Ghostbusters review: Girl power silences the critics

MoviesBy Esther McCarthy
The 2016 Ghostbusters line-up
The 2016 Ghostbusters line-up

IT’S HARD TO think of a movie reboot more derided, discussed and speculated over than Ghostbusters.

Revisiting much-loved gems is bound to attract controversy, of course, and the first Ghostbusters movie from three decades ago is the soundtrack to many childhoods.

It didn’t help that the first trailer for this movie promised little, but it was telling that much of the criticism seemed to be because the cast was female.

All of this fuss happened before anyone actually saw the film and the detractors have been largely proven wrong. While Ghostbusters doesn’t quite have the same anarchic spirit as the original film, for the first hour at least it’s pretty darned funny.

And while the movie runs out of steam as it approaches its effects-heavy finale, credit must be given to the four leads and a very amusing Hemsworth in support for milking the script for comedy.

Set in present day New York, the movie stars Wiig as Erin, a somewhat uptight scientist seeking tenure at a top college and hoping a book she wrote claiming ghosts exist never sees the light of day.

That book was written with former pal Abby (McCarthy) and the pair are now estranged. Abby is still working on her theories, developing ghost-catching equipment with the help of wacky scientist Holtzmann (an over-the-top McKinnon).

When a series of ghostly sightings plagues New York, the trio are forced to get Ghostbusting with the help of transport worker Patty (Jones), who has witnessed apparitions in the city’s subway.

Chris Hemsworth gets into the spirit of it all as Kevin, an inept, stupid but handsome PA hired by the team.

Ghostbusters is helmed by Paul Feig, who first spotted the comedic potential of McCarthy and Wiig in Bridesmaids. For the first half at least, the two are again having a blast, with Wiig’s offbeat delivery perfectly neutralising McCarthy’s ballsier banter.

There is a delightful, spontaneous feel to it all, and Ghostbusters doesn’t try to ape or reference the first film – except for a few cameos – instead choosing to be very much its own movie.

It’s a pity, then, that the finale is lost to the bloated and unspectacular special effects that have become central to so many summer blockbusters.

RATING: Three stars