2016 was a year of controversial blockbusters, with fans divided by Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and perhaps most of all, Ghostbusters. But Ghostbusters had the unfortunate start of being hated before the movie even came out; the original trailer currently has over a million dislikes on YouTube.
Ghostbusters may not have received the best reviews, but it did make money, and lots of it too — $229,147,509 to be exact. It doesn't matter how slated a movie is, if it makes money, you can be sure that a sequel will get made. Such is the case with Ghostbusters, as the director of the original two Ghostbuster movies and the producer of the latest, Ivan Reitman, says it's not the end of the franchise. When speaking to i09, Ivan Reitman had this to say:
"We jumped into an animated film [after the last movie] and we are developing live-action films"...“I want to bring all these stories together as a universe that makes sense within itself. Part of my job right now is to do that.”
He goes on to talk about how he felt the movie could've been altered slightly, and how he still has respect for director Paul Feig:
“But considering the last film was almost 30 years ago, it really did extremely well. I think the film cost too much, frankly, and that’s the real issue. I personally had other points of view in terms of where the film should go and it was kind of a continuous conversation with Paul [Feig] about that. But Paul was the filmmaker on this one and he’s a very talented director. I wanted to give him enough room to do the film he thought it should be.”
Ghostbusters is a franchise I've adored for some time now, and although I was disappointed with the latest movie, there's no doubt they've got a good cast. I reckon with a few modifications going into the sequel, we can get the movie we deserve. I'm going to take a look at a few things they should do to steer this great franchise back on track!
1. More Character Development
As funny as the quartet were in the movie, I didn't feel for any of them. I definitely didn't feel for the way I felt for the original quartet of Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddmore. In the sequel, I'd love to see these characters get some individual development, rather than having them all be overly quirky vehicles for one-line zingers. They've got a great actress in Kristen Wiig, a hilarious and energetic actress in Leslie Jones, a fantastically fresh actress in Kate McKinnon and a comedic powerhouse in Melissa McCarthy — use them!
2. Stay Away From Cliches and Tropes
There's currently one very over-used trope in Hollywood, and it goes a little something like this: the world is at the brink of absolute destruction, and a person or team must emerge to save it at the last second. I've seen it in Ghostbusters, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows — and that's just to name a few! Films like Deadpool and Logan have opted for a more grounded ending and have been lauded because of it. If they were to hire a great writing team for the sequel and use totally fresh ideas, I really think this franchise can get back on track.
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3. Don't Rely on The Past
Nowadays, big movie studios think they can win us over by referring to previous movies, mainly through Easter Eggs. There's a very fine balance between great fan service and over-saturating a movie with Easter Eggs. Films like Jurassic World and 21 Jump Street stood on their own two feet without having to constantly call back to previous movies. On the other hand, Ghostbusters felt a little too forced, which at times took me out of the movie. For example, when one of the characters' ringtones was the old Ghostbusters theme tune, it just felt too weird and unusual. I'd love to see the sequel stand on its own two feet, and not rely on nostalgia to carry the movie.
4. Fix The Cameos!
I think one of the main reasons I was so annoyed about Ghostbusters was the disappointing cameos. I loved the original four and I was open to the new four, but the cameos from the old guys really bugged me. Venkman didn't believe in ghosts and Stantz was a cab driver? Seeing them in these roles felt like a disservice to the Ghostbusters legacy. It might not make much sense to bring them back again, but if there's a way to correct this, it ought to be fixed.
6. Less Physical Humour and Screaming
There were so many times in the movie where I couldn't help but cringe at the weak humor from usually hilarious women. The physical humor (performed mostly by Melissa McCarthy) worked for a younger audience who would also watch Minions and Ice Age, but for older audiences, it got tired pretty fast. Add to that Leslie Jones constantly screaming and shouting, and you have quite an irritating cinema experience.
Overall, I'd like to see a genuinely funny movie, that doesn't rely on Ghostbusters's history. Top that with an original ending, good effects and some better cameos, and we've got a great movie on our hands! If this movie does ever come out, it's probably at least 2 years away- to which I say great, spend time on it.
Let me know your thoughts for Ghostbusters 2 in the comments!