27 July 2021 552 Views

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE Latest Trailer = Everything wrong with Movie Marketing Today.

by James Murphy

NB: The film itself might be brilliant! But this trailer is like a paint by numbers guide in milking your money.

Even Peter Venkman at his most cynical would balk at this, surely? 

 

 

WHO YA GONNA FLEECE? STUPID JOE PUBLIC?!  

Call me eccentric, but I hate the first GHOSTBUSTERS movie (1984). I think it a nasty, sexist, smug, sleazy, derivative little sci-fi horror piece that relishes the kind of bullying behaviours and consumer fuelled destruction from which society has now moved away. Seriously. I know. You all love it. Sorry!

That said, I love Part 2: it has more good will, better effects and feels warmer, funnier and more personal, despite the original cast and crew clearly not loving it in retrospect? And yes, I welcomed a third movie but was equally delighted by the all girl reboot. Not because I am a PC / SJW / Keyboard cultist. Quite the opposite.

I just felt the 2016 movie had some genuine laughs, jump scares, new take on the tech and set up a universe in which the original cast could continue to cameo as ghosts or mentors or ghost mentors /mentor ghosts etc. Plus: Kate McKinnon = perfection /adorable/ultimate fantasy etc. Paul Feig wrote me a lovely note thanking me for my review. Possibly coz I am among the only reviewers wot said nice things about a nice movie. There you have it. Moving on..

..Now, we come to AFTERLIFE. See the trailer, below: I title it ‘exhibit $’..

 

 

  • This trailer is not aimed at me because as stated, I do not ‘get’ the Ghostbuster brand. Never did. Never will. I am the guy who loved the 2016 movie. Go figure.
  • But I do love Bill Murray, at his most deadpan, misanthropic, quick witted and macho. He is absent here and conspicuously so. You might see an unflatteringly shot (usually, rather sexy btw) Annie Potts? Maybe a hint of Dan Aykroyd? Fine!
  • But no Murray? No hurry to see this. He’s either in it or he isn’t and unless I missed something in this latest trailer?? He’s AWOL. BIG MISTAKE!

  • The rest of this thing is paint by numbers, play it safe, movie as marketing exercise.
  • Ask yourselves this: is it REALLY any less cynical or opportunistic to make THIS take than it was the 2016 version?
  • Throwing in all the old imagery with minor variation (marshmallow! demon dogs!). Subbing ‘all girl’ for ‘all kid’.
  • Playing to the Stranger Things /IT atmospheric aesthetic. Reverse engineering family bonds and divorce subplots, paying lip service to money troubles and teenage isolation?
  • Force Awakens meets Jurassic World via Terminator: Dark Fate et al: a reboot so soft it’s made of slime. 

On a positive note? We DO ‘want’ franchise series to use familiar tropes. And this trailer provides that. And yes, there is some charm and warmth on display, thanks to solid chemistry between Paul Rudd and the supporting players. But even that feels all too easy or something? 

This WILL be a hit. It MUST be liked. And I look forward to seeing it. But original or refreshing, it aint. Who ya gonna call? 



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