As the internet finally recovers from all the silliness that surrounded the release of this Ghostbusters remake, we can now actually watch the film and talk about it like sober adults.
I should point out that the real problems skeptics had with this movie was not the cast but the idea of another by-numbers remake nowhere near as good as the original films in the vein of Total Recall or RoboCop. And with the mostly unappealing trailers we got prior to the new movie's release, this was frankly a fair concern. Luckily, the film itself is far better than the awful marketing for it suggested but, on the other hand, it's still an inferior by-numbers remake that's not as good as the originals, which is why most reviews for it are so up and down.
The cast, I can confirm, is likeable and does a decent job throughout. Melissa McCarthy is not the one-joke Chris Farley wannabe she tends to be in a lot of other movies instead taking on the Ray role with a slightly squeakier voice. Kristen Wiig does her usual SNL schtick as the more uptight member of the group and she mostly works even if her characterisation is very unfocused. Kate McKinnon sports the Egon look from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and she is a lot of fun even if her jokes are more off-beat than they are laugh-out-loud funny. Then there's Leslie Jones' Patty who seemed like little more than a loud stereotype in the trailer but who, in fact, is much smarter and funnier than that.
Unsurprisingly, literally all the jokes from said trailers are the least funny moments in the movie so if you didn't like those then, don't expect to like them now.
There are laughs in this movie, for sure, as the new team tries to figure out the ghost-busting equipment, gets crushed by a giant Stay Puft balloon, encounters some genuinely creepy ghosts and struggles to be recognised as a legitimate business. Also expect good old Slimer to almost steal the show in an extended cameo. There are also plenty of groan-inducing bad jokes, however, with the whole Chris Hemsworth being dumb thing going on for far too long, one tasteless fart/poo joke too many, a shockingly wasted Bill Murray cameo appearance in which one of the funniest men on Earth is somehow not funny in the slightest and some needlessly long improv at times. The writing here is certainly not in the same league as the original film or even Ghostbusters II.
What hurts this movie the most is not the jokes but the clunky story and the fact it feels forced as a remake.
Honestly, you get the feeling that director Paul Feig took Dan Aykroyd's sequel script then butchered it to make it a complete re-telling somehow. Frustratingly, this could have easily worked as a sequel with Ernie Hudson playing Patty's uncle, Sigourney Weaver and Murray coaching their daughter, maybe McKinnon's character being Egon's niece, Ray could have been possessed by some evil ghost and Rick Moranis could then appear as a veteran Ghostbuster. It's SO easy to write a better story than this movie gives us it's crazy so if a sequel does happen, the script will need to be worked on heavily. As it stands, this movie suffers from countless plot holes, scenes that could have easily been cut out entirely (one dancing scene was, apparently) and a third act that's both visually appealing and rushed.
To cut a long review short, this new Ghostbusters is not a bad film or comedy but it is a lesser Ghostbusters film with more than its share of flaws. Funny and entertaining in parts, unfunny and clumsy in other parts, this is a forgettable, average flick but it's altogether harmless enough and perfectly watchable.
I ain't afraid of no sequel.
Well... maybe a little.