Three-and-a-half out of five stars
The biggest mistake regarding this "Ghostbusters" remake -- and it is a remake -- isn’t actually in the movie. It was the marketing. In the modern era of film promotion, I’m hard-pressed to think of a worse teaser-trailer for a major motion picture than the one released for this one back in March. Since then, this movie’s perceived failure became a fait accompli. One gets the sense that the pitchforks are out.
I’m here to tell you, I’ve seen this movie, and bustin’ still makes me feel good. You can’t count out director and co-writer Paul Feig, especially when he’s teaming up with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Throw in the other-worldly-talented Kate McKinnon and the force of nature that is Leslie Jones, and something’s gotta give. What we get is a funny remake and tribute to one of the all-time great film comedies.
Wiig is Erin Gilbert, a physics professor at Columbia who’s hoping to get tenure. Then the owner of a haunted New York city mansion shows up at her classroom seeking help, jeopardizing Erin’s tenure as she’s pulled back into the world of paranormal investigation she abandoned. And that’s not all she abandoned: she also left behind her best friend and fellow scientist, Abby Yates (McCarthy).
While the original movie had the Ghostbusters fighting a purely supernatural occurrence, here they’re fighting an actual bad guy: the court of public opinion. Considering the abundance of vitriol being spewed at the filmmakers and actors by people who hadn’t actually seen the film, it simply isn’t fair.
That said, this exercise won’t make anyone forget the first movie, but putting those proton packs on the backs of women instead of men works, for the most part, in the sense that the new "Ghostbusters" is entertaining and pays respect, in several original ways, to the "Ghostbusters" so many of us grew up with and love.