Ghostbusters Review

Reviews Films




30 years after Ghostbusters took the world by storm, the beloved franchise makes its long-awaited return. Director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today.

More than 30 years after the original, and over 20 years after the sequel, followed by countless rumours, speculation, and false starts, Ghostbusters finally makes its returns to the big screen. Paul Feig took the less conventional approach, casting an all-female lead cast, and rebooting the series with his take on it.

Written by Paul Feig and Katie Dippold, Ghostbusters follows a similar plot to its 1984 counterpart, with its lead characters ousted from their academic home and forced to strike out on their own undertaking investigations into paranormal activity. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the plot threads of each film, with the 2016 version essentially stripping away several of the ancillary components of the 1984 version and honing in on the core premise.

In doing so, it streamlines its tale while delivering some more elaborate action sequences but in a story sense it feels as if there’s less going on. Overall there appears to have been less focus on managing the plot itself, with some inconsistencies and pacing problems emerging by the third act.

Despite the familar story, Feig and Dippold’s take on the franchise is fresh and interesting in more than enough other ways. They’ve assembled an eccentric group of characters that are well written and well defined, and a villainous plot that while underdeveloped, is easily serviceable to the film.

The comedic sensibilities of the film hit the mark in all the right places, each of the leads are given space to both riff off each other while doing their own comedic act and with the varied style of each performer there should be something in there for everyone. With a combination of physical gags and witty dialogue the film manages to remain at least amusing if not outright funny for most of its run time.

The entire cast are strong in this film, Kate McKinnon gives a showcase worthy performance with a hilarious take on Jillian Holtzmann, Kristen Wiig’s performance is familiar but still entertaining, Melissa McCarthy is toned down compared to some of her previous outings with Feig, while Leslie Jones takes on the more boisterous comedic role here.

The four display strong comedic chemistry, good timing, and deliver everything the script demands, usually elevating the material into something better. Chris Hemsworth is also a highlight and features in several of the funnier moments.

While Ghostbusters sets out to do its own thing, it certainly dedicates more than enough time to reflecting on its beginnings. With several cameos from original cast members, and various other subtle and not so subtle call backs.

For all the different rumours of projects that cropped up over the years, the various takes on a Ghostbusters 3 that we might have received, it’s difficult to imagine something better than this would have been the result. This is an entertaining film, with plenty of amusing and funny moments, likeable characters and some slick 3D effects.

I’m giving it 7 out of 10 stars, Ghostbusters will be out in cinemas around Australia from Thursday 14th July 2016.

Leith spent most of his formative years growing up on the coastal fringes of Western Australia without a cinema in sight. There he grew up on the wonders of home rentals before relocating to Perth and gaining access to a proper cinematic experience just in time for the Star Wars Special Edition re-releases. From there Leith's love of movies expanded to volunteering on a Star Wars fan film, reviewing films, writing about film news, and attending film and pop-culture related conventions on the other side of the world. Leith's favourite films are too many to mention but all start with the Star Wars saga, Back to the Future, the Dark Knight trilogy, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and all things Kevin Smith. With an insatiable appetite for all things pop-culture related Leith also has an unhealthy addiction to the world of comics and can often be found buried under a pile of unread back issues madly trying to catch up on a number of titles coming out from mostly DC and Darkhorse.