The unusually maligned relaunch of the '80s classic series turns out to have been kind of, I dunno, bullied somehow, because it's a perfectly good time and (not saying much), the best comedy movie of the year--by far. A certain branch of film nerds have found the very idea of a female remake of Ghostbusters sacrilegious for some odd reason. Look, if Planet Of The Apes and Mary Poppins are eligible for remakes then, trust me, so is Ghostbusters.
In fact, extreme allegiance to the original might be one of the factors that makes this a really good movie instead of a great one. Everything is so... careful.
Careful to make sure the two biggest stars of the foursome (Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy) have exactly the same number of lines.
Careful that the two secondary stars (Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) have exactly the same number of lines.
Careful to pay homage to the original film. Careful to pay homage to every one of the original cast.
Careful to pay homage to every one of the original ghosts. It's kind of like sex with a condom: still satisfying but always feels a little on the cautious side. But, regardless, I had a fun time and even got a little misty-eyed a couple of times.
Again, it's not perfect. McKinnon and Jones of Saturday Night Live fame haven't done a lot of film work and it shows. It's bigger and louder than it needs to be, but what isn't these days at the cineplex?
Giving Ryan Reynolds a run for his money in the hunk-with-a-sense-of-humor-about-himself department, Chris Hemsworth is darling as the new, ditzy receptionist for the ghostbusters. Stick around for the credits because a very elaborate dance number featuring Hemsworth doing Ann Margaret moves, which was obviously cut for time, plays underneath and it's delicious. And yes, he's far prettier than any of the ladies and they seem to know and exploit the fact.
I still don't understand why this movie has been prejudged on a much harsher curve than any other comedy that's come out in the last two years. Not only does it have some substantial laughs, Ghostbusters is one of the only major comedies to be released without a naked penis this year. Oddly refreshing.
The end credits also portend, of course, an inevitable sequel which, I predict, will be even stronger than this one. Everybody will settle down and stop acting like they're afraid of using the wrong fork at a dinner party. Hey, if the worst thing you can say about a movie is that it's trying alittle too hard to please, I'm inclined to cut it some slack at this point. I recommend seeing this and don't worry about taking the kids.
(Loudinni specializes in movie reviews under 500 words, sans spoilers.)