*** This review contains major ECTO-1 cameo spoilers! ***

A group of varied personalities form a paranormal company in order to catch ghosts and save New York City.

Based on Ivan Reitman’s “Ghost Busters” written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis without drawing any comparisons to the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters 2016 is 116m 28s of stylish sleek fun. Ghostbusters writers Katie Dippold and Paul Feig interestingly bring the team together with clean cut modern cinematic swagger. Feig, director of 2015’s Spy, turns his hand effortlessly to an effects driven comedy friendship rework.

With a Disney Haunted Mansion-like opening with a genuine jump scare, to animated mannequins and joy riding ghosts (including Slimer), there’s plenty of ectoplasm on display (that appears to follow) the excellent cast, especially Kristen Wiig’s Gilbert. Haunted by a paranormal encounter as a child, Gilbert who’s co-written ghost book loses her job when a ghost encounter video goes viral. Wiig along with kooky hot engineer Holtzmann played by Kate McKinnon light up the screen (no pun intended) and  soup loving Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates and Leslie Jones’ subway worker Tolan provide the comedy backbone.

While the scripted comedy doesn’t go for subtle wit, with some physical gags its mostly more on the nose comedy, infused with pop culture references, including Ghost and The Exorcist to name a few, it genuinely has its laugh out loud moments, Feig even throws in a fart joke for good measure. There’s lots of chuckles to be had, many come from Gilbert’s and Yates former, later rekindled friendship. Feig offers excellent set-ups and set pieces as proton packed armed they go about busting spooks in a rock concert (where Ozzy Osbourne cameos), the city street and subway at one point using some new toys. There are many memorable moments, a scene where they run some tests like Peter Parker trying out his web, along with a moment where Holtzmann goes all Clint Eastwood western to name a few. McCarthy and Jones’ comedy timing is impeccable, with smart Wiig and wacky genius McKinnon bouncing off wonderfully  – firmly stamping their mark. But overtly focal Chris Hemsworth sends his persona up somewhat as dim witted eye candy Kevin and steals many of the best moments.

As the team discover there’s a disturbed bell boy Rowan North (Neil Casey) amplifying paranormal activity in New York, during a carnival of phantoms we get to see the Marshmallow Man in balloon form and a pilgrim ghost take on the team. If anything the excellent CGI spirits on occasion are more spectral beings rather than the departed traditional dead, there’s a giant Gremlin-like flying creature and holographic like ghouls trapped in mirrors. Ghostbusters moves along at breakneck speed, and while the main bad guy may lack weight and grit thankfully this is counteracted by the genuine likable and watchable main cast.

While the CGI may lack that Indiana Jones/Poltergeist 80’s optical feel. The colourful ghost effects on display – reminiscent of The Frighteners, Beetle Juice and akin to the original second outing, along with the Ghostbuster (universe) cartoons, comics etc. have a charm of their own. At one time their Ghostbuster logo literally appears animated when Rowan mocks the team prior to him trying to destroy the city in a vortex, which lucky for the insurance company leaves little, if any mess. There are some fridge logic moments – why build a containment unit if you can just zapping the spooks into slimey gloop, unless it’s to study, either way I’m sure Ghostbuster aficionados will be able to explain.

There’s an array of welcomed cameos for series fans from the likes of Ernie Hudson, as the undertaker Bill and uncle of Tolan, to Bill Murray, in a surprising extended cameo as Martin Heiss, who accuses the Ghostbusters of being fraudsters. Dan Aykroyd, has an excellent brief appearance as the all knowing cab driver. Even Annie Potts appears as a hotel desk clerk, snapping the crowning, “What do you want?” Andy Garcia shows up as the Teflon Mayor and humorously loses it when he is compared to the Mayor in Jaws. While Charles Dance’s small role is fittingly cast as Gilbert’s uptight University Dean.

Feig offers along with the familiar theme tune supernatural hijinks and enough jump scare frights to give the youngsters the heebie jeebies. Dedicated to Harold Ramis, stick around for some end credit antics plus a post credit scene where Sigourney Weaver briefly appears as Holtzmann’s mentor Rebecca Gorin and the team discovers the name Zuul for the fist time, setting it up for a sequel.

Overall, with the controversial backlash and odd marketing now in the grave, as with any kind of rework comparisons will be made, taking my nostalgia glasses off, as a film in its own right, it’s spectre-tacular fun and comes recommend.

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