The controversial remake of Ghostbusters, directed by Paul Feig, is pretty good. Replacing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis are Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, though Murray, Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver have cameos in the remake. Set in New York City, though most of the movie was shot in Massachusetts, Ghostbusters follows an Ivy League professor (Wiig) in league with a couple of scientific community outcasts (McCarthy and McKinnon) and a tough Metro employee (Jones). With a PG-rating the movie leashes McCarthy, who is hilarious when she’s mad and uncensored but only moderately funny here. McKinnon’s line readings and mannerisms are goofy and unusual but not exactly hilarious. Leslie Jones’s performance, as one critic puts it, “depends too much on her sheer force of personality and too little on her comedic imagination.” Frequently slimed and the butt of jokes, Wiig is the straight man of the group; her funniest moments come when she’s slobbering over a beefcake played by Chris Hemsworth, who has one very funny scene involving homophones and his Australian accent. So, is this new version better than the original? One critic suggests that, in terms of humor, the deadpan attitude of the original beats the chipper spirit of the remake. Another critic says, compared to the original the remake is textureless. Meanwhile a twelve-year-old who loves and knows more about the original Ghostbusters than either of us gives a thumbs-up to the remake. And in a world of Rotten Tomatoes, thumbs-up is all that matters.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White