If you’ve ever spoken to me for any length of time, or even read a certain previous article wherein I was mega-sad about Harold Ramis passing away, you know that Ghostbusters as a movie series (and, really, just as a concept) remains super-important to me, and has been since I was a child. Few movies have impacted me like the two Ghostbusters movies did, and I’ve met a lot of friends and had a ton of fun memories through the entirety of my life thanks to the very idea of being a Ghostbuster.
So you can imagine my mixed reaction when I found out they were making a new one. I have to absolutely stress that my hesitation is in no way related to the fact the cast is all female – actually, the fact they were going to all be women was sort of a saving grace for me, since I feel like most reboots don’t do enough to set them apart and having an all-female cast was at least a start.
And yet…I couldn’t shake the feeling this movie just didn’t need to exist, just like basically no remake does. Ghostbusters was getting remade, and even if everyone involved was pretty cool, I didn’t see much need for it to happen. But then I saw one picture that started to change my mind, and I’ve been slowly finding myself in favor of it ever since.
Look at that. The new Ghostbusters get fucking motorcycles. I have always loved when The Real Ghostbusters would give the Ghostbusters something to drive other than Ecto-1, and this is awesome.
Seeing this got me really excited, as well it should everyone who looks at it, and it was because of this leaked photo of a dirtbike that I started to really re-consider my stance on the 2016 Ghostbusters, and I found two things that got me to really think better of the whole enterprise.
The first one being that everyone involved seems to really give a shit about the whole thing. Paul Feig, a man whose work I’ve never been mega-familiar with outside of Bridesmaids and the episodes of The Office and Arrested Development he’s directed, has been really surprisingly approachable during production. He’s sent out teaser images, he’s responded to positive tweets and handled the unending stream of negative tweets like a pro, and he does seem like he’s at least a fan of the concept of Ghostbusters. Plus, he grew up like half an hour away from me, in Mt. Clemens MI, so I can trust him.
But even more so than a well-intentioned director, the movie just looks…right. Part of the intended appeal of the Ghostbusters is that they kinda aren’t supposed to know what they’re doing. A group of displaced college professors and their everyman friend, cobbling equipment together out of whatever cheap junk they can find, wearing second-hand Air Force jumpsuits and tooling around in an ancient ambulance with likely illegal police lightbars. And yet, in the first movie (slightly less in the second, as everything looked a bit more ramshackle aside from the car) everything just sort of appears fully-formed. The proton packs look cool, but I never really got the impression that they would fall apart or disintegrate during normal usage.
You see that shit? That thing looks nasty, and I mean that in a good way. Honestly, it looks like a proton pack I built with two friends in a garage strictly out of computer parts years ago, and I imagine that’s exactly the aesthetic they were going for. The Ghostbusters have never had access to good equipment or facilities, and between the new car, the new proton packs, and the even shabbier new jumpsuits, the new movie lands this aspect even better than the original movie did, which simply implied their financial difficulties.
In my earlier, less excited days, I read an article online that purported to have a large amount of plot spoilers, including the main villain and details about the final showdown. I won’t get into specifics here (nor can I find it now, which is going to lead most of you assume I’m just making shit up) but I have to say I’m happy with a lot of it. Kinda like I was just raving about the production design and art direction, the plot seems to…get it. It hits all the beats you might expect, with a few new wrinkles, and it only manages to hamfistedly reference one beloved aspect of the original film without coming off too referential. There’s a few things I didn’t like, like one particularly cringe-worthy setpiece that absolutely reads like it’s trying too hard, but if I could get through reading more plot summaries of movies, video games, or ANYTHING and only flinch once I can totally live with this. Of course, it could all be bullshit, so we’ll have to see how it actually pans out.
So there’s two things I said kind of swayed me to the new movie, and I’m just gonna be as blunt about this next one as possible: I’m starting to like the new Ghostbusters simply because of the people that don’t like it. I have, in all the time since the movie has been announced, seen the most empty-headed, vile protestations of this movie. You can not like a movie all goddamn day, but you have no reason to be such an asshole.
I’ve seen people accuse this movie of pandering to the ‘feminist agenda’ – using those two words in that order like that is the fastest way to indicate to everyone around you that your thoughts aren’t worth acknowledging. I’ve seen people complaining that ‘none of them are attractive’ – first of all, that’s a matter of opinion, secondly, fuck right the fuck off. I’ve seen the four stars of this movie called things that, ideally, no human being should be called, let alone four women simply trying to make a funny movie. Frankly, I want to love the shit out of this movie just so I have one fewer thing in common with you mouthbreathers. If you have an actual argument against this movie’s existence, I would be fucking delighted to hear it – but if you’re just going to start calling people whores, you too can fuck right the fuck off.
I have heard exactly one argument against this movie’s existence this whole time, and it’s sadly one that I can’t quite shake. Even if this movie is good, did we need a remake of Ghostbusters? We’ve been awash in remakes and reboots to a greater degree in recent years than we had been in a good long while, and I feel kinda bad that Ghostbusters is a victim of it. There were, oh, three or four movies that came out in 2015 that I wanted to see in theaters, and all of them were parts of an established franchise (Mad Max, James Bond, etc). I tapped out of comic book movies right when it turned out I didn’t like The Avengers that much at all, and it’s really feeling like movies are kind of in the shitter right now. At my most cynical, I might say that Ghostbusters is only being remade as a ‘safe bet’ since we all know it’ll make a ton of money. And, really, if those leaked plot details come true, I honestly say you could make this movie under a different title, avoid the hideous man-baby backlash, and then just let people compare it to Ghostbusters without having to carry the weight of 30 years’ worth of memories and preconceptions.
But maybe I’m just bitter that the new movie steals a lot of plot aspects of a fucking awful Ghostbusters fan-script I wrote when I was a sophomore in high school, and either way this has gone on for a long time. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be okay with the new Ghostbusters, and I’ll be making my new costume to wear the day it comes out just like I do every time one of the first two movies is re-run in theaters. Fuck the haters, these four ladies have just as much right to be called Ghostbusters as the first four did.
That said, I will only accept this as the new version of the theme song: