Riding a wave of high expectations and faux-outrage from male zealots who don’t like their childhoods infected by cooties, “Ghostbusters” has finally opened in theaters and the reviews are generally positive, albeit with more than a few caveats. Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates (Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy), nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) all band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
IndieWire‘s own Eric Kohn gave the film a mixed review, praising the film as an “explicitly feminist reworking of the popular franchise” with a crackerjack cast, but also said that the film marinates in old ides rather than new ones: “As ghostly occurrences grow more frequent and the Ghostbusters face down a series of CGI baddies around town, neither Robert Yeoman’s crisp cinematography nor the preponderance of vibrant effects can salvage the sense that we’ve been through all this before.”
Other reviews were more positive. HitFix‘s Drew McWeeny calls the film “a big fat slice of silly summer entertainment, confident and sometimes quite beautiful.” Time‘s Stephanie Zacharek describes it as “an affable, inventive riff on Ivan Reitman’s proton-packing caper that exists not to score points, but only to make us laugh,” and that there’s “no nobler purpose” for a summer comedy. The New York Times‘s Manohla Dargis says that it’s “a lot of enjoyable, disposable fun,” and it allows “women to be as simply and uncomplicatedly funny as men.”
Other reviews were not as enamored with the new “Ghostbusters” movie. Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson notes that there are “brief highlights in a film that’s largely an uninspired slog, everyone doing their best to get to the end without screwing things up too much.” The Village Voice‘s Melissa Anderson says that “‘Ghostbusters’ 2.0 suffers from the anxiety of influence — or, more specifically, from the fear of not wanting to alienate the fans (Gen X’ers and others) of 1.0.” Along those lines, Variety‘s Peter Debruge claims that it “spends far too much energy channeling the original to establish its own identity,” and that director Paul Feig “succumbs to the familiar curse of the digital-effects era” by relying t00-heavily on computer effects in the final third.
“Ghostbusters” is now in theaters nationwide.