However despite the spin that tried to make it out to be merely a sexist objection to the all-female cast, I’ve come to believe that at least for most of us, it didn’t have anything to do with the cast … sort of.
Overall, what failed this year’s Ghostbusters reboot wasn’t the cast, but unequivocally without a doubt the script because frankly it was uncreative and undoubtedly unoriginal, to the point where it felt like it expected the weight of the beloved Ghostbusters franchise to support it no matter what … and it just didn’t.
The thing about reboots is that they still need to bring something fresh and new to the franchise – something more than just girl power, in this case – but the story itself was kind of boring and in many places just seemed to borrow from the original movie when the writers couldn’t be bothered to come up with a new story device. To that point, things that were probably meant to seem like nods to the franchise – like crossing the streams and fighting with the mayor and bringing the old logo to life – just felt like weak writing instead of proper tributes that the original Ghostbusters deserved.
Even the cameos from the original cast were kind of meh with no real acknowledgement of how they served in the original story.
And so I can’t really blame the cast itself for what ultimately seemed to be a case of bad, uninspired writing because I sincerely think that another version of this movie could’ve been just fine, female cast and all. The story isn’t that hard to write…
30 years after the original events in New York, the original cast has long since been retired as heroes when a new threat appears and these women who grew up on their paranormal tales attempt to dust off the old legends to take over the reins. The story contains plenty of nods to the original movies because they’re shared as anecdotes by the original cast, and in the end the new Ghostbusters save the day and the retired Ghostbusters – along with the crabby mayor – are the first in line to applaud their successors.
The whole stink when the original rumors of this all-female reboot came about wasn’t that girls can’t be Ghostbusters, but that’s all we were given and fans of the franchise demanded more than that. I’m sure that some were sexist, but not all, with many folks like myself just wanting to see more effort put forth than, “It’s Ghostbusters, but with women!” because a simple gender swap is no basis for any story, and it shows in the final product because they didn’t put crap into the writing and the movie fell on its face.
If anything, it did a disservice to the women who were cast because to take on a franchise as beloved like the Ghostbusters, they needed a good script to do their legacy justice. Instead they were given throwaway gags and re-used plot devices that didn’t add anything new to the franchise and just left the rest of us saying, “I told you so.”
All this movie needed to be great was someone who cared enough to write a new Ghostbusters story and then weave elements from the past into it. You can’t just swap out the actors and redo the same story and expect fans to rave about a new Ghostbusters story because it really wasn’t, and that’s a shame because if Sony had really been committed to doing a new Ghostbusters movie, they could’ve done it.
But instead we got this and it got overblown into this big gender war when it really was all just a case of bad writing. 🙁
P.S. Also, I get that it was intended to be a summer blockbuster and all because that’s how the first two were presented, but why not hold off and put them out in October to piggyback on the whole promotional season for Halloween instead???