It doesn’t bother me at all that they’ve remade Ghostbusters with women. Women are in my top two favourite genders. I can’t think of anything women don’t improve. My problem is that on the one hand, they didn’t have faith in their new cast, and on the other hand they forgot what made the original movie really pop. It wasn’t the special effects; it was the swagger. The original, male, ghostbusters defied authority. They weren’t afraid of no ghosts. They also weren’t afraid of The Man.
The new ghostbusters? Not so much with fronting up The Man. Which is a pity, since every single actress there is more than equal to getting right up in The Man’s grill. I’d been looking forward to seeing Melissa McCarthy saying solemnly “Yes, this man has no dick.” Not just because it’s a great scene which could have withstood endless repetition, but because giving a woman that line would be even funnier.
From some points of view, the new version is an improvement on the first movie; it’s got a tighter, almost TV-episode plot, and this time the black Ghostbuster has some real weight as a character. These are useful improvements. And Chris Hemsworth’s idiot secretary is good fun, not least because it’s no longer practical to write a female character that transparently stupid.
But it’s a movie which struggles to get out from under its original, winking back at it all the time, and then dragging in more and more cameo roles from every surviving cast member of the original. I mean, I didn’t hate seeing Sigourney Weaver popping up over the credits, but if you want to make a movie, make that movie. Don’t keep reminding us that you’re making a copy of it.
The upside of it all is that it’s done well enough at the box office that a sequel’s more likely than not. And no-one really rates the “original” sequel. So it’s all to play for if they go for Ghostbusters 2. And if they do, they need to double down on this
That. Right there. Best thing in the movie, doing what she does best. Swagger.