I’d have loved nothing more than to give Ghostbusters a glowing review. Seriously! Can you imagine a better troll? Extolling the virtues of a film that my loyal readership has been warring with social justice warriors over for months?
But I can’t. You see, I strive to be honest with my audience. I went into Ghostbusters with a clear and impartial mindset, like some tall, slim, and devastatingly handsome statue of justice. (But no blindfold. It would be a crime to cover up these eyes.)
Ugh, I don’t know what to tell you. Ghostbusters is terrible. It’s more obvious than the reading on an EKG-meter in Zuul’s bedroom. The only frame of reference in which this movie functions is as a meta-movie, in which the Ghostbusters franchise is treated like a vampire in a Hammer Horror from the 60s. The beloved franchise from our childhood with a stake driven through its heart, head chopped off, body burned and buried at a crossroads.
The overarching problem with Ghostbusters is that the script is a greater abomination to God than any of the demons and ghosts in the franchise. I’m sure they could have done a worse job, but they’d have to study Tobin’s Spirit Guide to summon a script from an even deeper circle of Hell.
Mostly, it’s a lack of intelligence. In the original movie, the bad guys weren’t actually the ghosts — everybody loves Slimer and the Marshmallow Man. No, the bad guys were the clueless bureaucrats in the government, who set off a supernatural crisis through bumbling and red tape.
In this film, by contrast, the enemy is all men, while the government ends up playing dad. Every man in the movie is a combination of malevolent and moronic. The chick ‘busters shame the mayor so much they end up getting government funding at the end. Like all feminists, they can only survive by sucking on the teat of Big Government.
I’ll skip over the vacuous and incoherent plot. You won’t understand it watching the movie and you won’t understand it reading my summary so who cares. This, unlike any movie I’ve ever seen before, seems to have been conceived entirely out of spite, with the result that its plot is largely irrelevant.
Let’s focus on how this movie will be interrogated by audiences: its style and politics. The weak, Twitter-style feminist quips come off as lame, unfunny, and resentful. This is especially puzzling in light of the women in the original movies, who captured the range of tough broads one finds in New York City.
Janine even acted as a Ghostbuster in the cartoon series, without it being hailed as a revolutionary act of feminist girl power. What we are left with is a movie to help lonely middle-aged women feel better about themselves after being left on the shelf. It’s an overpriced self-esteem device for women betrayed by the lies of third-wave feminism.
Despite pandering to the kind of woman who thinks misandry is a positive lifestyle choice, Ghostbusters is remarkably unkind to its female leads. Abigail is repellant and fat. Holtzmann is a clownish, lip-syncing drag queen. Erin is a forgettable, low-rent Jennifer Aniston clone. Patty is a two dimensional racist stereotype by even the most forgiving measure.
Patty is the worst of the lot. The actress is spectacularly unappealing, even relative to the rest of the odious cast. But it’s her flat-as-a-pancake black stylings that ought to have irritated the SJWs. I don’t get offended by such things, but they should.
Ghostbusters, the film acting as standard bearer for the social justice left, is full of female characters that are simply stand-ins for men plus a black character worthy of a minstrel show. Remember, the original film not only represented women well, but also had Winston Zeddemore, the character with his feet most firmly on the ground in the entire movie.
Ghostbusters is afraid to acknowledge the shortcomings of any of its female characters, perhaps fearing the wrath of their target audience, which, after all, is never satisfied. (Literally. Which is perhaps why Sony did a deal with Hostess to sell Ghostbusters-branded Twinkies.)
What we are left with is a movie completely incapable of laughing at itself. Chris Hemsworth, dumb secretary, is the only actor who betrays any sense of self-awareness. As a result, he steals every scene he’s in.
To the point of weirdness. Hemsworth’s scenes move to an entirely different beat, as if we step into a different film when he’s on screen. The timing is off, relative to the rest of the movie. But irrespective of his strong performance, Hemsworth is still there to make men look like idiots and villains.
The ladies, by contrast, bravely brandish their particle throwers like phalluses, which is a clue to where Ghostbusters went wrong.
The leads are searching for the friendly, buddyish camaraderie that men often build together, especially in dangerous jobs. This doesn’t ring true, because they aren’t dudes — even though they think, act and look like guys. These teenage boys with tits snigger at queef jokes — which no woman ever does — within the first ten minutes of the movie.
Compare the female Ghostbusters with my favorite female character of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy’s feminine qualities are part of her strength. She saves the world using her female vulnerability, not in spite of it. In fact, her femininity is the only thing that makes her capable of heroic feats.
The petty, two-dimensional feminist posturing of Ghostbusters is demeaning to all four of its leads, particularly when you consider how complex and interesting the film could have been with someone like Joss Whedon at the helm.
The spattering of negative and lukewarm reviews that are now piling up is brave for the leftist establishment media. These writers are risking being labelled sexist bigots, a fate worse for a liberal than running out of quinoa and humous while your vegan boyfriend is staying over.
But most of the press realizes that whatever shreds of credibility it has left would be utterly lost by giving this film an unqualifiedly positive review.
Just consider the feminist uproar directed at James Rolfe for the crime of announcing he wouldn’t see or review the movie. Rolfe was called a bigot without even doing a negative review. Feminists have invented like an innovative form of feminist pre-crime.
The feminists themselves commit plenty of crimes. Spoiler alert: they kill Bill Murray. They don’t just kill him; the movie chucks him out of a window. It’s a clumsy metaphor for the treatment of boys in college campus kangaroo courts and in general in public life these days.
This film has already killed everything good about the franchise. Murray was the final human sacrifice. Maybe he asked for his character to be killed to safely rule him out from whatever hellishly banal sequel Sony is already working on.
By the way: the special effects are horrifically lazy and ugly. Did the entire budget for this movie go into craft services? The finale is confused and feels like it’s trying to be Gremlins 2 but without any lightness of touch or character development given to its supernatural subjects.
A lack of intelligence and subtlety is the movie’s second great failing, after the poor script. The third great flaw is the bad guy. The villain in Ghostbusters is the most unsatisfying bad guy in my film memory. He is the opposite of a morally ambiguous Batman villain. There is no complexity, no backstory, just a beta-male dork for feminists to bully.
If the bad guy in Ghostbusters followed the Ghostbusters on Twitter, he would be asking for permission before retweeting their boorish, teenage boy jokes and furtively Googling findom mistresses.
Besides being stunningly handsome, friendly to the proletariat, and blessed with a beautiful singing voice, I am always months ahead of the curve. Back in early May I wrote about how terrible this film was likely to be.
Go ahead and take a few minutes to enjoy my analysis of what we knew about the film following its YouTube trailer. You’ll note the delicate hand and sensitive approach I use with the regressive left — it’s becoming my trademark!
But another trademark of mine is gilding my criticism with helpful suggestions. What director Paul Feig needed to make this picture work is a script doctor to turn groans into laughs and yawns into cheering. Although I am new to Hollywood, I think I have the skills necessary to put together a much more effective feminist Ghostbusters story.
It’s time to start again, with a movie that has integrity. So here are my suggestions for a fresh, true-to-life feminist reboot of the franchise.
1) The film should open with a team of competent male Ghostbusters coordinating their fire and deploying equipment in a businesslike manner. Their prey appears to be a screaming banshee, a nightmare specter intent on dooming all around her to death.
It turns out to be a terrible mistake: the screaming banshee is one of our female leads, angry at a restaurant server for using the wrong pronouns. She sues the Ghostbusters, taking over their whole operation, and then hires her friends to be the new Ghostbusters.
2) The Ghostbusters determine the best course is an all-female team, to secure lucrative government subsidies and Title IX certification. Like the military, they have problems finding women who can pass their rigorous testing, so they are forced to relax the physical standards for potential employees.
As a result, the two gals who aren’t beasts of burden are unable to carry their heavy proton packs into battle, and use cute motorized scooters to transport them. These are known as Ecto-2 and Ecto-3, and are each worth a cool million in merchandising.
3) Crossing the streams is not only allowed, it is encouraged. It is also renamed to ‘scissoring the streams’, blatant pandering to the film’s heavily lesbian core demographic. (I’m using the word “heavily” on purpose.)
4) An early mission for the new team will be a disturbance at a health food store. An obese female ghost is tearing the place apart, upset she can’t find anything tasty to eat. Maybe she is worried she will be late to the ghostly JC Penney sale. Anyway, she is being lectured in the health food store by the ghost of Dr. Atkins who wants her to shed weight.
The Ghostbusters capture Dr. Atkins while scolding him that “Ghosts can be healthy at any size.” The girls point the portly poltergeist toward the nearest pizza shop and try to give her a high five on the way out, but the ghost is so large she slimes them all.
5) Every Ghostbusters movie needs a scene where all the captured ghosts are released on an unsuspecting city. Our fiendishly clever antagonist will organize all the ghosts in containment to identify as living people.
The Ghostbusters face a tsunami of bad press accusing them of bigotry towards the trans-living, resulting in them releasing the apprehended apparitions to wreak havoc once again.
6) The happy memory that turns into a monster will be of comfort to the ladies. That’s right, they have to fight a giant tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. To make matters worse, they won’t have their equipment to fight it, since they accused their male secretary (Brad Pitt in a cameo) of mansplaining when he suggested their put their proton packs on the charger.
They have to take this ice cream down the old fashioned way, with big spoons, crying, romantic comedies streaming on their smartphones.
7) In the final act we meet the real enemy of the female Ghostbusters— their parents’ dead hopes and dreams. Will the phantasmagorical manifestation of pure disappointment at the lack of grandchildren be too great for our stunning and brave womyn to overcome?
Will they finally show daddy, through piercings, pretension and proton packs that they don’t care what he thinks anyways? This is the sort of dramatic tension that is needed to make a successful summer tent-pole movie.
Yeah, the theater was nearly empty.