The trailer for the upcoming Ghostbuster reboot has been released and it has received... some interesting responses. Most of them negative. I don't like to judge films before seeing them because I like to think that you can make a good movie out of anything with good writers, directors and actors. However, there were a couple of things that I noticed in the trailer that made me think that the upcoming summer blockbuster might be dead on arrival.
This is, of course, all speculation because the film isn't set for a release until this coming July. With that said, my first gripe with this trailer is:
1. The lack of practical effects
It's no secret that the original Ghostbusters really set bar high for sci-fi films with their limited budget on special effects. Even though the original movie's effects were obviously fake, they felt they were really there and that they were really interacting with the characters. The Ghostbusters reboot seems way too reliant of CGI which is becoming more of a problem in a lot of summer films. Don't get me wrong, some CGI is fine but if Michael Bay has taught us anything, it's that there can always be too much of a good thing.
I was kind of hoping that Mad Max Fury Road would sort of inspire more movies to use practical effects. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case for this film.
2. The characters seem to be just cut outs of the original characters
The characters of the first Ghostbusters were iconic with their different but funny personalities working off each other. Ray was the team's optimist who always inspired his team for work, Egon was the team's smart but awkward nerd who always had the answers, Winston was the christian conventional team player who was always their for his team and Peter was the sarcastic funny man who loved the ladies. These characters are iconic and well known even to this day.
Unfortunately, the new Ghostbusters team seems to just mirror the original team with little to no differences. The trailer shows that Kristen Wigg is playing the awkward nerd type of Egon while Melissa McCarthy is shown pumping up the group with an inspirational speech in a typical Ray fashion. Kate McKinnon is obviously playing the funny, offbeat role of Peter, which isn't a bad idea because Kate is easily one of the funniest things on SNL right now.
The only character that seems to be slightly upgraded is Leslie Jone's character who is more eccentric and loud than Winston. However, it is a black character that joins the new Ghostbusters team later in the movie... much like the original. Can black people just not be scientists in the Ghostbusters universe? Maybe the movie will do more with these character traits than the original, we can try to keep an open mind.
3. The edgy humor from the original movie seems to be gone
Did you know that the original Ghostbusters was actually rated PG? Really think about that because the first film had a lot of edgy ideas for a kid's film including gratuitous swearing, heavy smoking, slight female nudity, and a real scene that involved Ray receiving fellatio from a ghost. Unfortunately, the trailer seems to show that the new film's humor is based on loud screaming and a lot of slapstick comedy. Not that some of this humor is a bad thing sometimes because Melissa McCarthy has shown in The Heat and Spy that she can be very good at slapstick comedy.
However, the edgy adult humor from the original film is probably what makes the movie so timeless today. It gave kids watching it the feeling that they were getting away with more than they thought and it also gave parents something to laugh at and enjoy. Who knows, maybe the this movie's humor will surprise me. It wouldn't be the first time that a Paul Fieg film surprised me... *cough* The Heat *cough*