Ghostbusters

Girlbusters!

When women got a little too over-excited by the sight of babies I used to say: “Ok… put your ovaries away!” but I think I need a new similar saying for those people who are needlessly sexist and/or defensive about things.

If you haven’t heard there was a LOT of buzz about this Ghostbusters film. So much so that the trailer was the most disliked trailer on YouTube. Was it really worse than Gangnam Style or the guy being amazed by a double rainbow? No. Of course not.

So why was it so hated? Well, there’s three main reasons. One: Some people simply didn’t like the trailer – fair enough. Two: Some people are fucking idiots. Three: Some people are fucking arseholes.

Those who fall into group 2 love the original Ghostbusters a little bit too much and probably want to wed Bill Murray or make gloop babies with Slimer. Anything that touches the hallowed ground of the original film is sinful whilst casually forgetting that Ghostbusters 2 is actually pretty bad.

Those who fall into group 3 are those people who think women can’t be role models whether they admit it or not. These are the sort of people who would gleefully look back at colonial times proclaiming them to be “the good ol’ days” and casually forgetting about the destruction of national identity, widespread theft and exploitation. You know, generally being a fucking arsehole!

What makes groups 2 and 3 even more frustrating is that half the damn population are crying out for this sort of positive representation  and more importantly the film is totally fine.

Writer director Paul Feig does an excellent job of keeping the film light-hearted and fun and I found myself laughing a lot more than I was actually expecting. Thankfully these comedic moments are mostly script driven so it avoids coming across as too cheesy.

The first half of the film is the funniest with some of the best moments coming from the sheer stupidity of Kevin who is effortlessly played by Chris Hemsworth. In my opinion though it is Kate McKinnon who steals the show as Jillian Holtzmann.

Holtzmann is effectively Egon from the original film only so much cooler. She has a devil-may-care attitude, underpinned by fierce intelligence and an engineering prowess that gives her a steam punk kind of vibe that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in a film.

She also has a sexual confidence which will make many men want to be with her and many women want to be her. Such a strong and unique character can only be a good thing for equal representation in films.

Holtzmann isn’t, however, a one woman band and has to rely on her fellow colleagues Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) who all gel really well as a team  and is something you’d undoubtedly expect from Paul Feig.

Appearances from the likes of Charles Dance and Bill Murray keep the film feeling fresh yet weirdly, after Bill Murray’s entrance the film really grinds to a halt.

It’s here that the film feels more fractured and unsure of itself. Slimer and the marshmallow man are part of an unrelenting desire to reference the original work and makes you question whether this is a sequel, a remake or a re-imagination.

Make no mistake this film isn’t perfect. Not all jokes land as well as they could and It doesn’t have the same magic as the original but an abomination it’s not. However, if you still don’t want to at least give it a chance then I suggest you take your prejudices, proton-pack them in your anal cavity as tightly as a spectre in a ghost trap and just chill the hell out.

The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:

+ Kate McKinnon
+ The first half
+ Chris Hemsworth


– Is it a remake, a reboot or a sequel?
– The bit after Bill Murray
– Doesn’t have the same magic as the original

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