I want to start by saying that I still don’t really understand why Feig chose Ghostbusters to remake. It wasn’t asking for an all-female cast, it’s all-female cast doesn’t make me rethink third-wave feminism, and the original Ghostbusters honestly isn’t that good or bad to deserve a remake. It baffles me more that the backlash of it was from rabid fans (mostly male!) that find the original Ghostbusters, a joking, charming comedy with endearingly bad CGI ghosts and fart noises, to be such a sacred text open to ruination. Show me an all-female Ocean’s Eleven or The Goonies to better demonstrate how the larger representation of females in film can greatly assist the population in viewing females as fellow humans and not objects, and then I’ll excuse the gimmick.
But for now, we just have Feig’s Ghostbusters, an unfortunately trite gimmick at best. The four leading ladies are fantastic, and their charisma together is what really makes Ghostbusters a generally good time, but the gender-swap is really the only thing the movie has going for it. Ghostbusters is otherwise an exact rehash of its original, even containing word-for-word quotes, the same set pieces, and the same character personalities, including good ol’ Stay Puft marshmallow man. My point still remains: what’s Ghostbusters (2016) worth if it doesn’t make it’s old ideas feel new again, even with an all-female cast? It’s existence is such a fraudulently progressive stance, considering that the movie does nothing new to cater to it’s power-packed cast, and that the original content isn’t malleable enough to create something truly innovative.
Alas, Ghostbusters (2016) does exist now, and it adds to the inclusivity we’ve seen in recent years like in The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. There’s some difference in the humor, like how the women defeat the final boss by shooting it in the crotch region, but it mostly acts like a blatant middle finger to the backlashers who really don’t deserve attention anyways. Kate McKinnon is a standout as tech-junkie Jillian Holtzmann, as she twitches in the background of every scene and *licks* her gun before destroying every ghost in sight in a slow-motion, brazen scene in the third act (it’s so badass). Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy seem to reprise their typical selves in their roles, and Leslie Jones is also an added delight, though I was slightly bothered at how her character is shooed in near the middle and is given no scholarly experience compared to her other educated and *ahem* white coworkers. For what it’s worth, Ghostbusters will deliver a good time to all, and for once I hope it does produce a sequel so that it *can* generate something truly fresh and radical. And with that: all my ladies say booyah! (emphasis on the “boo”) ;-)