Ever since it was first announced, the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot has been sparking controversy in the chatosphere. And not because there was no real need for a ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot in the first place – that’s just the way Hollywood works. No, the real shock came when writer-director Paul Feig had the temerity to cast – gasp! – four women in the lead roles. Have you picked your jaw up off the floor? But luckily, despite being horribly lacking in the owning-a-penis department, these four have certain other attributes that make the new movie well worth catching. Let’s take a closer look.
It’s properly funny
When Feig cast the ‘Bridesmaids’ dream team of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, it was clear this new ‘Ghostbusters’ would tip the balance in favour of comedy rather than ghost-hunting action. And so it proves: the best scenes by far are the ones where McCarthy and Wiig – backed by relative unknowns Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon – just sit around shooting the breeze, trying out their new ghostbusting gear and making life difficult for new secretary Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). Not every gag lands, but the strike rate is pretty damn solid.
It takes a few sly swipes at internet nerd-rage
The furore around ‘Ghosbusters’ started before shooting even got underway, and you can’t expect the likes of Feig and McCarthy to just ignore the fact that every knuckle-dragging man-baby with a laptop was suddenly baying for their blood. The new movie takes the chance to hit back, from a line under one of the gang’s YouTube videos that reads ‘ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts’ to McCarthy’s dismissal of internet comments as ‘what crazy people write in the middle of the night’.
Shockingly, there are a couple of men in it
That’s right, ‘Ghostbusters’ isn’t just wall-to-wall crazy ball-busting feministas joking about periods and whatnot. There are actually some genuine certified penis-havers in the cast, from Andy Garcia as a patronising mayor to Charles Dance as a patronising dean to Neil Casey as a patronising paranormal loony… okay, there’s a slight theme emerging here. But they’re all overshadowed by Hemsworth’s lovable Kevin, a chiselled goon who gets arguably the film’s funniest line – we won’t spoil it, but it’s about the name of his dog…
The original cast have given their blessing
Okay, given the state of his career it probably wasn’t that hard to get Dan Aykroyd to chip in as a grouchy cabbie. But both Bill Murray – who has an actual character and everything – and Sigourney Weaver wouldn’t have signed on if they didn’t have faith in the project. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll spot nostalgic, occasionally distracting cameos from most of the original stars – except Harold Ramis, who died in 2014, and Rick Moranis, who couldn’t be bothered.
It’s about brains, not balls
Let’s be completely clear: the new ‘Ghostbusters’ is not the original. It’s not as sharp, it’s not as surprising and it’s not as wonderfully, endlessly quotable. But it is a hugely enjoyable, good-natured and quietly subversive blockbuster romp about four inquisitive, confident and unashamedly science-geeky women who take no shit, get things done and have a blast along the way. Their camaraderie and inquisitiveness are the heart of this movie, and that more than justifies the decision to remake ‘Ghostbusters’ in the first place.
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