I enjoyed the first half of the movie, loved the evil bellhop character, and was mostly entertained until the last act – which felt a bit draggy and was overwhelmed by special effects instead of jokes and the actors’ performances. Ultimately, I thought it was a good effort – so why was the response so polarizing? When the Ghostbusters remake trailer was uploaded to YouTube, it was thumbed down as the worst movie trailer of all time. Since then, it’s been voted as the 10th most disliked video on YouTube. It’s sandwiched between a smattering of Bieber and Nicki Minaj videos in terms of the most-hated. What gives?
I was beginning to think the controversy was Sony’s PR stunt… The film and hoopla surrounding the reboot seemed so out of whack – it made me want to revisit the original Ghostbusters films.
The original is pretty much a perfect film, right? I think we can all agree on that. But what about that Ghostbusters sequel…
I didn’t remember it all that much, so thought I’d watch them both – maybe they would help me figure out why people hate the latest iteration so much.
I re-watched the original. I realized that just as with Ghostbusters 2016, it too had a lot of special effects and action sequences. Yet it was full of life. How did they make that film so fresh? It’s a brilliant comedy, full of spontaneity. Yet, at the same time they were able to implement big budget special effects – how did they balance the technical effects with fresh comedic performances? Plus the scary moments I may have covered my eyes for when watching as a kid. It’s a testament to how brilliant the original is!
Next up was Ghostbusters II. There were some funny moments, but I wasn’t sure what the guys were doing or what they wanted. What was the message? And there were too many things happening… You’ve got the NY sewer system menstruating what looks like pink goo that gives people PMS… AND you have this evil spirit Vigo from the Carpathians living inside an oil painting who wants to return and rule Earth via Sigourney Weaver’s baby.
Not to mention some other bizarre elements, like Janine no longer has the hots for Egon – she now likes Moranis. And Ray deviates from his usual quirky psych/sci jargon to say tired catch phrases like “It’s slime time!”
After seeing the sequel, the reboot is a breath of fresh air. I suspect the immediate backlash from the trailer wasn’t entirely due to misogyny – fans who grew up with the original Ghostbusters don’t want their childhood flick to be tarnished by a reboot. I get that. But I don’t recall this kind of response when the CARRIE reboot was released. Or the many other reboots of recent years, including:
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
PLANET OF THE APES
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
…just to name a few.
The GB franchise was already tarnished after the sequel. I’m not sure if the reboot has the legs to be more than a decent tribute to the original, but it’s a fun film. If a Ghostbuters Girls sequel materializes, will I make the effort to see it? I don’t know.
If anything else, the reboot inspired me to revisit Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and appreciate how difficult it is to make a great film. Especially one as unique and genre-bending (or gender-bending) as Ghostbusters.
Written by: Mich Medvedoff