The new Ghostbusters movie is something of an obsession with the “social justice” crowd, which makes one of the big reveals from its trailer rather humorous. Director Paul Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold had a $150 million budget — along with the comedic chops of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon an Leslie Jones to work with — but yet the lone black star still ended up the one character who would probably mistake Isaac Newton for the slightly-disgusting (yet still irresistible) fig treats by Nabisco.
Sony Studios just told its small army of social justice recruits that its white stars will be engineers and quantum physicists, but its black star is a NYC subway-booth worker who gets to slap around McCarthy like Marvel Studio’s Hulk on Loki.
I for one do not particularly care what character Leslie Jones plays or what her occupation happens to be — but I’m smart enough to know that an ill-conceived movie that leans on politically correct moviegoers for support should have thought about the racial message its story sends. True, Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore was not a scientist (my buddy thinks he will be Jones’ uncle) but on almost every level this movie looks like it will miss the mark.
The problem with this Ghostbusters is that it’s trying to re-capture a moment in time that does not exist. It would be like attempting to make out with an old girlfriend you amicably broke up with years ago. You’re going through the motions, but there is just no feeling there because all of your good times were in the past and you’ve moved on. She’s changed in ways that are just bizarre to you and it all feels awkward. You would just think, “What is this? Why is this even happening? This isn’t right.”
The new Ghostbusters is not a re-boot, but yet it seeks to capitalize on fans who would generally be exited for a proper re-boot. In reality it is a re-imagining, which is why older fans react to Feig’s hat-tips to the original with a wince. Everything that Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right in regards to recapturing what made the original trilogy great, the new Ghostbusters does wrong in relation to its counterpart.
Oddly enough, the tagline from the original movie — “Who you gonna call?” — fits with what seems to have happened when producers at Sony mandated the film into existence.
The cast does not particularly look inspired; it looks like they were merely hired to do a job and collect a paycheck. “Hey, you’re funny. We need to make this movie and nobody wants it done. But we need to do it because of girl-power and diversity. And stuff. Can you do it?”
Zeddemore says in the original: “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” Now it appears the cast replied to Sony’s proposal with, “If there’s a steady paycheck, I’ll social justice anything you want me to social justice.”
It’s just too bad they forgot about social-justicing Jones’ character, Patty Tolan. Maybe they can blame it on the ghosts.