Perhaps the most controversial film of the summer, Ghostbusters has been facing massive backlash well before the first trailer even aired online. The announcement of an all-female main cast led many to spew hatred against Paul Feig’s film with the obligatory comments about childhoods being ruined. To throw more gasoline on the fire, Sony Pictures declared that this film wouldn’t be a continuation of the franchise, but rather a full reboot. This led to some expecting nothing more than a rehash of the original except with a female-led cast. Then came the first official trailer:
That first trailer was reportedly the worst-received movie trailer of all time with nearly 1,000,000 dislikes on YouTube. The second trailer didn’t fare so well, either, though it's worth noting that the numbers were disproportionately skewed by the number of angry fans who were going to downvote it no matter what.
I think it’s fair to say that the marketing department has done an uneven job. Whether the film is good or not, these trailers and TV spots have done absolutely nothing for me, personally. To be honest, I thought the movie looks to be a colossal disappointment at the box office. However, I am still holding out hope that this may be the biggest movie surprise of the year. And if the early reviews are any indication (as of this writing it currently sits at a fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes), this film may be better than many are expecting.
What Are The Critics Saying?
Here is what Devin Faraci from Birth.Movies.Death had to say about the new Ghostbusters:
“[The] pieces are in place. The movie, for the most part, works. It’s easily one of the funniest comedies of the year, and I loved hanging out with these characters (which is such a huge part of the success of the '84 movie). Even though it’s stuck having to wink and nod at the original… this film manages to carve out its own space, and I want to see [Paul Feig] and his cast return to continue exploring it and expanding it. And hell, their Ghostbusters II HAS TO be better than the original Ghostbusters II.”
Barry Hertz from The Globe and Mail gave a lot of praise towards the reboot. Here was what he had to say:
“In terms of the new Ghostbusters film itself, the premature protesters couldn’t be further off the mark. Paul Feigs female-led reboot of the long-dormant franchise is thrilling, hilarious, lovingly crafted and the wild, colorful, giddy blockbuster this otherwise staid summer movie season so desperately needs.”
Julia Alexander from Polygon specifically praises the cast in Feig’s film, especially the comedic chemistry between the films four leads:
“Ghostbusters is at its best when its main stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon — are on screen together. It’s a movie that relies on the antics of an ensemble for some of the bigger jokes to land, and when Feig lets the comedians work off of one another’s momentum, it feels like the film we were hoping for.”
However, Not All Of The Film Reviews Were Positive
Peter Debruge from Variety mentions how Feig and company pay too many homages to the original film, that it suffers from being its own standalone movie:
“All reboots are haunted by the specter of the movie that inspired them, but Sony’s new gender-swapped “Ghostbusters”… suffers from a disappointingly strong case of déjà vu. While both funnier and scarier than Ivan Reitman’s 1984 original, this otherwise over-familiar remake from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig doesn’t do nearly enough to innovate on what has come before, even going so far as to conjure most of the earlier film’s cast… in cameos that undercut the new film’s chemistry.”
Robert Abele from The Wrap echoes Debruge’s statement, claiming that this film tries to be too much in the shadow of the original:
“Ghostbusters boasts exuberantly funny performances from its key quartet — Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones — and a satisfying blend of wackiness, camaraderie and paranormal pizzazz. One could even argue that “Bridesmaids”/”Spy” director-co-writer Paul Feig‘s curatorial sideline paying homage to the 1984 action-comedy juggernaut (via story beats, design elements, and many cameo pop-ups) almost becomes an unnecessary distraction.”
While hilarious and comedic in tone, it appears that the new Ghostbusters story gets distracted with all of the unnecessary cameos and nods to the original 1984 film. The movie boasts a strong cast and an acclaimed director, but suffers from trying to be too similar to Ivan Reitman’s classic. However, I’m still holding out hope that this movie will be the most surprising film of the summer.
With all of the backlash it’s received, it would be refreshing to see the film do much better than predicted. It’s been a rather underwhelming summer for movies overall if you remove Disney's properties from the equation. Hopefully this reboot will prove all the haters wrong and will jump-start a franchise that has been dormant since 1989.
Ghostbusters is released in theaters everywhere Friday!
After reading some of these reviews, do you believe this film will be a surprising success? Please share your thoughts below and don’t forget to share. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please follow me on my main page by clicking right here!