worker Rowan (Neil Casey) is upping supernatural occurrences around New York with a plan to open a portal to the other side.

Not without its hiccups in getting to the screen, this Ghostbusters reboot was pegged from its inception by online trolls keen to see it fail.

Why? Apparently an all-female version would ruin their memories of the male-dominated classic original.

While those man-babies lit up the internet with their venom, writers Katie Dippold and Paul Feig (who also directed) were concocting one of the better remakes we have seen.

In fact, in a sweet twist of fate, the context of online backlash creates a stronger subtext as the female ghost hunters face nay-sayers from their peers and government about their skills and abilities.

While it isn’t the smoothest ride – jokes fall flat, the reveal of the famous logo is limp and McKinnon and Jones fail to make an impact in the presence of Wiig and McCarthy – the story is freshened up with some re-jigging and re-genderising.

Enough of the script has veered from the original’s structure that die-hard fans of the 1984 classic could still find much to enjoy here.

And when those ladies get to kick some serious ghost butt, it delivers goods.

THE ESSENTIALS

Ghostbusters (PG)

Directed by: Paul Feig

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now