It's been 32 years since the release of the original, and the Ghostbusters reboot has no chill. The script from Paul Feig and Kate Dippold hammers home the message of this new and controversial film in just about every single shot.
What's the message? We're making this movie because it's 2016 and rebooting a classic Dude Comedy with an all female cast will make people mad.
The villain of the film (played by Neil Casey) is a misanthropic basement dweller who kinda looks like the Youtube star who said he refused to see or review the movie on principle. The film attacks its critics head on.
Even the laughably bad theme song seems like a troll job. Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott came up with a song that sounds like cats fighting in a garbage can. The awfulness can only be described as intentional. Because if you're the type of person to say "the score of a film is sacrosanct!" you're the type of person who will hate this movie.
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones make up the main squad, and in some ways they respectively bring to the plate what they always have. Kristen Wiig is slightly frenetic but looks like she's trying to hide that she's the smartest person in the room, Melissa McCarthy has a Roseanne Barr-esque arsenal of midwestern appeal, Kate McKinnon is Harpo Marx with a functioning voice box, and Leslie Jones is loud and brash in a way that counterbalances the goofiness of some of the other members.
The jokes hurtle past and you're excused for not laughing at all of them, because not all of them work. But eventually, you will laugh. There's fart jokes, self-referential jokes, vagina jokes, race jokes, comedy nerd jokes, showbiz-insider-Arrested Development-type jokes, all presented in a mille-feuille of irony. It's funny in a lot of ways, and doesn't try to constrain itself to any particular type of gag.
In a word, the movie is maximalist. At the climax, we find a battle scene oddly reminiscent of something from the latter Lord of the Rings films, in which legions of ghosts fight the Lady Ghostbusters, and we finally get to see the Lady Ghostbusters bust out the new gadgets we've been anticipating throughout the film. Melissa McCarthy gets super powered brass knuckles to punch a demon into oblivion, while Leslie Jones shreds some nerds into ektoplazm with a handheld ghost chipper. No one is going for nuanced realism here, so why is it not ridiculous for Legolas to slaughter 100 orcs while sliding down the trunk of a massive elephant, but it's ridiculous for Kate McKinnon to blow up some dorks with electromagnetic hand grenades?
When this movie succeeds, it shows you how silly it is to get mad about a movie. When it fails, well, it fails in style. It fails in seizure-inducing, herniating, mind-numbing glory that makes you sort of giggle and fart anyway.
It's glorious, and if it ruined your childhood, sorry bro.