3.5 out of 5 stars
Judged as a remake-reboot, the new Ghostbusters is not bad at all: they have reinvented and nodded appropriately to the original’s storyline and structure and the call-backs and cameos are inspired and heartily welcomed by fanboys and girls alike, as they are done with sophistication and plenty of charm and affection. But judged as a film on its own merits, it isn’t quite as good or as funny as one would expect from the Feig/McCarthy/Wiig trifacta. Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are both great to watch but you can’t help but think they could have played it less safe and even looser. The end result is a lot of warm nostalgic feelings and more than a few chuckles but missing some big laugh-out-loud moments – which is not to say I wasn’t totally entertained and thrilled because I was and it perfectly fits the bill as a silly summer blockbuster. However, while it amply proves all the naysayers wrong that the gender of the Ghostbusters is irrelevant as long as they are funny, the film feels too constricted under the shadow of the original and doesn’t generate enough of its own identity and stylings other than swapping the sexes around (though Chris Hemsworth is an inspired choice as the Sigourney Weaver substitute). While I will settle for now this competent origins story rehash and recognizing the potential of these funny ladies by giving them the benefit of the doubt, I can only hope that they can free themselves from the shackles of the original film and unleash something even more hilarious and exhilarating the next time round.