It's often been said that when M. Night Shayamalan dies, his tombstone will read, "Good, but not as good as The Sixth Sense." I was thinking of that when I saw the new Ghostbusters, a delightfully fun film that suffers only because it isn't quite as good as the first one.
Honestly, I approached this with trepidation mixed with dread, because while Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are well-known for their comic exploits, I saw Bridesmaids and utterly loathed it. I envisioned a Ghostbusters full of female scat comedy instead of the snarky character comedy of the original.
I was pleasantly surprised. Wiig and McCarthy still aren't my favorites, but I was surprised by the wonderfully quirky Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, whom I could watch all by herself. If the snark wasn't quite up to the original's standards, it was plenty fun, and we understood that these folks were new coworkers. That might've been one flaw: the original trio were guys who'd been working together for years and you felt that jibing history between them, and growing to include their fourth member, hired halfway through the movie. In this film, they're just getting to know each other, and still managing to be a ton of fun.
Chris Hemsworth was passable as the dumbest assistant alive, which is enjoyable despite the requisite scene where a previously-intelligent woman turns into a mumbling moron in the presence of Handsome Man (for previous egregious examples, please see Natalie Portman in Thor also starring Hemsworth). News flash: most women do not become idiots just because a hot guy is in the room.
The story is the same we've seen before: ghosts plus idiot living humans create metaphysical crisis. The ghosts are several steps up from before - actually menacing at times! - and the idiot living humans, sadly, several steps less interesting. Bonus points, however, for Andy Garcia as a somewhat-weaselly mayor trying to manage his image through the crisis.
And, of course, the homages to the original, with guest appearances by everyone from Bill Murray to Sigourney Weaver to the bronzed head of Harold Ramis, rest in peace. As usual, stay to the end of the credits. It's always worth it.
I hear this film isn't doing well, probably because of the enormous backlash of OMG teh gurlz. I would really hate to see them drop what was obviously intended to be a franchise. I think this crew will grow on us, and I'd definitely sign up for another trip through the slime with them.