Complete A-Z list



Stars: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Michael Kenneth Williams, Andy Garcia, Charles Dance, Ed Begley Jr. Guest appearances: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts

Director: Paul Feig

A role-reversal remake of the 1984 spectral smash, with amusing guest appearances from the stars of that film. This time round, it's Wiig as Erin, a boffin who gets the sack from her stuffy faculty when her predilection for chasing ghosts goes viral: responsible for the career-changing gaffe is Abigail (McCarthy, toning it down, a bit), whose own pursuit of the paranormal involves sidekick Holtzmann (McKinnon, auditioning to be a female Joker in a Batman movie).

Erin quickly finds herself roped in to investigate an all-too-haunted house, and the trio is soon joined by Patty (Jones), a traffic control worker who spots a subway ghost after pursuing weirdo Rowan North (Casey) down a tunnel, and by Aussie receptionist Kevin: Hemsworth has fun here as the himbo to end them all; he has a dog called My Cat (actually Mike Hat) and has removed the lenses from his glasses because they kept getting dirty.

'That's loud,' he complains about a noise, putting his fingers through his glasses.

There are a few quirky lines like that in the predictable mayhem that follows: the guide from the aforementioned house introduces 'the room where P T Barnum had the idea of enslaving elephants', and Wiig drily (or wetly) remarks, after her first ghostly sliming, that 'it went every crack'.

Actually, it's Wiig who's the best thing here, proving an especially subtle comedienne with her involuntary reactions to her fancy for the hunky Kev. Otherwise the movie, if agreeably nutty, is very much the mixture as before, as Casey plans to flood New York City with ghosts of all shapes and sizes. Even though this revamp never really forges its own identity, another Ghostbusters 2 would seem to be inevitable.

The lurid fun is suitable for kids of most ages, although one or two very small mites had to be carried screaming from the preview after the first happening in the haunted house.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Technicolor.
117 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 11 Jul 2016