Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is a professor at Columbia University who clearly enjoys the prestige that comes with such a position. So she’s mortified to learn that a book she co-wrote with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has re-emerged, in which they argued that ghosts really do exist.
Yates still holds a grudge against Gilbert for abandoning their research and their friendship. But their disagreement over the book forces them to reconnect, and it’s not long before Gilbert needs another gig. Along with Yates’ eccentric associate Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), they decide to go into the ghostbusting business, complete with a hunky secretary named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).
The new venture couldn’t come at a better time: Ghosts are on the verge of wreaking havoc on New York. With street-savvy subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) on board as the fourth ghostbuster, the team sets out to avert the apocalypse.
That won’t be easy. The ghosts have an enthusiastic enabler in the misanthropic Rowan (Neil Casey), and the mayor’s office is out to discredit the ghostbusters as publicity-seeking charlatans.
But when there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who else are you going to call?
“Ghostbusters,” the 1984 comedy fondly remembered for one of Bill Murray’s goofiest and most endearing performances, will always have its place in pop culture. But this reboot starring some of today’s finest comic actors —male or female — is a wonderfully hilarious and boldly imaginative creation in its own right.
Working from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Katie Dippold, director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) maintains just the right balance between humor and horror. McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon and Jones prove to be a relentlessly inventive comic ensemble. And Hemsworth (“Thor”) is a revelation as a guy who’s blissfully unaware of his sheer incompetence.
Internet trolls were outraged at the idea that women could be supernaturally funny. But the latest incarnation of “Ghostbusters” has the last laugh.
What “Ghostbusters” • Run time 1:48 • THREE AND A HALF STARS • Rating PG-13 • CONTENT Supernatural action and crude humor