The week is finally upon us. This Friday the much talked about Ghostbusters reboot/remake is finally going to hit the cinemas. Hopefully this means an end to the ‘controversy’ surrounding it.
I put the word ‘controversy’ in quotes because I think the whole thing is pretty dumb. So many movie blogs and news site have wasted a lot of words trying to defend the film from what they consider ‘sexism.’ It’s as if the whole backlash against this film is nothing more than an extension of gamergate. However, I would posit a different theory as to why the first teaser trailer is the most disliked movie trailer on YouTube of all time.
I actually think the hatred of the film has two main root causes. The first is that it is actually an atrocious trailer. In fact, the whole marketing campaign for the movie has been more or less a big pile of ghost excrement. Whether it be the trailers or the absolutely atrocious Fallout Boys theme song that they released, it has done nothing to get me excited for it.
The only time that I got even close to excited is when Jimmy Kimmel had the old cast show up with the new cast, which brings me to the second reason that I think fans hate on the film so much: it’s a freaking REBOOT. Basically the premise of the story is that the beloved story that I grew up on NEVER HAPPENED. I consider the original Ghostbusters to be one of the best films of all time, and certainly the funniest film of the 1980s (OK, maybe Airplane! is slightly funnier). I grew up watching these characters fight ghosts. I wanted to be one of them. I collected everything I could associated with the film. And then these filmmakers come along and tell me that this never happened.
I’m not sure why I find it so repulsive that this movie is a remake/reboot instead of a sequel, but I do. I think that in the back of my mind that there was a list of movies that stand the test of time and Hollywood would never dare to reboot. Ghostbusters was most certainly in this list. It’s as if Universal decided to remake Back to the Future or Paramount (or Disney) decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark. We would rightly describe these attempts as nothing but money grabs.
The fact that the characters have been replaced by women is honestly not even close to a concern for me. But make them successors, not recreations of the same characters. It could have been so easy to let this film be in the same universe as the other films. Yet they didn’t. It honestly feels like they said that the first incarnation wasn’t good enough. It was. It’s a flawless film as far as I’m concerned.
It’s funny, though. The same bloggers that rant about sequel/reboot fatigue are now defending this film. They feel they are defending it from sexists and misogynists. Truth is, I think the issue is much more complicated than that. You can have distaste for a female-driven reboot for reasons other than the fact that it’s female-driven. I’m not a sexist, so please stop calling anyone who thinks the idea of this movie is terrible one.
Some say that because the studio is letting critics see it early means that they have confidence in it. This is hogwash. It’s true that if a studio doesn’t screen a film for critics that they know it’s going to get terrible reviews. But there are plenty of examples of a movie getting screened early that ended up getting critically panned.
Now, with all this being said, I honestly do hope that the movie is good and my pessimism is misplaced. Then again, I hope that all movies are good because I love cinema and go to the theater solely to have a good experience.