For years, there have been cries – big, manly cries – for a new Ghostbusters film. Sony finally picked up the phone and diverted the call to Paul Feig, who assembled some of Hollywood’s leading comedians (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones) to be the faces of this reboot.
Many were sceptical about not seeing the original cast – gloriously male men – as the stars of this new film, and when the first trailer was released, things got off to a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad start. I was worried that I’d end up hating this new Ghostbusters film, but I was pleasantly surprised.
It might not ascend to comedy greatness, but Ghostbusters delivered a solid number of punchy gags, a quality reworking of ghostbusting tech, and my penis didn’t fall off.
I have to admit: when Wiig and McCarthy kicked off their characters’ relationship, their back-n-forth felt flat. There’s bad blood between the pair of scientists, but this subplot didn’t really develop into much. It got better after they hunted their first ghost, and despite their characters feeling a bit underwritten, Wiig and McCarthy maintain plenty of comedic charisma to keep themselves afloat.
It could have used some work, but it wasn’t bad enough to make my penis fall off.
Their characters’ weaknesses only became apparent because of – praise Athena – the outstanding McKinnon as Holtzmann. She approached the Mad Scientist role with a particular slyness that always had you questioning her brand of crazy, getting wide-eyed with unusual excitement when told they might have a dead body in the back of their car.
Holtzmann made me laugh so hard and so often, I thought my penis would fall off. But it didn’t.
Jones also held her comedic ground as Patty – a living, breathing Wikipedia page of New York City. It’s a skill that felt vital to the group, but still seemed underutilised. The gags Jones was given didn’t always land, with the worst punchlines being nothing more than “I AM BEING VERY LOUD!” It’s a shame, because her best moments are when she’s forced to put on a straight face during a terrifying situation – especially the encounters with the mannequin (superb) and the glowing green demon (ace).
I hope they give Jones even more to do in future Ghostbusters films, and that she continues to not make my penis fall off.
It was great to see a new ghostbusting arsenal. The ghost shredder is dope and the phantom punching glove thingies make McCarthy look like a total badass. It’s just a pity both those weapons were used only once – very briefly – in the final battle scene. It’s still an enjoyable climax, but you leave with the feeling that more could have been mined from what was set up – a sentiment that sums up the entire film, really.
Even though it may not have been everything I was hoping for, I still had a fun time. But when the credits started to roll, I wondered if it could have been better if it starred Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage.
And then my penis fell off.