I'm pleased to say that this is the best Ghostbusters film since the original. (Not to knock the other two. They were entertaining but had their flaws.) It understands what worked for the first two films (which the reboot didn't understand): great humor juxtaposed with a serious threat and a sincere dedication to the backstory of said threat. (This is directed by original director Ivan Reitman's son Jason who clearly is doing his all to be reverent toward the franchise).
But this film also realizes that changes needed to be made. The biggest mistakes of 2 and the reboot were just recycling the story beats. After 3 whole films where the characters have to start or restart their careers while going up against skeptics, this movie refreshingly skips that. I mean, we're here to see people fighting ghosts and not having to sit through the minutiae. We also finally get a film happening someplace other than New York. And you can't do much more different than the large city than a small country town used here. The rustic landscape looks really good. (Also, it's got to be a lot more cost effective to film in the county than than the city.)
The best change about this is that it's more character-driven and sentimental than the other films, tackling character emotions with a depth never before seen. The movie also provides an excellent nod to Egon, whose actor Harold Ramis sadly passed away. There are three characters that standout: smart, but socially awkward Phoebe (McKenna Grace), the Egon of the film, talkative podcaster Podcast (Logan Kim), and good-natured science teacher Gary Guberson (Paul Rudd). Phoebe and Podcast make the film as both their actors nail their delivery. They have excellent chemistry together and sell being two eccentrics whose friendship is built on neither being judgmental of the other. Rudd excels in being goofy and charming.
Love the cinematography and special effects for this. I don't think I've seen a movie come so close to feeling like it was made during the 80's. Also, the opening and ending to this are so excellently done. The former in particular is something you could show in film school on how to properly shoot a scene.
I do admit the editing could've been better. This is one of those films where it's definitely clear more stuff was shot, but it got cut. There's a few characters in this that feel like they were supposed to have more to do then barely show up. There is one person in particular, whose usage is so disappointing, it probably would've been easier if he or she was cut. Though I do like the finale, I do admit it ends abruptly.
Even before I saw the movie, I heard complaints that there were too many nostalgia throwbacks. When I watched the film, I thought "Huh, I'm not seeing it." Then the third act hits and you're hit by a flood of references, like the reference dam opened. However, I still wouldn't call this a dealbreaker. There's too much to enjoy in this for the nostalgia baiting to bring it down.
Highly recommended. I think this is the type of Ghostbusters that people have been waiting for for a long, long time.