Contrary to popular belief amongst my friends I am not opposed to reboots or re-imaginings of movies and TV shows. On the contrary sometimes I feel it is necessary. I am a huge Star Trek fan but even I admit that the franchise needed the turbo boost that was the 2009 movie. Sure, I will never place those movies in the same league as some of the originals but they are an enjoyable way to pass a few hours. When I heard that Battlestar Galactica was being re-imagined I was sceptical but what we got was a show far superior to the original. In this instance my reservations proved wholly unjustified so I am first to admit that if done properly reboots are not a bad thing.
Then I heard that one of my most beloved movies was being remade and naturally I was suspicious. I absolutely adore 1984’s Ghostbusters. Put a gun to my head and ask me what my favorite movie of all time is and it would be the original story of those paranormal investigators and eliminators busting ghosts in their converted 1950s Cadillac ambulance. It is one of those movies that doesn’t seem to age. Sure it looks old but the humour is timeless and it just seems to get funnier the more times you watch it.
It’s also one of the few films that my whole family will sit down and watch together. Every year on my birthday for the last few years my sister has even bought me a new Ghostbusters t-shirt. It started as a joke at my expense but has now become a tradition.
I therefore honestly thought that despite my experiences with the previous two reboots that this was going to be the one that would send me in to a violent rampage. Well today I finally got to see the trailer and honestly there were things I liked but on the whole I am not impressed.
If you haven’t seen it yet then have a look for yourself.
OK – now you have seen it yourself.
Now I swore I was going to go in to this with an open mind. I would give it the best chance I could and with the sound of the theme tune playing ominously with the image of the original fire station my hopes were building. Maybe they are going to do it right?
Then we got a slime in the butt-crack…I use the following term loosely…joke.
I sighed. Deeply.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room straight off the bat shall we? I don’t really have anything against the cast being female. I will admit I would have preferred a male cast or even a mix but I can look past this if the actors sold it. Judging from the trailer they didn’t. I do think Ernie Hudson is probably more annoyed than anyone involved in the original project because in this one the guy-on-the-street who gets a job as a Ghostbuster looks set to have a decent role. I have always said Hudson deserved far more screen time in the original and that is my only real criticism of what is otherwise a perfect movie.
This brings me on to a mistake made in the trailer that I actually missed first time round until it was pointed out to me by my friend Mark Berryman. The trailer claims that 30 years ago four scientists saved the world. Wrong. It was three scientists (Peter, Ray and Egon). Winston was not a scientist. He was literally just the first guy who applied for the job and got it because Ray and Peter couldn’t be bothered to interview him.
As for what they revealed about the plot; honestly I could see the mad scientist angle being a natural progression even for the original guys. The whole concept of the Ghostbusters is that they use technology to capture ghosts so it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination for someone else to use that technology for their own purpose. There were several episodes of the animated series that ran along similar lines so its not without precedent.
But why do I get a feeling its going to feature a lot of spoofs/homages/parodies of other movies? Aside from the Exorcist thing (which wasn’t funny) I get a Beetlejuice vibe from that lanky ghost. Again, it’s going to be the execution that determines whether it works or not.
One final note. It is clear from the trailer that they are going for a very slap-stick heavy style of comedy. This is a radical departure from the original movie. While the 1984 movie is remembered as a comedy the reality is that if you look at it closely it is in fact a balanced mix of horror, science fiction and comedy. The biggest difference for me with the trailer is that the main cast all seem to be bumbling idiots. The original cast were not idiots but they were socially awkward which was the key to the humour in those films and that resonates more with audiences because deep down we are all socially awkward in some way or another.
The trouble with trailers is they only show you a glimpse of the movie. I will hold off my final opinion until I see it and I will try my best to be objective. That being said it does have some big, slime-covered boots to fill.