Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters did exactly what it set out to do: entertain. Since the film’s release at the beginning of summer, it has received a lot of negative criticism. I believe this is because everyone wanted the film to be unrealistically better than it ever could have been. Sony’s announcement that they were doing an all-female-lead reboot of the classic 1984 film a year ago, sparked a huge debate on social media fuelled by internet trolls. This was actually quite cleverly referenced in the film with the line “you’re not meant to listen to what crazy people write in the middle of the night online”.
The film tells the story of four women who team up and use their knowledge of science and the paranormal to bust some ghosts, after an antisocial hotel janitor seeks to cleanse humanity by inundating New York city in an apocalyptic hell, through the use of supernatural forces.
I think because there was so much backlash before the film had even been released this dichotomy was born – if the film turned out to be bad then the reddit trolls would win and if it was good, feminism would be victorious. This may be a little hyperbolic, but you get the general gist. Understandably, many people wanted the film to “win” in this infantile argument started by whiny misogynists claiming to be fans of the original franchise.
Except there was no reason to get their Y fronts in a twist as this film is not a sequel; its a reboot. So the argument that the film would sully the memory of the original franchise is flawed. It is an entirely new work which, apart from a few nods and in jokes to the past movies, does its own thing.
I will start my criticism by saying that for once I would like to see a blockbuster movie with a black female lead that transcends the sassy black friend stereotype. Sadly, this is not that movie. I was also not a huge fan of the fact that Leslie Jones’ character was the only main character that wasn’t a scientist. Hollywood, I am waiting. The jokes were hit and miss, the made up scientific jargon didn’t quite capture my imagination and I found it quite structurally flawed.
However, judging by the amount of tweens at the cinema when I went to see it, the film was just not meant for me. It was clearly made for a younger audience and with its fart jokes, good role models and the underlying theme of female empowerment, Ghostbusters is perfect for that audience. I also enjoyed Liam Hemsworth’s role as the dumb blonde secretary. It was a pleasant subversion of the usual trope, which is funny.
In short, this was an entertaining film, but nothing more. So don’t come into the cinema with amazingly high expectations, if you’re looking for a transcendental spiritual experience, this is not going to do it.