There has been a lot of talk about the new Ghostbusters movie. The first trailer has the dubious distinction of being the most disliked video in youtube history. (at the time of writing, the trailer has 864,000 dislikes, and only 248,000 likes) And let’s be honest, the trailer sucked. But why?
Well first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room (and no, this isn’t a Melissa Mcarthy “fat joke”). A lot of people are saying the dislike of this movie is due to sexism. This is ridicules. Granted, Hollywood has a history of sexist decisions. But most of these have been more based on scared, under qualified studio execs making financially safe decisions rather then being actual misogynistic decisions. Let me give you an example: Back in the mid 1990’s, I had a script I was trying to sell in Hollywood. It had a strong female lead. That wasn’t because I was trying to champion women rights or anything, I just thought it made for a more compelling story. Time and time again, I would be told “You can’t have a female lead unless you can get Jodi Foster or Sigourney Weaver”. Was this sexist? Of course it was. Was it misogynistic? No. It was people who were basing their decisions on historic profitability of films. Big action films (like the one I was pitching” made more money with a male lead. I would often argue that “It has to be a female because if you put Schwarzenegger up against the devil, we know Schwarzenegger will win, so there is no drama, no one will care, no one will see it. (interesting to note that “End of Days” came out in 1999 and actually did put Schwarzenegger up against the devil… and it tanked, so I was right). So you see, Hollywood was acting sexist, but it based that off of monetary decisions, not actual sexism.
Now, 20 years later, there is a movement to “right the wrongs” of the past. However, instead of actually just not being sexist, the ignorant people in Hollywood want to turn the sexism around. That is what we are seeing with the new Ghostbusters. Not being sexist would have been to cast the movie with equal amounts of men and women, but instead, they decided to gender reverse all the characters. Even to the point of getting a “hunky guy” to play the part of the “sexy chick” secretary. Is this sexist? Of course it is, but it is sexist the other way, so that makes it ok to ignorant social justice warriors.
But is the vitriol about this movie sexist? No. There are just as many women on the internet as men. If it was all about sexism, then we would see women loving it, and men hating it. Instead, we see everyone hating it. But why?
In my opinion, there are three main reasons for the dislike of the new Ghostbusters. The first reason is that the movie doesn’t seem to know what it is. Is it a remake, or a sequel? The trailer opens talking about how 30 years ago four men saved the city. But then we see the new team inventing the ghost traps, inventing the proton packs, and not being happy about a hearse being the company car. This all seems like a remake to me.
Now I do not like remakes. I would have much rather seen this as someone inherited the building with the equipment in it, or maybe it opens with the Ghostbusters being an old company, and one of the original Ghostbusters is retiring and leaving the business to one of the new Ghostbusters. Or maybe they could have been opening a franchise in Los Angeles or Chicago. Don’t take away the original Ghostbusters to make your new one.
The second reason why the new Ghostbusters looks so bad is the ghosts. They are to clean, to crisp, to CG. For most of us, the most realistic experience we have had with ghosts is the “Hitchhiking Ghosts” at Disney’s haunted mansion. Some of us believe we have had real ghostly experiences in our lives. Many of us have looked at dozens of photos online of what is claimed to be “real” ghosts. None of these look like the ghosts in the new Ghostbusters. A ghost is supposedly an entity breaking into our reality from another reality. It is, at best, a bad reception of the person the ghost once was. Ghosts shouldn’t look that clean. The best on screen representation of ghosts (in my opinion) were the ghosts in the original Ghostbusters, or the ghosts in the Frighteners, or the spirit army in Return of the King. The ghosts in the new Ghostbusters movie look like they came from a 3rd rate video game. They are to clean, to shiny, and to much in the real world.
Lastly, the first trailer just wasn’t funny. I mean seriously, lets go over the “jokes”: First we had the done to death “that stuff went everywhere, every crack” slime in my vagina sexist joke. Then we had Mcarthy talking about how smart everyone was while she puts her hand on a hot surface (also a poorly done gag that has been done to death), then we have the simply racist “It’s a Cadillac” joke. And then the “Let’s Go” “Oh, you wanted to do that” joke that was so poorly timed it seemed more like Mcarthy was being a bitch and purposely talking over the other lady. Next we have the is that hat or wig to much joke that just isn’t funny at all. Then there is the second racist joke with the over reacting violent black woman, and the done to death “that’s gonna leave a mark” joke.
Now I get it, save the best jokes for the paying audience, but you need to give us something that is actually funny in the trailer. Instead, all we get are bad sexist, and racist jokes from a movie that is supposed to be “undoing the sexism of the past”.
The second trailer doesn’t add any more to the funny level unless you are into the uncomfortable “Curb Your Enthusiasm” type humor (I am not).
Maybe I am wrong. Check out both trailers below, and tell me what you think in the comments.