On March 3rd, the first trailer for Paul Feig's re-adaptation of Ghostbusters was released. The film stars Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as four ghostbusters who must save/protect their city from ghosts. It's not a secret that this trailer doesn't appeal to everyone. On Sony's Youtube page, the trailer has over 100,000 likes and 300,000 dislikes. I'm not going to lie and say this is a great or even a good trailer. However, I personally don't think it warrants the strong negative response it's received. Don't get me wrong, I can see why it's been panned. When you're remaking something, especially a comedic classic like Ghostbusters, not everyone is going to be on-board. Hell, I wasn't when this film was first announced. Yet, when I saw the trailer I found myself sort of looking forward to its release. Now, what is it about this trailer that I consider good and bad? Warning, these are my opinions!
Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann
Kate McKinnon is a cast member of Saturday Night Live and has appeared in the following film/TV projects: Ted 2, Venture Bros., Toy Story of Terror and The Big Gay Sketch Show (to name some). Her character Holtzmann is a brilliant engineer who's playful and quirky. And while I can't exactly pin-point why, for me she's the highlight of the trailer.
I was mesmerized by the ghosts when they first appeared. Their aura, design and presence actually remind me of the original Ghostbusters' eerie tone. Throughout the trailer we're treated to a variety of ghosts. We don't necessarily see the same ones over and over again. You can also sense the weight and tremulousness of these other worldly beings. Kudos to the special effects department!
Elements from the Original Movie
Besides seemingly retaining the original's creepy ambiance and throwing Slimer in the mix, there are a few more allusions from the 1984 film. We (almost) have the same principle character setup. We have three scientists, an every-man and a receptionist. It takes place in NYC and there's cameos from the original main cast: Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Annie Potts.
The trailer's opening line, "30 years ago. Four scientists saved New York." This gives us the impression that since it's referencing the 1984 movie, this film is going to be a sequel. However, that's not true. Everyone in the trailer acts puzzled by the presence of ghosts, and there's no mention of the events that occurred in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. I have no problem with this being a reboot, but why do they feel the need to deceive the audience? If the trailer looks entertaining and worthwhile it'll attract moviegoers. This was one of the many complaints listed on why some loathe this trailer.
I have mixed feelings about Leslie Jones' character. There were a couple of times that he had me laughing, but the film seems to regulate her to a 'token black' role. Compared to the other women she seems dumbed-down, not as qualified (they're scientists and she's an MT worker) and she mostly works the background. I'm not trying to say this makes her beneath them, but why couldn't she have been a scientist too? Could Patty not have been street-smart and a science whiz to boot?
There are funny moments, but the humor seems to strike out more often than not. An example is when Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy's characters accidentally interrupt each other and keep going after a few seconds. Although, even when the comedy doesn't hit it's not completely disastrous. The effect comes off as a soft, but awkward blow. This can be concerning as trailers sometimes incorporate their movie's best jokes. However, we won't know if this is the case with Ghostbusters.
It's not difficult to see where people's criticisms are coming from. Plus, when you don't make a good first impression it can be hard to win anyone over after that. However, I believe anything (this movie including) deserves a second chance. This could be a film where after watching the trailer we initially dismissed it, but watched it later on DVD, and found it to be enjoyable. Hopefully it turns out to be better than what many planned and it's another comedic adventure. Make sure to checkout Ghostbusters on July 16th!