There has been a lot of fuss regarding the new Ghostbusters trailer, some love it, others hate it with a passion, and so I deemed it appropriate to join the fun, but before I begin, I need to hang a neat little disclaimer over this entire article:
I am not against the all-female casting, I do not think this is a bad choice at all. Any criticism I have would also apply if the cast were only men. So keep that in mind, please.
With that out of the way we can take a closer look at the trailer and let’s face it, it’s bad, it is hilariously bad. From the very beginning of the trailer, there is a blatant summoning of nostalgia with the library ghost apparently being their first encounter, is this a reboot or a remake? Unfortunately, this attempt to get fans of the original fails miserably when we see the CGI-ghost in all its glory, this woeful creation seemingly made out of neon lights just looks out of place – I’m not saying the original ghosts looked fantastic, but some 30 years on and this is the best they could come up with?
The Bridesmaids 2, sorry Ghostbusters trailer, then finally introduces us to the main characters, an engineer, a physics professor, Melissa McCarthy and the ‘sassy’ streetwise black Ghostbuster. Seriously? It’s 2016 and they’re following the Winston template from the 1980s, just wow.
Now, if this was just another McCarthy, by the number comedy flick then who would even care, but since they had to take the Ghostbusters brand, every fan will preemptively hate this movie. I would ever go as far as to say that it was almost impossible for them to create a movie with this name with an entire new cast and not have many fans feel this way. Despite this though, the main issue is actually the dialogue, it is so badly written that even if these lines were coming from Aykroyd and co, it wouldn’t change a thing. From what little we’ve seen so far it is difficult to judge the movie as a whole but if this is a good example then it is safe to say that the script is uninspired, walking the line between predictable and straight quotes from the original
What is confusing is where exactly this new movie fits into the overall scheme of things in the franchise. All the way through production, it has been claimed that this would be an entirely brand new rebooted universe, separate from the original and yet they clearly reference the original movies at the beginning on the trailer, is this really Ghostbusters 3 or do they really just lack the confidence to push forward with that connection?
While my disclaimer still stands (don’t forget it), it is difficult to talk about the new Ghostbusters without addressing the gender debate, seeing as people as already raising their pitchforks and torches against feminists. While some will see both good and bad issues associated with feminism, this is not the inherent enemy here, and far from the reason for the casting choice. Unfortunately, though, the recent social media arguments have highlighted a problem where both critics and fans are in the awkward position where the sad reality is that you cannot make an honest statement about the movie without being accused of trying to suppress an entire gender.
This movie isn’t about feminism, there are a lot of female casts out there and it just now happened to be Ghostbusters, but people will protest none the less and those who actually like the trailer (yes, they exists. Weird, I know) can safely fall back on not accepting criticism, due to the fact that if you hate this movie you apparently also hate women for some contrived reason. To add to this dilemma, not only does the trailer offer no strong female protagonists, but it appears to throw racial equality back 30 years.
Why, for instance, is the black lady the only one who declares herself as not smart, but has street-knowledge? Did you ever consider playing with stereotypes would be somewhat interesting, Paul Feig? Did you ever think about doing something creative with this license instead of making the first movie again? In the end, you cannot really blame the female cast, blame the director and writing team.
This movie could have been forgiven in the same way that many see the Robocop reboot, without the name it is a solid movie, but sadly, if this trailer is a good example of what to expect, then there’s very little hope of that.