Lets talk about the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.
Warning: I will be discussing plot points ahead so this is your spoiler warning
If there’s one thing i’m passionate about it’s fair female representation in films, so maybe it’s a bit bias of me to write about this film as i’m definitely going to be happy with a female casting remake of a classic film.
However the reason I chose to write about this subject is because of the unfair reaction i got/still get from bringing up this film, so much so that I almost didn’t see this film as I was afraid of people’s reactions – for the record i’m fully aware that not everybody is going to like everything, I know some people that refuse to like things out of pure stubbornness and others that genuinely didn’t enjoy watching a film, and that’s totally okay! everyone is allowed to have their opinion and at the end of the day, it’s a film, I mean there are way more important things to worry about in the world than “so and so didn’t like a film that I did”-
The reaction I got when I told anyone that I was looking forward to seeing or I had seen Ghostbusters was people ganging up on me telling me that my opinion was wrong. I would get their negative opinion on the reboot forced onto me and this was months even before the films release (some of these people hadn’t even seen a trailer yet). When I was asked why I wanted to see the film, I once admitted to thinking that a female reboot was empowering, the result of this was being laughed at and teased for it, it made me feel incredibly small and self conscious of my thoughts and opinions and still now after I have seen the film twice and I am sure of my opinions of it, I’m afraid to bring it up with certain types of people in case i am shot down once again and ranted at by people that think “it won’t be as good as the original” but refuse to even see it so they can compare.
Firstly, I’d just like to praise the reboot on a few things that I thought it did very well. The main thing that I am so pleased about is the fair representation of women, whether is was done on purpose or whether Paul Feig (director & screenplay writer of the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters) just found the best suited women for the parts, i’m extremely proud of this line up. In said line up we have Kristen Wiig as Erin, a tall slim woman who’s character is a well established scientist who also has an awkward dorky side, next up we have Melissa McCarthy who’s body type is often one of the main things people refer to her by (that or “that one from Bridesmaids!”) her character Abbie is a optimistic girl that takes risks and isn’t afraid to say when she isn’t happy with a situation, this is sometimes perceived as a negative way for girls to be (from instances that i have witnessed myself) if a girl stands up for herself or causes a scene she can sometimes be labelled negatively. Next up we have Leslie Jones as Patty (Leslie was recently the recipient of online hate in the form of racist, sexist tweets directed to her all because of the movie she stars in, read more about it here) a street smart, confident, tall, woman of colour, who’s character has some of the best one liners in the film and lastly we have (my personal favourite Ghostbuster) Kate Mckinnon as the quirky Julian or as she’s better known by her surname Holtzmann. Holtzmann is the engineer/mad scientist of the group with her wild hair and somewhat individual sense of style, she designs, makes and tests all the tools the gang needs to catch ghosts, from proton packs to ghost traps to ecto containment units. One of the reasons Mckinnon is such a good fit for Holtzmann other than her perfect portrayal of the character herself is that Kate Mckinnon is openly gay, when asked if Mckinnon’s character was written as a lesbian Paul Feig had this to say in an interview with The Daily Beast: Feig responds to being asked this question with “What do you think?”, “I’d like to think yes,” reporter Jen Yamato then replies, Paul smiles and nods then goes on to say “I hate to be coy about it, but when you’re dealing with the studios and that kind of thing…” so there you have it 4 fairly represented girls of all different backgrounds and looks, actress and character wise, all shown with their own personalities and strengths that are never shown in an unnecessary sexual light, I hope to see more representation like this in the future of film.
Another thing that I loved about this reboot of Ghostbusters is it’s loyalty to the original, although this film was made 30 years after the original and improvements in technology have been made, it still stuck to the roots of Ghostbusters, just with better CGI and special effects, a few things I noticed that had returned was the fire station base that both Ghostbusters set up shop in, they maintain the same class ranking system for ghosts (“class 4 apparition”) oh and did I mention that a lot of the original cast have returned for this reboot? mostly as cameos but Bill Murray himself returned for a small role in the film, as famous ghost debunker: Martin Heiss. According to this Rolling Stone article Bill Murray has no agent, no manager and no publicist according to RS “If you want to cast him, you get a friend of his to persuade him. Or you call his secret 1-800 number and leave your pitch after the tone. If he checks his voicemail, maybe he’ll call you back.” Considering this, do you think Bill Murray would agree to be in a film that he has read the script of if he didn’t like it? other faces that return in this film include cameos from: Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and even Slimer himself (for a list of all cameos and references, click here)
So the moral of this blog post is supposed to be, try not to judge a film so poorly without seeing it at least once, don’t stop other people from enjoying a film just because you don’t agree with their opinion on it, at the end of the day movies are primarily made for entertainment, if you don’t like a particular film, don’t watch it, nobody is subjecting you to it, the majority of the time people are only causing a fuss because a lot of other people are too. This film was made with the younger generation of girls in mind for them to grow up knowing that girls can kick ass, be scientists and catch ghosts too, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, body types or backgrounds. I am very pleased with what everyone on the Ghostbusters team has done and I live in hopes of a sequel.
If you haven’t seen the new Ghostbusters yet, I say give it a try and if you still don’t like it after that then fair enough, at least you can make a judgement based on your own opinions and not from a majority vote. I’ve linked other articles at the bottom of this page if you want to read more on this subject
a photo of all the female cast and crew on Ghostbusters, read more here