Film Review: Ghostbusters

Along with a proton pack, Paul Feig’s all-female version of Ghostbusters is carrying a half a billion dollar’s worth of expectation at the box office. But it’s also loaded down with the weight of its own diversity – and the hatred that’s manifested because of it.

It’s not just that the movie might be the most forthrightly mainstream feminist film since Thelma and Louise, or that it will substantially boost Hollywood’s on screen gender equality account when the maths are done for 2016.  This Ghostbusters does far more to address the debate that raged around the pudgy white maleness of awards season this year. Three of the main four female characters are over forty, one is black, and one gives strong hints that she’s gay (Kate McKinnon’s Jillian – the actress herself is lesbian.)  

 


No wonder we had such a white male race to the Oscars last year – neither the industry nor the public is giving the impression it’s sufficiently adult to handle anything else. 


 

Not only was the trailer booed down the internet because the concept didn’t just trespass on a sacred fan space, it basically defecated on its high altar – but now it’s actually out, SNL comedienne Leslie Jones, who plays Patty, has been trolled with racist abuse online, so much so that she had to say on Twitter “I’m more human and fucking real than you think.” Not scared of no ghosts? Far more fear and evil exists online.

Meanwhile Feig has admitted that ‘hints’ of homosexuality were all that were acceptable to those green lighting the film.  Finally, reviewers who gave good reviews have been abused online, accused of being ‘politically correct.’

No wonder we had such a white male race to the Oscars last year – neither the industry nor the public is giving the impression it’s sufficiently adult to handle anything else. 


I’d rather the brilliant Paul Feig hadn’t made such a statement at this point, but carried on quietly with his movies, which include Spy, The Heat and Bridesmaids, making women unarguable value at the box office. But we’re here now, and like it or not, Ghostbusters is the banner for diversity in film in 2016.


I’ve seen Ghostbusters. It’s just fine. Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth, were standout – better than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. It deserves its place in the summer popcorn scoop that includes the new Bourne, Star Trek, the upcoming Suicide Squad and Tarzan, and it beats Batman vs Superman to a pulp.  

I’d rather the brilliant Paul Feig hadn’t made such a statement at this point, but carried on quietly with his movies, which include Spy, The Heat and Bridesmaids, making women unarguable value at the box office. But we’re here now, and like it or not, Ghostbusters is the banner for diversity in film in 2016. If you care, rally around it by going to see it. Let a film be loathed by all means, but not because of the ethnicity and gender of its main characters. 

Paul Feig said that he’d “cashed in all his chips this time to make the film.” Don’t let him, or his actresses, become a Ghost-busted flush.

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