Never in my life can I think of the lead up to a movie being so divisive than the lead up to this year’s Ghostbusters release. Even before the trailer release fiasco there were scores of complaints over the movie’s choice to reboot with a female cast which ultimately took a great deal of focus away from the movie itself.
I saw the movie this past weekend and it really wasn’t enjoyable. There were some nice pieces to it but in the end a vast majority of the jokes fell flat and the story itself was a tangled mess that didn’t carry any sort of real connection from the beginning to the end.
Perhaps the biggest challenge Paul Feig faced was simply taking on the task of rebooting Ghostbusters in the first place. It’s a property anchored by a movie that’s truly a cultural icon – it’s on AFI’s Top 100 comedies and was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. So Feig was going to be fighting an uphill battle with those who were, by default simply going to compare it to the original.
I thought of it almost like if someone wanted to reboot The Godfather by keeping the title, poster art and mob ties but altering the story otherwise. It would be incredibly difficult to evaluate the new property on its own when the specter of the original hung in your mind.
I really did my best to look at it from the scope of a separate movie than that of a story which connects directly to the first two. To Feig’s credit the story itself does a fair bit to distance itself from the originals. Some pieces simply force a comparison (Ecto-1, for example) while plenty of the script keeps this story original, which was key. However, the overall execution that was lacking, in my opinion. Continue reading