The surprising thing about this Ghostbusters reboot (it’s not a sequel – while the surviving original cast members have cameos, they’re not playing their original characters) isn’t how closely it follows the original, but how different it often is.
The original played like a horror movie with a comedy cast; despite the same basic set-up (scientists create fancy gadgets to fight ghosts, New York is sceptical until a mass outbreak occurs) this version is much more about scripted jokes than a riffing cast. Not that the cast isn’t strong. While Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are slightly subdued thanks to a PG rating and characters with somewhat unclear arcs (the film as a whole shows signs of more than the usual editing room tweaks), they remain solid laugh-getters while Leslie Jones and (especially) Kate McKinnon get to play things broader.
If there’s a big problem here it’s the story, which starts out thin (someone is leaving devices that bring ghosts to life around New York) and doesn’t really go much of anywhere after that, which is odd considering this clearly isn’t a film built around improv comedy. It’s funny throughout with a cast that’s a lot of fun. As reboots go, things could have been a lot worse.
Reviewed by Anthony Morris