‘Honest Trailers’ tackle GhostBusters 2016.
We LOVE Honest Trailers. In the absence of monthly Plinkett reviews it’s the best bet, alongside Everything Wrong With..These are truly ‘viral’ videos and proof that film criticism never died, it just became democratized c/o a site called YouTube. Indeed, spoofs of /commentaries on film are now as entertaining as film itself, on those nights where all you need is a quick wind down pre sleep without watching a whole movie; just enough to re-live, without a whole re-watch.
It’s also reassuring to know there are others out there sharing in the frustrations of sensing the niggling flaws in otherwise fine movies. I STILL loathe the fact that most of Iron Man 3 could have been avoided, had Stark behaved differently, harnessed his tech earlier, not behaved like a wally and simply worked harder at keeping Pepper Potts (whose absence in subsequent Marvel movies is painfully conspicuous).
I adore Dark Knight Rises for THAT ending alone, but plot holes..boy are there plot holes and the same year..same charm..same problem with my beloved Skyfall. Force Awakens: yes, ‘that’ hero HAD to go..but NOT like THAT! And so on.
Dispassionate logic + Subjective Love = Red Alert on movie flaws, whilst simultaneously noting and defending their legacies.
We all have our loves and loathings in film. GhostBusters 2016 was a strange one, though. UNIVERSAL hatred. Actual hate, not just movie hate. I get it. Twitter meltdowns. YouTube sieges. Entire CHANNELS devoted to trashing this film from its inception through release. People made it their MISSION to destroy the reboot!
The majority felt the project to be some opportunistic sacrilege that copiously disregarded your childhood memories (yet they allow Marvel and DC to remake / reboot/repackage/reinvent/experiment and must also now embrace annual Star Wars efforts? Bit odd in the double standard category, wot?).
Fine. I, by contrast, never felt any attachment to the original. I thought it was downright nasty (why DOES Bill Murray’s character have a tranquilizer syringe with him when visiting Sigourney’s possessed character BEFORE he knows she’s been possessed?!).
I’m not alone in seeing those points: Now Playing podcast covered the original film, too and whilst loving it on the whole, the critics did agree on its moral question marks. And it’s NOT a comedy. Yes, Murray is hilarious as always. But it’s primarily horror and DARK horror, with sexual overtone and satanic undertone. Its visuals, though stunning, also owe a LOT to 80s era Spielberg (just see the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark) and a dash of Star Wars. Of its time.
Ergo: an update was NOT that crazy. Proven brand, in need of reinvention. And the all girl theme was simply a marketing spin. It was not a socio-political statement, and refreshingly so, in our P/C era of EVERYTHING being vetted for whether it ‘offends’ anyone and where emancipation is fused to awkward emasculation. So, I enjoyed the reboot film for what it was: a fun romp with heart and soul and warmth.
Was GhostBusters 2016 perfect? No. There are some jokes that fall flat and awkward moments of sheer filler and camp that stand out with a clang. Those shortcomings are minor, though: more than outdone by strengths including Kate McKinnon’s adorable performance, a perfect pace from its opening and some engaging visuals amidst genuine laughs. I therefore gave the movie a good review. I got a personal ‘thank you’ from Director, Paul Feig. Measure of the man.
So, whilst there might not be sequels and the franchise remains dormant until another solution can engender its resurrection (spin off for McKinnon? return to the original mythology? animated version?), all we have is this reboot and its legacy of criticism. And, as Honest Trailers/ Screen Junkies prove, that can be an entertainment in itself. This is another great episode from the team. Yes, they kind of go with the crowd on some points, but note how they also satirise the cruelty of the bandwagon backlash. Nothing wrong with that!
Who ya gonna call? HONEST TRAILERS! SCREEN JUNKIES! We are crossing the streams, just to bring this to you.
(though just for record, I STILL love the GhostBusters reboot and yes I’m buying it when it comes to Home Cinema!).