Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Something strange is going on in New York City, and it don’t look good. Physicists and semi-experts in the paranormal Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) are unwittingly re-united after years of holding a grudge with each other, along with brilliant semi-mad scientist and techno geek Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). As luck (or was it destiny) would have it, just as the paranormal gang is getting run from their squalid basement test lab, they respond to a desperate cry for help from a museum plagued by bad tempered ghosts leaking icky ectoplasm all over the place.
The fledgling Ghostbusters are off and running, feeling their way along as they combat a series of increasingly snarky and malevolent poltergeists. Joining the team of Ghostbusters is subway employee Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), and to assist in the admin duties in the office one hunky dude named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). Kevin seems to be a very dim bulb, but he takes his shirt off a lot and the ladies seem to think he is qualified enough for the job. Go figure. Some nutty guy called Rowan North (Neil Casey) is zipping around the city leaving devices that magnifies the ghost problem; how that figures in is rather mystery in itself. Just go with it. Sooner or later the ladies break out the unlicensed nuclear backpack ghost zappers, and all heck breaks loose.
This film opened with super high expectations, and was burdened with trying to compete with the classic 1984 version. Is this movie as good as the original? No, afraid not. Is it funny and a good comedy? Yes. Hard to pinpoint what is lacking in this movie. It doesn’t help that we remember the original, and pretty much know the story line as we watch the new one. The new Ghostbusters are funny and good actors, but just don’t have the charisma of Bill Murray and Dan Akeroyd. Plus there is maybe too much of a reliance on CGI special effects. Still, this movie is better than 90% of the films out this summer, so go see these ladies kick some poltergeist ass!
Dialogue Nuggets: Museum Tour Guide – “In this room P.T. Barnum first decided to enslave elephants.”
Abby – “Don’t get too close to her, Holtzmann. She’ll ask you to write a book, then squash your dreams.”
Erin – “I got fired after years of hard work and ass kissing.”
Nutty Rowan North – “The universe shall bend to your will!”
Patty – “If I see the twins from The Shining, I’m gonna pass out!”
Erin – “There’s a ghost in that thing, and I want it. Light ’em up!”
Patty – “I don’t know if it’s a race thing, or a lady thing, but I’m mad as hell!”
Erin – “It makes me feel so warm and tingly inside.” Jillian – “It’s probably the radiation.”
NYC Mayor’s Aide – “It’s just another publicity stunt by these incredibly sad and lonely women.”
Abby to Kevin – “When we were risking our lives to save NYC, you were stopping at a deli to get a sandwich.”
Cameos Galore: The original Ghostbuster gang pretty much all show up in various quickie cameos. Plus Andy Garcia and current SNL star Cecily Strong add some pizzazz as the NYC Mayor and top aide. If you blink, you will miss the adorable Milana Vayntrub, who plays Lily in all those AT&T commercials. She deserves a bigger role!
Credits: Stay for the credits, and dig Ray Parker’s great theme song. After the credits, there is an extra scene to watch. I smell sequel! Miss you, Harold Ramis….