Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Ed Begley Jr, Cecily Strong, Andy Garcia (Rated PG – 116 min).
In 1984 when I saw Ghostbusters as a child, my obsessive movie-going life was already fully underway spending an extended majority of my time in darkened cinemas. However this was a film which resonated instant delight and sentiment that to this day remains up there in my all time top twenty list.
Even the often overlooked 1989 sequel had reasonable qualities I appreciated while for decades, a third installment was touted in interviews without eventuating. When this reboot was announced with female leads, it caused controversy. The indication from most die hard fans was a boycott, seriously how ridiculous!
The questionable new version of the catchy theme song aside, my faith in formidable director Paul Feig (Spy, The Heat) and his choice of cast fell into place just like I had anticipated. This is a fantastic comedy first while peppered with glorious special effects and continuous loving homages to the original.
Reuniting former close friends Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Abby (Melissa McCarthy) are paranormal scientists who are joined by technical nerd Jillian (scene stealing Kate McKinnon) and streetwise Patty (rambunctious Leslie Jones) to form a business investigating poltergeist sightings around New York City. When an abundance of spiritual happenings are reported, the team are told by the Mayor (Andy Garcia) to keep their work quiet so as not to trigger any public alerts. Of course this is impossible when the big apple becomes apparition city, so who you gonna call?
Joining them as the secretary is Kevin, played to profoundly dumb perfection by Australia’s own Chris Hemsworth. His contribution gets many of the best lines matching the rapid fire interludes of the girls. Scary ghost images and brief profanity may not be recommended for young children. McCarthy is a natural and quite restrained here while I fell in love with Saturday Night Live alumni Kate McKinnon – limber, upbeat, gracious.
Look fast for appearances from the three remaining original Ghostbusters Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray, while Sigourney Weaver also has a quick cameo. Ozzy Osbourne memorably pops up too.
It is understandable that remakes of well loved classic films test one’s judgement but in the case of this update, it will give a whole new young generation the spectacular experience it first gave me back in the day. Stay on for an extra scene after the end credits which references back to a certain evil character from the original.
Shane A. Bassett