Ghostbusters is a franchise that holds some sort of weird nostalgic place in the hearts of people who saw it. It’s this weird mix of crude humour, smart jokes, weird shit and even some dated lame junk; but it’s all of that which makes the movie dated yet timeless at the same time. However, none of that can be said about the 2016 reboot/sequel/remake/not a remake (Seriously, no one can tell what it’s meant to be, not even the producers, director or studio) from what we saw in the trailer that was released recently.
Now I can already hear the furious typing of the “progressive” people out there that want to call me some sort of misogynistic shitlord because in their mind this Ghostbusters movie is going to be a success ONLY because of the fact that it’s an all female cast. Well that pressure has worked since there are many critics of this trailer that feel that they cannot speak negatively about the Ghostbusters trailer or movie openly because of the backlash that comes with it. Even those who want to support the all female cast, but dislike the Ghostbusters trailer are extremely conflicted about speaking out. That’s to speak nothing about those who you can obviously tell have been heavily influenced by a Ghostbusters trailer media event that involved using hardcore Ghostbusters fans to make the reaction to this trailer more positive than it really is. Oh, and if that wasn’t the icing on the cake, then this film is already copping racism complaints by those same “progressives” that applaud the all female cast.
Now here’s the thing. The Ghostbusters movie will succeed or fail on it’s own merits, it has next to nothing to do with an all female cast. There are plenty of other things that can contribute to this Ghostbusters movie being good or bad. Want to see the list? Ok, here we go:
Positive: Practical effects are back!
The one thing that has been universally praised is the effects on the ghosts. For the most part, these effects are a combination of practical make up and prosthetics combined with LED lights and minimal CGI enchancement. Except Slimer, he is 100% CGI and that’s not so bad. In an age of green screen everything, it’s nice to see that with films like this and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we are seeing the return of practical effect in movies.
Positive: The Gear isn’t that bad… Kinda.
The gear that the Ghostbusters use keeps the homemade look of the originals, even if the Ghost Trap does take things a little too literally (Hope that’s just a version 1 and not the final in-use version) and even the Ecto1 looks good with a more streamlined look and a good jab at the base car being a Hurse too.
Negative: Melissa McCarthy is just not funny
Yeah I’m going to cop flack for this one, but I’m sorry, Melissa McCarthy is NOT funny. she’s someone who counts on one gimmick: She’s fat, clumsy and not that bright. In 2016 this is just not funny at all. Physical comedy can be funny, but having the same “I fall down because I’m fat” joke wears thin as hell. The original Ghostbusters did not need to rely in physical comedy to get it over with the audience, this one on the other hand relies on that one Melissa McCarthy joke over and over again. This leads into another problem…
Negative: This is a Melissa McCarthy movie
Going from the Ghostbusters trailer, everything looks like it’s going to centre around Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates character and her “wacky antics”. The rest of the crew are only there to serve the purpose of playing off her antics, or there to help her get into those antics. The fact that the central character is just one gigantic bad joke doesn’t help this film at all.
Negative: They know they are in a reboot
One of the worst things you can do with a reboot is act like you are in a reboot. With this Ghostbusters movie, everyone acts like they they are just there to hit specific marks and recreate scenes from the original Ghostbusters movie, and it shows. Without them taking the characters and making them their own, the whole movie falls flat. Sure, the characters have new names and everything, but you can tell who is taking the role of the old version too easily. There is a chance to really make this movie stand out, but it doesn’t.
Negative: They are not the characters.
If you notice something about this whole article, I don’t reference anyone by their character name but by their real names. This is a problem. In a story I need to be able to suspend my disbelief and get into them as characters. Look again to the originals. Bill Murry to me is Peter Venkman, Harold Remis is Egon, Aykroyd is Ray, Ernie Hudson is Winston, Annie Potts is Janine, etc. I look at these people in the movie and all I see are their characters rather than the actors that played them. I look at this trailer and see Melissa McCarthy playing a version of Venkman, Kate McKinnon playing a version of Egon, Kristen Wiig playing a version of Ray, Leslie Jones as a sassy black women (Can’t even say she’s a version of Winston, it’s that badly written), Chris Hemsworth as the eye candy for the straight women to drool over (Why even bother giving him a name?), etc. I see people playing parts instead of characters involved in a story. This is NOT what you want in a reboot movie.
Negative: This relies on 2 gimmicks
The biggest problem with this Ghostbusters movie is that it relies heavily on 2 gimmicks. The most obvious one is that they have gender swapped the whole main roster. Now I’m all for an all female lead or leads in any movie, but the script needs to work with the people you’re casting. From the looks of what we have so far, as I pointed out already, revolves around Melissa McCarthy. You can’t have a group movie based around a single character, it just doesn’t work. I’m not saying that these women are the problem, but the script itself is just not working for them.
The other gimmick that this movie relies too heavily on is nostalgia. Now if you want nostalgia, then that is what the original movies on Bluray or DVD are for. We can go back and rewatch those and get the warm fuzzies. By trying to make a new movie using the old ideas but retooled for a modern age, you’re only going to rip the nostalgia to bits and piss people off. It’s a hard balance.
Negative: The jokes look predictable already
Now Ghostbusters worked because the jokes were done on all different levels. They were also unexpected. The blowjob scene in the original, who expected that? No one. However you see a small part of a scene in the 2016 Ghostbusters trailer where Chris Hemsworth kicks open the door and enters the room… $20 says that the scene is his introduction and he’ll be saying something stupid like asking the girls how they like their coffee or get asked to take his shirt off… Because sexism is only wrong when it’s a female being objectified remember. Then you have the terrible “Power of Patty compels you!” scene where a ghost is slapped out of Melissa McCarthy’s character. It’s a terrible and somewhat predictable joke when you take into account who is in the scene.
Negative: The studio is misleading with marketing
It’s one thing for people to lose faith in this Ghostbusters movie, but when the studio loses faith in the movie and tries to market it in a way that plays on the audience buying into something this movie is not, then you have big problems. Opening the trailer with taglines and images that invoke nostalgia (And not even well done nostalgia. How hard would it have been to edit the old sign onto the Fire House or something to make it look like a Ghostbusters headquarters!?) is a pretty bad thing to do. Trying to go “Hey! Remember these things? You loved those, so you should love this!” will not allow this movie to stand on it’s own. It’s placing it into the shadow of the original versions and forever locking it in there. This Ghostbusters remake should stand on it’s own feet or die on it’s own feet, but the marketing has doomed it to die in the shadows.
Negative: The toys have already given away the big bad… And it sucks!
Those people who went to New York Toyfair or watched any of the thousands of videos out there on YouTube already know who the villain is… I’m not going to spoil it for you, but if you have to know, then click on this link and see for yourself. One of the worst things you can do is spoil a big reveal in the form of a toy. I know this because when I went to the Australian Toy & Hobby Fair before Transformers: Age of Extinction came out, Hasbro actually told me to remove a photo I had taken of a MegaBlox set featuring the reveal of Galvatron, who was at the time not known to the general audience. Mattel should have taken the same route with these toys. By revealing one of the big villains in the movie, we have had hopes crushed and a general “why bother now?” feeling towards sitting through this movie.
Negative: The backlash is restricting criticism
As you might have already noticed, there is this backlash to people who are pointing out the flaws in this movie. Any time someone goes and say that Ghostbusters (2016) is looking bad or outright sucks, they HAVE TO come out in the beginning of whatever medium they are doing it from and state the following: “I do not hate the film because it has female only leads”. Hell, popular YouTube personality Boogie2988 goes out of his way before even watching the trailer to point out that he is AFRAID to even make an opinion video on the trailer is because he would face “sexist”, “misogynist” and “White CIS Neck-beard Scum” comments from people and groups who attack anyone who don’t say 100% positive things about the all female cast idea. Now when people state straight out that they are AFRAID or SCARED of voicing an opinion due to outrage backlash culture, it shows how bad and restricted things are in this day and age.
By trying to censor or restrict anyone who speaks negatively about the movie is something that is going to hurt the movie a lot. People will not go to see something that they are told that they MUST enjoy or face isolation. Equality means that you have an equal chance to succeed or fail based on it’s own merits.
In conclusion this movie looks like something that has ZERO respect for the source material and stinks to high heaven of a cheap Hollywood cash in. There are women who are much funnier that could have been in these roles (Tina Fey & Aubrey Plaza come instantly to mind. Hell, Tina could have jumped into the writing chair too and saved the script) and there could have been a lot more done to make this film into a sequel or something that would work with the long running production of Ghostbusters branded stories. There are a lot of IDW comics out there centered around Ghostbusters and all different types of groups. The second volume of the books published in 2013 featured a grouping of 3 females and 1 male as a team and it worked really well. They were funny but also handled themselves well for a group that was thrown together due to the disappearance of the original group. Hell, they could have done that story here and called it Ghostbusters 3, or The New Ghostbusters, or something else.
What we have here is a failure to recapture the magic of what made the original a classic. It’s like Hollywood’s new obsession with making upcoming Superhero movies R rated because it worked so well for Deadpool. What Hollywood misses is not that it was the rating that made the movie work, it was a combination of good casing, a good script, and the ability to work with the source material in a way that people could enjoy. The same idea can be seen here. Hollywood thought the idea of a comedy with a gender flip would make a movie work, but forgot to give them good characters, a good script that makes improvements and expands while working with the source material, and a bad set of casting choices.
Personally, I’d love to see an all female movie, especially something with a good solid brand behind it, work for movies. I want more female action leads, comedy leads, adventure leads, etc. I want more of that thing, but I don’t want to see something that is branded as a “female film”. Being female is not a marketing tool and it will not make something entertaining because a group of “progressives” say it will. Things need to work together in harmony to be a success and sorry people, Ghostbusters is just a bad mess that looks doomed to fail. Which sucks because Sony came out and stated during their media event for the trailer that they will be going ahead with more Ghostbusters productions ASAP. (See Black Nerd Comedy’s trailer review for the statement)
However, you might think I’m wrong. Feel free to watch the trailer below and leave a comment and debate me on this. Unlike others, I won’t just dismiss your opinion just because it doesn’t align with mine.