There has long been backlash in the realm of cinema for a variety of reasons, from Michael Bay directing a biopic about the attack on Pearl Harbor to Will Smith pushing the remake of The Karate Kid, it’s only natural for true movie fans to resist the cash cow nature of Hollywood studios. When the idea of a third Ghostbusters was kicked around (starring the original cast), fans perked like a curious puppy. But then to settle on an unnecessary reboot? No way around it: it’s a disappointment.
10. The Original Serves as the Standard Bearer
There is no reason to do another Ghostbusters film without the original Ghostbusters. When Harold Ramis passed unexpectedly in 2014, that should have been that. The idea of another Ghostbusters film should have died with him. The early reviews are in for Ghostbusters (2016), and they’re not good. Max Landis took to the web to offer his two cents after seeing the reboot, and suggested it was “whatever…” though it was clearly born of his Ghostbusters 3 pitch. This is disappointing on multiple levels. There seems no better way to disappoint yourself than to watch the original, and then go see how they couldn’t improve upon it 32 years later. Here’s the deal, people. If you’re gonna make a film, don’t make a film that becomes a chore for people to sift through on IMDb in order to get to the film people are actually looking for.
9. We Appreciate The Equality Agenda, But…
Who genuinely thought it was a good idea to take four of the most iconic movie characters from the past 40 years, and turn them into ladies? Nah, they’re not the same characters, but in some manner, they must fit the same character archetypes to enjoy a similar chemistry, and nobody has any faith that this is going to happen. Frankly, it was necessary to cast four women in a reboot, because any other route would have dictated a serious paint-by-number job for any actor. We can appreciate that a woman can bust ghosts, but can we set aside the “equality,” and focus on fairness to the moviegoer? It should be an enhancement on an idea. An example: many of us prefer Bridesmaids to The Hangover. It was in the same pre-wedding wheelhouse, yet distinct. Unique. That’s fairness for moviegoers.
8. It Looks Terrible
When suggesting it looks terrible, that’s not to say the women look terrible, the filming looks terrible, the special effects look terrible, or anything like that. Those things all look fine. It’s a suggestion that the story is going to fall flatter than a watered down pancake. Without spoiling too much, the climax of this foray into ghostbusting lacks in nearly every way possible. It breaks its own rules, relies on paint-by-number caricatures and drives toward a “how do we neatly tie this thing up?” vibe. Now, to be fair and balanced, yes, there are more than a good share of laughs in the film, and there are some performances (Kate McKinnon) that will guarantee a lot more work for some of the actresses in the film. However…its borderline “ugh” when compared to the standard bearer of the original. The intrigue, mystique, goofs, subtle comedies, plants and payoffs of the original are nowhere to be found.
7. Have You Seen The Trailer?
What did you think of the trailer? Honestly, if you’re gonna reboot anything, reboot it. Don’t rely on the things of yesteryear in order to build a foundation. It’s too familiar. A perfect example of doing this right: Christopher Nolan taking the reins of Batman, and departing swiftly from anything done by Tim Burton and–thank goodness–Joel Schumacher. Unfortunately, the Ghostbusters (2016) trailer offers little more than an updated rehash of what we saw in 1984. Costumes, Ect0-1, the weaponry (until the departure from the rules of the world), it’s all pretty much new gloss on old paint. This may be the most disappointing aspect of the entire reboot. Well, that, and the peaceful apparition showcased in the trailer that everyone knew was going to offer some sort of a twist. There’s just too much homage to ’84 without hitting the nail squarely.
6. Why Not A New Franchise?
Considering the Ghostbusters reboot with a little foresight: did the powers-who-be really believe that this would be the foundation for developing something that would sustain? This will be a here-and-forgotten reboot similar to Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate Kid. It’ll make money, and be quickly forgotten. When people want ghost busting, they’ll call upon Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. So, this begs a question in response: if you want to put these four capable comedic actresses in a film together, and spend $150 million, why not something fresh, original, and never seen before? Why not build a franchise around their chemistry, as opposed to slapping them in some iconic costumes, and letting them do something that has already been done before? This is more of an insult to women, than the alleged sexist critics of the franchise reboot.
5. Ghostbusters Fans Are Boycotting
The biggest of Ghostbusters fans have offered their message loud and clear. There’s no interest in this film. To use that example of The Karate Kid once again, nobody who lived the life and times of Daniel Larusso had any desire to see Jaden Smith take up the brush and paint by numbers. It’s a big ask of studio heads to think the public will rush out and offer 15-50 bucks in order to see a new take on something that didn’t need changing. It’s a blatant money move, and a artistic nuisance. You wouldn’t wisely put a slice of American cheese on a perfectly cooked beef filet, yet sadly, if you were a restaurateur, and did, people would still buy it. It’s one of those eye-rolling moments of “Why is this happening…?” There is money to be made, but without the most loyal franchise fans, this box office could fall flat.
4. The Backlash (Mostly) Isn’t Sexist
We’ve danced around this, but it’s time to hit it head on. When the first outcry against the reboot of Ghostbusters was spewed across social media, the rebuttal was an immediate grab at familiarity: opponents of the reboot were sexist. In fairness, yeah, there are some sexist people out there (both men and women), who believe women can’t ghost bust. But that is a small faction. The major backlash, and push back from fans lies in aforementioned disappointments. These are fans who were raised on Ghostbusters. Fans who would gather round with friends after trick-or-treating, and watch the ‘Busters do their thing vs. Stay Puft. These fans have no interest in seeing another battle vs. Stay Puft with new people wielding Proton Packs. It has everything to do with, “For the love of all that is sacred in the cinematic arts, can we have some originality, please!?”
3. Never “Reboot” One of The Greatest Comedies
Again with the why? And no, “why not?” is not an acceptable reply. We know money has everything to do with remakes, but it’s irritating to deal with this rash of rehash over original ideas. Where is the summer love, studios? Honestly, being a movie fan during the summer kind of sucks as of late. Set your watch to the superhero releases, and then hope to get lucky with something fresh, and original. No more reboots. No more remakes. And especially no more remakes of groundbreaking, comedy classics!? There’s no arguing the fact that Ghostbusters will make money, but so do Big Macs. And like Big Macs, 24-hours later, the memories of this Ghostbusters will be down the toilet.
2. Bet On It — The Humor is Shtick
The trailer for this movie paints the tonality of what this film will be. The “it’s-funny-because-it’s-awkward” humor is tired. The 5-to-10 seconds of comedic commentary about gags we witness as an audience are so overindulgent it has become a real turnoff. That’s exactly what people should expect going into this one. It’s not to say such humor isn’t well executed. It is. This is how Kristen Wiig has made millions. She’s a master of awkward scenario comedy. Therein lies the largest failure of Paul Feig in attempting to build an empire on someone else’s foundation. Well, that, and the fact that he has cameo appearances of original cast members not even playing their original characters, which is just annoying. It was refreshing to see Paul fire back at critics before the release, but there are some critical truths he’s still not dealing with.
1. It Cost $154 Million
There is one reason, and only one reason, why this film was made. And one reason why it is being released mid-summer: an attempt to milk a cash cow. How will the film do? It’s a toss-up. Yes, it’s gonna make money. It’s gonna make good money. But it may play better internationally than it does domestically. But nobody is clamoring for this thing, and word of mouth is out about The Secret Life of Pets, so Ghostbusters may have a little competition carrying over from the previous week. Will it do $154 million? It should. (It would be fascinating to see the budget breakdown on this one.) Will it lure enough love to warrant sequels? Here’s a bold proclamation: the first Ghostbusters sequel was pretty terrible, so, how about no more. How about the same four ladies in something that has never been done before instead?