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Film review: Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters an affectionate homage to the original

The reboot follows the set-up and themes of the 1984 classic perhaps a bit too much, but it’s still an enjoyable ride undeserving of all the criticism

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 3:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 5:41pm

3/5 stars

Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot arrives trailed by a slew of negative online publicity – rather unfairly as it turns out. This oestrogen-packed incarnation of New York’s finest ghost hunters turns out to be an affectionate homage to the 1984 original, never straying too far from its source. Perhaps that doesn’t make it wildly original, as it rips off the first film’s plot, ghosts and even actors (five of whom make cameo appearances in new roles). But it’s by no means the disaster predicted.

The film reunites Feig with his Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, respectively as university friends Erin and Abby. Once co-authors of a book on the paranormal, physics professor Erin is trying to distance herself from such theories in an effort to gain tenure at her college. But when a series of spooky occurrences leave her covered in ghost-goo, she join forces with Abby and her kooky colleague, Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon).

Director Paul Feig ‘would love to prove the haters wrong’ about all-female Ghostbusters reboot

With the fourth ghostbuster arriving with Leslie Jones’ subway worker Patty, and a receptionist added in the comely shape of Chris Hemsworth, this newly formed posse are soon cracking down on the city’s increased spectral activity, including a ghoul at an Ozzy Osbourne concert – though with a cameo from the aged rocker it’s hard to tell who is more scary.

The film sacrifices the scruffy charms of the original for slick CGI set-pieces, though it has its moments – and Hemsworth is a delight. All told, it’s safe rather than spectacular.

Ghostbusters opens on July 21

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