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Film Review: Ghostbusters

Blame Hollywood for the new Ghostbuters' flaws, not its talented cast

What could’ve been a groundbreaking remake had to be ruined by sexism and Hollywood’s tired nostalgia machine. Unfortunately Ghostbusters was not the glorified blockbuster we were hoping for, but not because of its “controversial” all-female cast.

 

The story follows a predictable cadence with all-too-familiar character tropes, including a downtrodden nerd who gets her comeuppance, a team of misfits saving the world and a sassy black friend. In terms of narrative and originality, Ghostbusters in 2016 does not live up to the original. Instead, the unique eccentricity of the original cast is replaced with a feminist twist of light neuroticism about their role as superheroes while still being women.

 

In addition to fighting ghosts, Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is perpetually dusting off sexist remarks and dealing with harassment like it’s a part-time job. The brunt of the humor comes from mocking real-world sexism and male fans were likely to believe it would detract from the movie. But in fact, the mediocre story is in the domain of the writers and director. Otherwise the Saturday Night Live actresses, plus Melissa McCarthy, dominate their performances with perfect comedic timing.

 

 

One can only imagine how much more uninhibited this movie could’ve been if women were simply allowed to be themselves.

 

 

Let’s face it: we all knew the internet’s collective misogynist sludge was going to hit this movie like a tsunami long before its quality was to be determined. But for all the rageaholic trolls clutching their VHS tapes, Ghostbusters was not even close to being a terrible remake. It does feel tied-down and distracted, but it’s still enjoyable, humorous and fresh - and happens to be about what women have to endure in the workplace.

 

It’s hard to ignore the many meta-references where dialogue almost breaks the fourth wall by anticipating the attacks of sexist harassers. But for those anti-feminists who decry that politics have ruined their once beloved Ghostbusters, they have only themselves to thank because, in the end, they just couldn’t leave women alone.

 

by Bruce Wang

 

 

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