Ghostbusters 2016: A provocation


The new Ghostbusters premiered this July and received a very negative welcome. After many years of waiting for a third Ghostbusters, the fandom gets it, but it’s not a sequel as expected, instead they decided to make a reboot of the movie. The cast is a brand new one, there are cameo appearances of the original actors here and there, but this Ghostbusters tells the story of different people.

The plot is pretty much the same, from hunting ghosts to saving the world, it’s still comical, it’s still an adventure, it’s still about ghostbusters, so why did it get so much hate? The new ghostbusters are all women, the movie has a female lead and that’s the real difference from the original.

Personally I didn’t really like the movie. I’m a fan of the original one, but I’ve never been obsessed with it, I haven’t watched Ghostbusters II because I think Ghostbusters is one of those movies that shouldn’t have sequels, it’s good and funny on its own, but making a sequel is overdoing – I think pretty much the same of Star Wars, I like the original trilogy, but not the prequel and surely not the sequel they have started this year. Same goes for Ghostbusters: it was a nice, funny movie, I always like to rewatch it, but I was never interested in watching the sequel. I also wasn’t going to watch this new reboot, but the really bad criticism got me curious. My friends and acquaintances were devided, the “feminists” were excited and talked about it as the best movie of the year, the more close-minded boys were even angry about it, the smarter ones were indifferent and just commented that it wasn’t bad, but we didn’t need it.

After watching it I stand with the guys in the middle: it’s not that bad, but we could do without. It fails to equal the original – but that’s not odd considering few reboots manage to best the originals (the only remake I really enjoyed is that of Nightmare, for the mere reason that it’s terrible and completely fails to be scary, which is awesome for me because I get to watch the movie without worrying about how I’ll sleep at night). I didn’t enjoy the acting too much, but I really appreciated it as a crack movie. I like the role reversed for which the girls got the “stereotyped role for males”and viceversa. The women get to be the cool guys and the dude is the cute face only there to be looked at. It’s good to show this role reversal, for the sake of people seeing how stupid gender roles are. There probably are too many fart jokes, but it’s not like the original movie was smarter on the comical side, so overall it can be funny.

I call it an average movie I could have done without watching. But after seeing the angry mob of brainless sexist boys (and men) claiming that female ghostbusters ruin their childhood, I’m inclined to reconsider my idea: maybe we did need this movie. Even if just as a provocation.

Originally, I thought I’d watch the movie, write a mostly negative review and be done with it. Now, though, I want to address the reaction of the web. When people start insulting a movie because it has a female lead where there originally was a male lead, it’s not about the movie anymore.

If before I thought they should have avoided making this reboot, now I believe it was the right choice. It might not be successful as a film, but it certainly is as a provocation.

Though I still think that in order to fill the lack of representation on screen we should make new movies, not retell known ones. We shouldn’t suddenly change the colour of Hermione’s skin, we should write a new dark-skinned character as powerful as Hermione. But that’s harder and lately TV fails to be original.

This new Ghostbusters is a needed provocation, if not a funny film.