The new Ghostbusters trailer is here! Both hugely criticized and anticipated, this reboot is continuing the nostalgia train that us 80s and 90s babies are happily (or begrudgingly) boarding. I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the Ghostbusters, but I have seen the movie a few times. I mostly wanted to ask the opinion of my boyfriend, who quotes the movie on a frequent basis, along with a ton of other films we consider classic.
His reaction was somewhat expected, as a fan of the original- he saw it as unimpressive. Always curious, I asked why. His points were as follows:
- The humor did not seem organic
- Melissa McCarthy’s slapstick is predictable
- General confusion: is it a reboot, or are they related to the original ghostbusters?
- Will this movie strive for originality, or lean on its predecessor?
Of course, these are all matters of opinion. He didn’t find the jokes funny, while I appeal to slapstick and audibly laughed while watching the trailer. The corny 80s humor is right up my boyfriend’s alley, while I liked the newer material from the cast. I liked the stylization of the characters and its “feel” (although he and I share the same opinion about Ms. McCarthy), while he thought it was not too informative. We both, however, liked the little nods to the original film, Slimer and ECTO1 included. It was clearly a stalemate. So, we decided to integrate more opinions, both IRL and from the dreaded comments sections of various outlets.
I picked the minds my coworkers, who are bigger fans than I. One, who saw the original movie and new trailer before me, concluded that he’s going to love it. Silly movies are “[his] thing, and this looks to be going in that direction. Plus,[he has] seen most of these women in action before, and it looks like the best is coming”. Another one mentioned that “it’s gonna make money either way”, which may very well be the case. But I think this movie needs to make a good amount before being considered a success by any nay-sayers.
Of course there is already controversy brewing, and it has been for some time since the announcement. I decided that, in addition to my coworkers, I would absorb some opinions from the internet, where anonymity makes people share emboldened exaggerations of their thoughts that are in a way refreshingly to the point. “The Ghostbusters shouldn’t be women, the reboot will ruin the franchise”, blah blah blah. I sifted through the scathing and the praise, on multiple articles and YouTube channels. From what I’ve seen, this reboot seem to be paying a good enough homage to the original. Of course, one thing that I am a fan of is turning status quo situations on their head, which this movie does fantastically. In just one trailer, there is working class women mixed with STEM women to make a dream team that revamps a franchise AND features its POC teammate instead of putting them to the wayside (cough cough). In my humble opinion, that’s pretty damn good already. In order to “ruin the franchise”, as so many have stated in a cattle-like fashion, it would take quite a bit of unruly direction and terrible writing in accordance with the casting. That’s on a level of say, The Last Airbender, and I do not think that this trailer is, or ever will be, that bad.
The one big fault I have to speak about is the misdirection of the movie’s marketing. As I mentioned before, three out of the four Ghostbusters are scientists, while Leslie Jones’ character Patty “knows New York”. This skill acts as her special something to add to the group, and has brought out a different type of discomfort to the trailer’s portrayal of her. While her Ghostbuster counterpart was merely a man looking for a job, it wasn’t necessary for her to be the outsider yet again. Some were hoping that she would be a scientist, but she is seen working in the MTA in the trailer. However, all is not lost. This is where the movie’s marketing comes in, as we see this poster:
Could municipal historian be another term for an MTA employee along with the other “enchanced” titles? Possibly. Or Patty could actually have gone to school for such a subject, and due to the economy, found a more lucrative position in the subway system. Both are possible, and I hope it is elaborated upon in the movie. Frankly, the access to and knowledge of the railways (where the ghosts seem to be convening) could be enough to make her an asset in the first place. Here’s hoping they treat her as such. On another small note, I really could use more context about McCarthy’s character as well. I wasn’t 100% clear on what her role was…research possibly?
I am directing this to the naysayers mostly, but I truly think that everyone needs to collectively calm down and take the movie for what it is: a fresh take and homage to something that was enjoyable when we were children. I repeat: CHILDREN. The original Ghostbusters, while fun, was also the host of crazy jokes, some bad one liners, and as the Screen Junkies pointed out, “ghost head”. As much as we like to defend source material on this website, it may be best to just let this reboot do its thing and not rely on the source material too much. Might I add that it already has the stamp of approval from Dan Aykroyd,writer and star of the original Ghostbusters.
Even if the movie is fantastic to you now and somehow not the least bit corny, there is no need to spread vitriol over a movie that hasn’t even premiered yet. Besides, look at what happened to Mad Max after getting similar attention, especially the sexist variety (for those who don’t know, it won 6 Oscars just a week ago). My only wishes for this movie are better jokes, deeper characterization, and an actual antagonist to spice things up. Otherwise may Gozer be with them…or not.