This is a difficult movie to review in large part because of the polarized reaction to it. Most people have fallen into one of two camps: The first being the ones that hated the film upon announcement because Ghostbusters is some sort of cinematic Holy Grail and cannot be touched but the hands of the impure, or women. The second, that any criticism you make against this film is because you are a misogynist and incapable of allowing for reinterpretations their fair shot at greatness.
Both are obviously wrong. If you are a member of the second camp I say that it is not a sign of personal prejudice to be critical of any art form. Nothing is perfect and to ignore the flaws of any work for the sake of its idealism is both an unfair assessment of the work itself as well as a generally dangerous mental practice. If you are a member of the first group, stop reading and go away. No art is sacrosanct and the gender of the roles here does not matter.
Ghostbusters 2016 is a well written fun film that while not timeless like the original, is still thoroughly enjoyable for almost anyone. All four of our mains, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, have distinct screen presences all of which play off each other well. Wiig is the believer turned sceptic turned believer, McCarthy the expert who keeps a professional attitude in the endeavour, Jones a street smart woman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the rich history of New York, and finally McKinnon plays the embodiment of everything you could ever ask for in a mad scientist. Their on screen chemistry is top notch, especially the banter between Wiig and McCarthy. That said the film concentrates more on the jokes and less on the characters. There's very little complexity here beyond Wiig and it makes for characters that feel rather one note. That said if you've ever been with a group of friends all nerding out over a shared fandom you'll instantly connect with the new Busters.
We came here to laugh though and in that department Ghostbusters delivers in spades. Does it go for the cheap shot and stereotype jokes? Yes it does. Does it have the consistent dry sarcastic humour the original did? Not consistently. It boasts some great dialogue gags and unexpected references to not just the original Ghostbusters film but other franchises from the 80's. At times the film is quite clever in how it re-uses and maintains recurring gags. Dotted with well handled cameos it pays respect to the original without mocking it nor ripping it off. This may not be high brow but it's a fun movie that makes you feel happy and excited as you watch it. What's more is that they work in the misogyny of the internet into the movie. Offhand comments have their place as one line gags but nowhere is this more apparent than with Chris Hemsworth's character. The lazy approach to the "buffoon receptionist" would be to have him be the butt of jokes until he says something off hand that inspires a solution, or him noticing something others missed. Not so here. Hemsworth serves exactly no positive purpose to his friends. He's actively a liability to them in fact. He's there to be the butt of jokes and something yummy to look at. Because screw the woman haters. If you felt that he was underused and given no development and just treated as a sexual object, that's the point and I frankly applaud the film for making it and Hemsworth himself for agreeing to be the vehicle for it.
Now, the Ghostbusters legacy. Does it really have one? True the original film was a triumph of the high concept comedy but could that really ever be matched? Internet trolls and 'true' fans of the original brayed for months that the only way to do a proper revitalization of the series was with the original cast and writers. To this I say, we had that. It was called Ghostbusters 2 and it was utter crap. The closest to a proper sequel of some quality was the animated Extreme Ghostbusters which lasted a single season back in 1997.
Is the reboot of the series as good as the original? No, it isn't. But how can you call Ghostbusters a classic series when it's really just a single film of note and then several failed attempts to keep it going? The original was without a doubt a landmark comedy but it was that for a particular time. Will the 2016 re-launch be as well remembered? Probably not, but it is nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable and likely the first part of a new series.