Thirty-two years after the original Ghostbusters smothered us all in bright green ectoplasmic slime we get the all-female reboot – and these sisters can really kick ass.
Although the story is essentially the same – New York is beset by a paranormal invasion of spooks, ghouls and ghosts and it’s up to our intrepid band of lady nerds, boffins and misfits to save the day – there’s enough here that is new to really refresh the franchise and give it a 21st Century twist.
Ex-best friends Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Abby (Melissa McCarthy) have to drop a long-standing feud and team up to rescue their city when a demented loser decides to release an army of malicious spirits from ‘the other side’. The pair are joined by a brilliant, if somewhat bonkers, scientist in the shape of Jillian (a stand-out performance by Kate McKinnon who is about to go ballistic), and after attending a ghost breakout on New York’s Metro, by subway worker Patty (Leslie Jones).
To complete the Ghostbuster family, along comes beefcake Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) who fulfils the role of useless receptionist (best line: ‘an aquarium is a submarine for fish.’)
Once the main characters have been established it’s just a question of Jillian coming up with the ghost-busting hardware and the girls going out there and zapping some bad guy butts. Erin gets slimed – a lot, Patty nearly gets taken out by a ghoulish dragon at a heavy metal gig and Kevin gets taken over by the spirit of the demented loser, fried to death by his own ghost-releasing contraption.
It’s good chortle-inducing fun with the added spice of trying to guess when and where the next star cameo is going to pop up. Luckily, director Paul Feig keeps these guest appearances both short and sweet, so although the film acknowledges the original, it never becomes an overly respectful homage to it.
There are some nice running gags and although younger children may find it frightening, the violence is of the comic-book kind and there is very little crude sexual innuendo. This means viewers who were still decades away from being born when the 1984 version appeared should find it as much fun as those of us who actually remember Bill, Dan and Sigourney.