GHOSTBUSTERS

Led by an all-female cast, the new Ghostbusters, a reboot of the beloved 1984 supernatural comedy, is nothing like the travesty that vicious Internet trolls predicted it would be. In fact, it’s pretty good fun.

 
Bridesmaids stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig join fellow funny ladies Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones to bring some genuinely potent girl-power to this tale of four misfits who prevent a poltergeist invasion from destroying New York City. Working from a script he co-wrote with Kate Dippold, director Paul Feig is especially careful to preserve the spirit of the original while creating a film that’s different enough.
 
Wiig stars as a respectable university professor Erin Gilbert who loses her job after her previous investigations into the paranormal are exposed. She ends up reuniting with her childhood friend Abby Yates (McCarthy), a ghost buff still delving into the supernatural, now assisted by mad inventor Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon). The team is complete when they’re joined by subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones), and before you know it they’re strapping on proton packs and capturing ghosts that have infiltrated the city.
 
The film works largely because the four actresses have a winning chemistry, and because nearly all their gags hit the mark. The one-liners come fast and furious, and Thor star Chris Hemsworth gets some of the biggest laughs as the team’s beefy but dim secretary, Kevin.
 
That’s not to say the movie has no problems. The plot itself is doozy, barely held together by the performances, and the climax is an overlong mess of CGI spectacle that reminded me of the Adam Sandler dud Pixels. Plus the script spends too much time letting us in on back-story, and frankly that only takes away from the comedy.
 
But these quibbles aside, on more than one occasion the film lovingly references the original, and offers cameos to virtually all the major cast including Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd. It’s a respectful and affectionate remake that never claims to improve upon the earlier film, merely suggests that women have comic chops as solid as men.
 
It’s the four leading ladies then and their unending hilarious banter that is the best thing about Ghostbusters. I’m going with three out of five.

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