Running Time: 2 hours
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Neil Casey, Andrew Garcia, Charles Dance, Ozzy Osbourne.
The female cast of the new Ghostbusters, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones plus villian Neil Casey have all been on Saturday Night Live in America. Director of Bridesmaids, Paul Feig, has also shown previous good form in comedy. Rolling all this together should result in a real treat of a comedy movie. Well it does and it doesn’t. The lead cast work really well together and often seem to be holding back smirks from endless improvised takes. That chemistry works well as does the mix of modern yet cartoony retro ghostly effects. Receptionist Chris Hemsworth is entertaining as the possibly over ‘Mr. Bean- stupid’ yet handsome but dumb Kevin. The story follows the essential set up of the first outing with a team of scientists making a breakthrough as spirits are unleashed on New York. Although they dropped the Sigourney Weaver/Rick Moranis plot thread this time around. It’s a fun ride with feisty sassy dialogue between the new team. But what spoilt the overall result for me was the crudeness of humour in an essentially family film. It’s a 12a, which hints at its tone but audiences will inevitably bring along 8 year olds who then have to sit with parents burying their blushes as they are questioned about vaginal jokes and cover their kids eyes and ears as middle fingers fly and category B swear words are shouted. Caution must be taken I feel.
My biggest gripe is that I welcome a cameo or two from the original movie or maybe an in joke here and there but I stopped counting at 12 ‘point at the screen’ moments or line quotes. That self referencing made it feel unsure of itself due to the fan baiting and reminiscing. The film is peppered with call backs even after the end credits roll and the final sequel set up is done. It’s also evidence that McCarthy works better as a team player.
I would also mention that a couple of ghost scares may give ten year olds or younger nightmares. But I still enjoyed the ride as someone who loved the first movie- not the second. This reminded me of The Frighteners also, which is still good fun. So a better than expected but aimed at a young adult market, rehash of a nostalgic piece of my childhood.
I’ll happily watch a sequel, but without my son.
C Whitehouse 2016