I ain't afraid of no ghosts.
Image: Columbia Pictures
Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon in 'Ghostbusters'

Your questions, answered.

Is this new Ghostbusters movie funny?


How funny?

On a scale ranging from whatever Adam Sandler is subjecting us to these days to the Jump Street series? Depends on what tickles your funny bone. You'll laugh, but sometimes you'll groan. There are good one-liners and gags (I'm partial, for personal reasons, to Melissa McCarthy's ongoing war with the Chinese food delivery guy over the number of wontons in her soup), and others that feel half-baked. But on balance, it's a good time.

Why is there a bunch of women starring instead of men? Is this some kind of man-hating gimmick?

Why is this even a question?

Ghostbusters never succeeded because of its cogent social commentary, thoughtful themes, or innovative plotting. Born of sketch comedy, it's all about the performances. The original Ghostbusters (which is about six months younger than me) featured mostly actors known for their hilarious work on Saturday Night Live. This one does too. Anyone with half a brain watching SNL these days knows the women have far outpaced the men in the cast for a while. Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy (who's hosted SNL to great effect), and, above all, the great, zany Kate McKinnon—she of the impeccable comic timing—are some of the funniest performers on the planet. The movie busts the so-called Bechdel test to smithereens without being offputtingly “girls rule, men drool” about it.

Let's take a moment for a tribute to McKinnon. Not only is she channeling Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown throughout—the glasses, the hair, the whole thing—but her random asides (even the ones that are obviously product placement, like crunching “salty parabolas,” ...

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