Since watching it for the first time on Sunday, I’ve discussed the new Ghostbusters film nonstop with people. I know I seemed critical in my own review of it but I did like it. I’ve seen it again since and it’s grown on me. I still think my new found lady love is a major reason for this but I still maintain that it deserves a sequel to give it a real shot. I’m clearly not the only one that thinks so because the consensus of film critics is, for the most part, mainly positive. Of course, nobody is fucking raving about it but everyone admits it doesn’t deserve the backlash it received online. Try telling that to the so-called fans, though. They are still holding strong with their hatred of the whole thing and it’s fucking boring. I really don’t know why people got so sensitive this film. I mean, way before the internet started going apeshit about how much Paul Feig and co. had ruined the Ghostbusters franchise another film got there first. Let’s all be honest, if we’re looking for a film that shamelessly cashed in on the success of the original film then we need only look to the sequel that came 5 years later. Whatever you may have thought about the 2016 reboot we all have to agree that it had more potential than the sequel that was nothing more than an awful rewriting of the first film.
Yes, Paul Feig’s narrative owed a lot to Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’ script but at least it wasn’t a crude carbon copy. Ghostbusters 2 is the exact same plot as its predecessor where the Sumerian God has been replaced by a fucking painting. It’s not only shows a lack of imagination but the narrative doesn’t make sense. Much like the first film, our neighbourhood friendly Ghostbusters find themselves the underdogs once again. But that doesn’t make any fucking sense. They were riding high at the end of the last film and now, suddenly, everyone’s forgotten that they prevented the apocalypse? What the fuck? I know it makes sense to show them on that upward journey again because it gives the narrative a neat structure but how do you explain that nobody even believes in ghost a mere 5 years after a buttload of them invaded New York City?
Still, for whatever reasons, the Ghostbusters are left fending for themselves and unable to investigate the paranormal. Then, surprise surprise, New York City is once again affected by a paranormal events that apparently only they know about. They, once again, save a grumpy old dude from a ghost, become super popular, get sent to prison before banding together, on the mayor’s authority, to save the world from annihilation. Then, to go along with this, their old client, Dana Barrett, is back after the phenomenon singles her out to terrorise leaving the door open for Peter Venkman to romantically pursue her… again. I have to wonder how long it took to write this fucking script? Take the old film, scribble out a few things, add a painting here, some emotional slime there and a fucking awful CGI sequence of the Statue of Liberty walking through the city and you’re done.
For years, people have been unwilling to admit just how bad this film is. Yes, it isn’t a huge fucking shambles but nothing featuring these four men on screen together ever could. They group still have great comedic timing and a great chemistry. It’s just a shame that everything feels less charming and more desperate this time around. I mean, I’m still cringing from the first time I watched Ray and Winston dancing to the fucking Ghostbusters theme at a kids party and I can’t even remember the first time I watched this film. This film just isn’t as much fun and everyone involved seems to know it. Nobody is really at their best and, for the most part, the talent is just doing what needs to be done. Even Bill Murray is tame here… still funny but not as inspiring as usual.
So, for all those people not giving the new Ghostbusters franchise a chance, I say this: if you want to criticise a film for taking advantage of a much loved film and turning it into a pathetic attempt to make money then look a little closer to home. It wasn’t Paul Feig and co who started the trend of messing with a classic. No that was set in stone nearly 30 years ago.