Movie Monday: Ghostbusters (Revisited)

Last week I reviewed the reboot of Ghostbusters and sang its praises because I really enjoyed it and seeing four kick ass women doing their thing on the big screen blew my mind.

Since then I’ve been having conversations with other people who’ve seen it and didn’t like it as much as I did. I’ve also done some reading into it and watched a video about it by Hazel Hayes (chewingsand on YouTube). I have a lot of respect for Hayes as she knows a lot more about movies and the process of filmmaking that I do and I really admire her work. There’s a link to the video that I reference below as well as a link to her YouTube channel.

Because of the discussions and seeing other people’s point of view, I wanted to revisit my review and address a few points that have been made.

First of all, something that has continuously come up is the plot of the movie – or more accurately the lack of plot. This is something that on reflection I do somewhat agree with. During the film, I was caught up in the action and my excitement but now that I’ve had time to think about it, it wouldn’t have hurt to have a few twists and turns in it. Although as I pointed out last time, it’s not a scene for scene re-make of the original, it is rather familiar and could have been a lot better. Maybe I’ve just been spoilt with the quality and complexity of other films and tv shows that are around.

The second point comes from Hayes’ video when she suggests that it should have been a sequel rather than a re-boot. I’ve linked to the video below if you haven’t seen it, but she describes a story in which perhaps the original ghostbusters did their job and protected the city before retiring to raise families and then several years later something happens and it falls to the next generation to save the day. I both agree and disagree with this argument. The film would have been much better if it existed in the same universe as the first films and the characters knew of the history and Hayes goes onto say there could have been scenes of the women finding the old car etc. My disagreement comes from the idea that they’re related. I think that the women would have been too close to the original story and I’m not sure that the surviving Ghostbusters would have given up the job. Maybe it would work better if they were fans of the work that the team had done and tried to track them down and have to work to get the trust and acceptance of the guys. That way there could still be all the old stuff but with some distance.

That’s not to say that I didn’t love all the references within the new film but I’ve seen the originals enough to get the references and although I wasn’t around when they came out, I still get a nostalgic feel from them. The people that I’ve talked to that weren’t as obsessed with or hadn’t even seen the classic didn’t have the same appreciation for those parts. They still enjoyed it and so did the kids, but they were seeing it a completely independent movie in a way that I’d never be able to.

The final point that I want to discuss is one that came up before the film was even realised: the fact that they’re female. For a lot of misogynists out there this was a huge problem, but frankly their viewpoints are a whole lot more problematic that this movie could be. Personally, I loved the fact that their women and the women in particular that were cast made the movie what it is. They work really well together and that bond shows when their all on screen. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I wish I could be best friends with them and be part of gang – even if I might a little tiny bit afraid of some of the ghosts.

The problem with them being women is that anything that goes wrong with the movie is going to be blamed on their gender and that’s totally unfair. Hayes’ talks in her video about them being set up to fail because of the lack of plot and that the actors were doing the best with what they had. That I completely agree with as completely unfair as it is.

At the end of the day, I still love the movie. Is it as good as the original? Absolutely not, but it never was going to be. It could definitely have been better, but it was still really enjoyable and I can’t wait for the DVD so that I can marathon them all.

4.5 / 5

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOcrNVbY8oc

Hazel’s Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChewingSand

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