GHOSTBUSTERS: The Backlash, And Why This Film Matters

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There are spoilers as Tyrell Williams talks Ghostbusters.


I loved the new Ghostbusters film. I'm just stating that right now because it's true. I would even go so far as to say I prefer it to the original Ghostbusters film - and yes I have seen both.

I've noted that a lot of people (specifically men whining on Reddit) have stated that this movie is ruining their childhood. I'd like to say to these people; it's not set in the same universe, it's a reboot! (I know the word "reboot" has a lot of negative connotations now, thanks to Spiderman being rebooted every 10 minutes and the crappy last minute Fantastic Four reboot to hold onto the rights.) I'd almost say that this the new Ghostbusters is set in an Alternate Universe, because nothing from the original films has happened in this one, and Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver are not playing the same characters as they were before. (Murray plays a cynical debunker of the paranormal, and Weaver is the mentor to badass engineer Jillian Holtzmann. Their cameos are small, but that's all that is needed in this film.) So to claim that Ghostbusters 2016 is 'ruining my childhood' is ridiculous. Just because this movie exists, doesn't mean you can't go back and re-watch the original. No one is stopping you.


I love the casting of Ghostbusters. Paul Feig has bought together a group of hilariously funny people, with Kate McKinnon my favourite in both real life and the film. However, once again many people have been angered by the cast and have taken to present their choices for female Ghostbusters. The issue with most of the "fan-castings" that I've seen is they are all made up from stereotypically attractive women, but the whole point of this film was to have "real-world" beauty over supermodel beauty. I've seen suggestions of, "Anna Faris, Anna Kendrick, Tina Fey, and Zoe Saldana" or "Lizzy Caplan, Emma Stone, Allison Brie and Gillian Jacobs". Don't get me wrong, these women are all fantastic actors, but they're also all thin, stereotypically beautiful people. I think the casting of Ghostbusters was what we needed to show all girls who need role models that you don't need to be thin and pretty to do what you want to do, but if you are then good for you (I'm not being sarcastic here). Also the fact that there was no sexualisation of any of the female characters, and next to nothing of Chris Hemsworth, has really emphasised that point.


Talking of Chris Hemsworth, he plays the role of the "dumb female receptionist", and boy has it riled some people. They have said that the movie is "sexist towards men" because of Hemsworth's character. Oh jeez. Imagine an entire gender being both underrepresented and mocked in the media, I'm sure women have no idea what that feels like.

I also loved that the main bad guy was this entitled, awkward, white male pissbaby with no concept of anyone else but himself. He tells Melissa McCarthy's character Abby that she doesn't know what it's like to be shunned by society. This idiot is telling a fat woman that she doesn't know what it's like to have everyone look down on you; he has no goddamned clue about anything. No wonder the pissbabies are crying about this movie, they're the villain in it.

I've also read many people complaining about the dirty jokes in this film, claiming that it isn't classy. If this was an all male cast I'm quite sure people would have been completely on board with these jokes, but just because it's all women that makes it not classy? Of course, the same people will tell you the original Ghostbusters was classy. You know, the film that had a "Ghost Blowjob" scene. Because that's classy, right?


I will be honest, though, there are ares of Ghostbusters that could've been better. Even though Paul Feig practically confirmed - he says Sony won't actually let him confirm it- the fact that Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) is gay in the film, it could've been a little more gay. And it could've been a little less racist. Yeah, Leslie Jones' Patty isn't a scientist like the rest of them, and her introduction to the audience could've been a little better than "subway worker" (Not the sandwich kind, the train kind). The representation of the black community could've been better. However, Patty may not be a science nerd but she's definitely a history nerd, and repeatedly talks about the history of parts of New York that are even consequential for the plot.

So Ghostbusters is not a perfect movie, it could've benefited from a few tweaks in the plot - just the same as pretty much every other film that has and will ever exist. But I don't care. It's so refreshing - and rare - to have a big budget film portray women the way Ghostbusters has. These women had dramatic battle montages and could scream and slap each other and shoot lasers and get covered in ectoplasm and get gross and tired and have sweat stains on their clothes. They got to have weird facial expressions and fat rolls and double chins and awkward angles and unflattering poses without any "haha it's okay we're actually supermodels" moments. They were shown as literal geniuses. As smart and capable and strong and none of it was backed up by "I have three brothers" or "I had [a male mentor] teach me everything I know". The entire premise was based on incredibly smart and ambitious women who had nothing they did defined by men. Even the romantic subplot was played for comedy and can barely be considered romantic. The focus was on the friendship between these four intelligent women. Ghostbusters is an important step for the portrayal of women in the movies, and I'm so glad it has been made how it's been made.

Having grown up in a dungeon it isn't any wonder that Tyrell is a little bit weird, though her mother (Gail) would say she's a big part of the occasionally wonderful too. Knowing her ranking against the world's most demanding cat, Tyrell manages to slip the manacles off to run barefoot through a world worth ranting at.

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