I absolutely love Ghostbusters. In fact, I think it’s pretty much a perfect movie. Even if you just look at the structure, there is not one scene that doesn’t need to be there. All of the fat is trimmed and you’re left with this lean, juicy meal of an adventure/horror/comedy film. It’s a product of a time very different than the one we live in now, when major studios weren’t afraid to cross genres and take risks with original features. That’s not the world we live in anymore and that sucks for a lot of reasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy where we are, either.
I think it’s great that we’re getting another Ghostbusters movie simply because I’ve always wanted to see another one. Ghostbusters II wasn’t that bad, it just wasn’t the first. Nothing’s ever going to top that and that’s a standard we really need to stop holding this to. Sure, I’d have loved to have seen the original team passing the torch to this new class, but that’s not what we’re getting and it’s really just arguing semantics at this point. Had they actually given audiences the old gang again, that’s all anyone would want to see. You’re not going to want to see Venkman, Ray and Winston pass the reigns to new ghostbusters when you’ve already got the them in the movie.
Everyone insists that it has nothing to do with sexism so, for right now, we’ll go with that. One of the most common arguments I see is that the trailer tricked audiences into believing it was a sequel when they had heard it was going to be a remake that was not a part of that original world. That’s still true, it’s not connected to the previous movies in any way and the trailer kind of made it sound like it was. That’s an obvious mistake, but I don’t necessarily think it was something done on purpose. Most of the time, the director, writer, etc. have absolutely no idea what the trailer or posters are going to look like. Those things are typically made by the marketing team.
In this case, they kind of botched it up. Perhaps the worst thing about the trailer is that you can see how quickly it was put together. It’s very clear that they just rushed it out there, feeling the pressure of the oncoming summer movie season. Of course, the trailer is old news by now. So why are we still talking about it? Because it still manages to get an amazing amount of dislikes, seemingly on the hour. This is crazy, the reception that this trailer has gotten.
Especially because there’s every chance the movie might still be good. Here’s my very simple reason for still being excited for Ghostbusters: I like Paul Feig. No matter how many big franchise installments I get excited for, the first thing I do is think about whether or not I like the director and whether or not I think they can bring something interesting to this material.
In the case of Paul Feig, he’s done some movies I like and he’s done some I didn’t care for, but I definitely enjoy some of his output. I thought Bridesmaids was great and Spy caught me completely by surprise. Here’s the thing about both of those features: they both had awful trailers. The trailer for Spy was so bad that I had absolutely no earthly desire to see it and really had to be talked into going. And nobody expected Bridesmaids to be the huge hit that it was based on that first trailer.
I think, in general, that the hiring of Feig is smart because they picked someone with a background in comedy. Ghostbusters, the original, was a total mesh of genres, but comedy was the throughline. So they made the decision to bring on a comedy director for the reboot, which is the exact decision they made when they hired Stripes and Meatballs director Ivan Reitman to do the original.
So why is everyone afraid to talk about Ghostbusters? Well, they’re not, to be honest. Everyone’s already talking about it. They can’t shut up about it. No, the issue is that people like me are afraid to write about Ghostbusters because the reaction on the Internet has been absolutely insane. I’ve never seen more people want to see a movie happen less than they want to see this one happen. I’ve never seen so many people so angry over a single film and I lived through the opening of The Phantom Menace.
If you had Ghostbusters as a child, your childhood was probably awesome, at least when you could imagine spending it with that gang. Ghostbusters was your thing, I get that. It was mine too, even if I came in at the tail end of its heyday. I still had the toys. I still had the cartoon and the comics. And of course I had the movies, and I couldn’t get enough of both of them.
The existence of this new installment doesn’t destroy your childhood. Your childhood is fine. It’s safe. I’ve never gotten that agument. This reboot is not about recapturing that feeling. I’m sorry, but it’s not. If you understand everything that works about the original and what makes it such a great movie, you know that it can’t be recaptured. Ghostbusters was lightning in a bottle. It’s an experience you can’t recreate and that’s why I’m excited for this new team. The thing that excites me most about the new ensemble in the reboot is that they’re separate characters from the original. You don’t want to recast that core group, especially so soon after losing Harold Ramis. The best thing to do is to give us new people who represent those same archetypes, but are still their own characters.
I’m optimistic about the film, but I completely understand that it could go in either direction. At the end of the day, though, it’s just a movie. That’s what I don’t get. There’s more divide over Ghostbusters than there is for the upcoming Presidential election, at least on the Internet. People are outraged at the very existence of this. And yes, if you look at the perpetually disliked trailer on YouTube, you will find plenty of disgustingly sexist comments beneath it. That’s par for the course. That’s just what you get with the Internet. I don’t know if this is simply a case of people feeling threatened that their toys are being taken away and given to someone else. I’d really like that to not be the case.
All I know is that people really don’t want this movie to exist. That’s the heart of the issue. I think the trailer coming out so soon only reminded them of its existence when they weren’t prepared for it. I think the second trailer is a lot better, but that doesn’t mean anything because the damage is already done. If something that’s a fundamental part of your childhood is rebranded for a new generation, you should be happy for the new generation and hope that it’s at least somewhat as impactful for them as the original was for you. As fans of the previous films, we should all hope that this new one makes the kids of today feel even a fraction of what Ghostbusters made us feel when we were kids. We really can’t ask for anything better than that.
If your argument is that kids should just be watching the original Ghostbusters, then show them that, absolutely. If you don’t want your children to see the film, I guess that’s your right as a parent, but chances are they’ll wind up seeing it anyway. But if you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to. Nobody is going to force this feature down your throat.
Everyone has the right to choose what they see and don’t see in a movie theater. If you passionately feel that this is somehow disrespectful to something you hold dear, then I would absolutely avoid it. It’s clearly way too late to tell people to go in with an open mind. We all know that’s not going to happen. But at the very least, let it happen. You can’t stop it from coming out, so don’t get angry at the people who say they’re going to see it. Because it could be good. I honestly don’t see a reason not to hope for it to be successful. We’ll always have the original. If the new movie manages to hold a candle to it, if it just makes for a fun time at the theater, that can only be a good thing.