We ain’t afraid of no girls
released Out NOW! 12a | 116 minutes Director Paul Feig Cast Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, andy garcia
In one scene in this otherwise upbeat movie, Melissa McCarthy’s Abby sadly observes, “People dump on us pretty much all of the time.” Never a truer word spoken. But if you move aside all the fetid layers of “dump” that have been so publicly heaped on this project since its announcement, you can experience it for what it actually is: a fun, slick, occasionally even brilliant romp.
Rather like the new Star Trek movies, this is a film that feels familiar to its core, helped along by brief cameos from the original Ghostbusting team (although Bill Murray – whisper it – isn’t quite firing on all cylinders, failing to engage with his co-stars in any meaningful way). But there’s no denying that its cast of female comics have dragged the premise into the 21st century, ad-libbing vast spiels like all Hollywood comedies seem to do these days, and (with the likes of Chris Hemsworth’s ditzy secretary) gleefully turning a few stereotypes on their head.
Sure, some gags fall flat, a few scenes could have done with tightening up in the edit, and occasionally you get the sense you’re watching the cast do some clunky improv on stage. The villain’s forgettable, and the plot, while not the same as the 1984 version, runs suspiciously parallel to it. All of this, however, is offset by the beautiful effects, inventive action and the fact that, while all the ladies are great, Kate McKinnon’s Jillian is a force of nature. When that woman fights ghosts, you suspect Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddmore would watch with their jaws on the floor.
At one point, the girlGhostbusters read out a YouTube comment that says, “Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts.” They treat this with the derision it deserves – as should you. Bustin’ will make you feel good. Jayne Nelson
Look out for a nod to a line from the original: a Times Square billboard ad declares “That’s a big” next to a Twinkie.
The swimming pool attendants couldn’t have got it more wrong.