Ghostbusters film review: ‘Something weird and it don’t look good’

Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wii and Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters

Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wii and Leslie Jones in Ghostbusters - Credit: Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Half-hearted female remake of 80s movie isn’t a travesty but leads don’t fill the boots of original cast

The five stages of grief mirror reactions to the latest Hollywood remake/ reboot/ retread/ sequel.

Denial, “nah, there not really going to make a sequel to Blade Runner.”

Anger, “How dare they let the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter remake Ben Hur.”

Bargaining, “if they make Annie black I’ll never see a Sony film again.”

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Depression, “it’s just about money, innit?”

And then Acceptance, “An all female Ghostbusters, with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and whoever the other two are, might be ok.”

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This new female Ghostbusters is something weird and to me it don’t look good but it’s not horrible, or any kind of travesty, though it looks a little half hearted and uncertain in places.

There’s plenty of talent involved but when you are stepping into somebody else’s shoes the only thing that matters is whether they fit.

This is somewhere between Les Dawson taking over Blankety Blank, and Jim Davidson on The Generation Game.

The fact that the leads all made their reputations in 15 certificate comedies seems inappropriate, but that was the case with Murray, Ackyroyd and Ramis on the first one.

Part of its great appeal was that it successfully transferred all the sweary, anarchic energy of their previous hits into a family film set up.

Wiig and a considerably dialled down McCarthy have a nice rapport in the Murray/ Ackroyd roles which makes for a surprisingly relaxed, low energy, centre.

As such I think McKinnon, who is cast in the Ramis/ weird nerd role, is the key to whether audiences will accept this new incarnation; and if they do she will be its break out star.

With her diagonal hair and yellow tinted goggles she is made up like a composite of figures from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series, and she is there to provide random, wacky comic energy.

During its ropey first third, the film keeps cutting to her for a reaction shot, desperately looking for an injection of life to rescue a lame set up.

Perhaps ultimately the problem is with Ghostbusters itself.

The original cast could only make it work once and when you boil it down all you really have is the logo, the gear and the song.

For reviews of the Blu-ray release of Andrei Rublev and Anomalisa go to

Rating 2/5 stars

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