The new Ghostbusters reboot has got to be the most controversial movie of
the year the decade my lifetime. That’s kind of insane if you think about. But why? There seems to be a few reasons for the vitriol coming from all around the Internet.
Initially, the most vocal objections were over there being a female cast. The horror! Apparently, it’s important that the Ghostbusters be men. Uhhh, OK. Humorously, this criticism has all but disappeared as these people realize the horrible human beings they are and that everyone else finds them abhorrent.
The second criticism, which the misogynist group has joined up with to hide their shame recently, is that the movie shouldn’t be rebooted in the way that it is. This angle was most famously captured recently by the AVGN. Sadly, he took way too much flak for it simply because the misogynist angle has become de facto at this point. If you complain about the movie, you must hate women. That’s obviously not fair because there’s a decent argument to be made that the original movie shouldn’t be white-washed in this one. The original team doesn’t exist in this universe as far as we know. We’ve been inundated with (money grabbing) reboots lately, and so this hits close to home. Still, I think this argument is wrong for one important reason, but I’ll get to that in a little bit…
The third group simply claims the movie is terrible based on the first trailer. Yes, having seen a full 1% of the movie, they’ve already decided the movie will be terrible. Those people are simply the worst.
I Liked the Trailer…There. I Said It.
Honestly, I don’t know why there’s such hatred for the trailer. (Unless you hate women.) I think a lot of it is Internet hivemind. If you don’t also hate it, you’re an idiot, just like how you have to dump on Sarah Jessica Parker and Nickelback to stay in line. Let’s look at the trailer, though. To start, I like the staccato Ghostbusters theme. It sets a good mood and fills us with some nostalgia. We quickly see the first ghost and it looks cool and creepy, much like some of the ghosts in the original movie. This is the point where I contend that rebooting the movie makes some sense: the discovery and evolution of ghost research is what makes Ghostbusters so great.
What gives the original 1984 movie its charm is that these four guys are a full-fledged startup. They’re discovering the science of ghosts, how to defeat them, finding a space to operate, hiring employees, and failing over and over again before becoming saviors of the city. (Rest our heroes.) Well, OK, it’s really due to Ray and Egon. Peter didn’t do shit. And hey, look at that, not only did he overshadow the brains of the operation, he even topped the IMDB cast list. Harold Ramis can’t catch a break, man…
Five years later, in 1989, Ghostbusters II was released. While memorable in some ways, it certainly wasn’t a great movie. Metacritic scored it a 56. (Ironically, the original only got a 67 but the reviews may be skewed by the gap in time.) The highlights were the dude from Ally McBeal with his funny accent and, of course, that an NES Advantage was used to control the Statue of Liberty. (Epic!) Alas, where I think the movie falls apart is that the discovery is missing. And not only are our four heroes suddenly (and inexplicably) shunned by the city now, they spend all their time playing with goop. Looking for it, analyzing it, spraying it all over things…
There’s just a certain magic in origin stories and you can see how just one sequel made everything stale. So, consider if the new Ghostbusters movie did a hand-off as some have suggested. While that would be heart-warming, and great fan service, it would spoil the discovery. The four ladies would simply be handed proton packs and sent on their way. That’s not fun, and why spoil a chance at some origin goodness because a bunch of old men need to be involved in the story? The first movie was 32 years ago. This isn’t Star Wars where the gaps are smaller. If ever a movie needed to start all over, it’s now.
I support the idea of a reboot. Kristen Wiig is not only hilarious, but Bridesmaids proved how good a comedic actress and writer she can be. Melissa McCarthy is Melissa McCarthy and, let me tell you, Kate McKinnon is on the precipice of stardom. Most known for her Hillary Clinton impression, she was also a viral sensation for her performance in the Near-Death Experience skit. She’ll be the breakout star in this movie. Leslie Jones is lesser known still, but many will recognize her small role in the hilarious Star Wars: Undercover Boss.
Don’t sell this cast short.
And, yes, the part with the ghost “possession” takes up too much time and is a little too slap-stick, sure. It was a bit corny, sure. However, watch the new international trailer (which is way better than even the second US trailer) and you get an idea of what the “possession” theme is about. Plus, I love the concept that the Marshmallow Man now resembles the worried ghost in the Ghostbusters logo.
ZOMG! Cecily Strong make an appearance?! Everything looks even better to me here. I’m definitely excited for this movie!
You Want To Talk About a Bad Trailer?
So, what’s a bad trailer look like? I’ll tell you what it looks like…it’s the trailer for the original movie. Yes, in 1984, Ghostbusters was pitched to us like this:
How would you describe this one? Corny? Goofy? Seems a little harsh on Egon if you ask me. Dan Akroyd sort of comes off as a terrible actor, too. Of course, we loved the movie. (Flaws and all.) Trailers aren’t always great. Don’t get so bent out of shape about it.
If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it.
I sure will be.