Erin is on the verge of getting tenure at a top-notch university. A respected scientific mind, Erin (Kristen Wiig) does happen to have one skeleton in her closet, and it’s one whose moldy bones are freshly rattling once more. Years earlier, Erin wrote a lengthy book on the existence and study of the paranormal with her former best friend Abby (Melissa McCarthy). This thoroughly detailed work suddenly pops back onto the internet and sends Erin into a paranoid spiral, leading her to reconnect with Abby, who just so happens to be the one pushing the book’s existence of late. Also, a plethora of ghosts are, you know, showing their spooky faces all over New York City. So that’s something.
A remake of the beloved Ivan Reitman 80s comedy, this edition of Ghostbusters comes from Paul Feig and it sures feels like It. Feig, one of the creators of “Freaks and Geeks,” has risen to cinematic prominence this decade with a trio of hilarious hits; Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy. While the inventive vulgarity or swearing of those pics has been cut back with Ghostbusters, the tone is very much the same. This movie is wall-to-wall jokes, the characters have a fluid banter and people always, always underestimate ours leads. This is the Feig formula and its works smashingly here, as this new Ghostbusters is thoroughly packed with laughs.
A great deal of this comes from that Feig formula. Writing alongside Katie Dippold after The Heat, the pair concoct the right scenarios for improv, setting the character traits down first so the gags have a root in something. We get the moments of Erin being uncomfortable about getting back into the other-worldly, her history with it, how Abby fits into that, as well as the utter glee over meeting something wicked face-to-face. The bond between the two and the bringing into that family of the inventive, eccentric Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and skeptical, take-no-crap Patty (Leslie Jones) can give the warm and fuzzies alongside the chuckles. The chuckles though; they are ample. McKinnon gets to go wild with a cartoonish mad-scientist, giddily tinkering with her toys, even if half of them could level the city. For Jones, there are plenty of highlights, with the best being an interaction with a dumby come-to-life on her first mission.
Then there are the numerous asides and ridiculous bits, including a poltician who does not take kindly to being compared to the mayor from Jaws and Chris Hemsworth playing the most delightful of dimwits. I mean truly, a dumb, dumb man. The only person I can think of as dumber is the one who’d go onto the internet and relentlessly trash a film they haven’t seen because it has women. That person is the dumbest of them all.