“Ghostbusters” came to represent everything about 2016. Forget about Donald Trump, Hillary or even the Grim Reaper trying to bowl a perfect game. When I initially reviewed the film in July, there was a bit of hesitation on my part. I had spent the weeks prior watching the social media channels melt down. That’s not to even bring up the sheer amount of PR glut, online noise and various people try to explain to me that Paul Feig is an effective comedic director.
Then, I watched the film. Literally two hours after I first saw it, James Rolfe was attacked for choosing to abstain from covering the film. Extreme left nerd icons took to their Twitter feeds and whatever new social media to decry Rolfe’s actions. Rolfe is an Influencer and how dare the man that crapped on a Bugs Bunny mask take such a stance! He could influence millions of video game nerds into giving a girl power movie a chance.
But, then there was the factions that stated that the girl power movie wasn’t for men. It was going to exist and make money in a void. Men were expected to enjoy it or be quiet. Milo Y. ran his mouth against Leslie Jones and Twitter caved on him faster than they could ever do to ISIS. Tempers were red hot and so many progressive minded people were finding themselves having to support the movie by default. Had these non vocal progressives seen the movie? Judging by the initial first few weeks at the Box Office, the answer was a stern NO.
The weeks turned into months. The film hit home video and more people got the chance to see it. Tempers started to cool and far more people began questioning what they had seen. “Ghostbusters” was now being called a Line-a-Rama film without a strong plot. Kate McKinnon was great, but she seemed to have read a different script. The rest of the cast skirted between unnecessary cameos to paying back favors to comedic pals.
Then, the final backlash happened. There are no real Ghostbusters fans. Nobody cares that this movie was a miss. The most important lesson was that you could gender swap a major franchise and have it open during the summer. In a year where hitting achievements and forcing the improbable onto the largest audience was the goal, this movie was symbolic of that great futility. Crafting a working comedy failed, as it got in the way of the message.
Women can do things! Yeah, they can and they’ve powered far better movies. When audiences are forced to salute any terrible idea, it breeds discontent. Discontent leads to anger and anger isn’t that marketable for film. So, why was this movie the worst of 2016?
Well, that’s because Ghostbusters mutated into representing the worst of America at the worst possible time. Concern for quality and general cohesion was eliminated to force a message onto an indifferent population. No care was given to picking the best vehicle for the message, Feig and company just thought that forcing a film candidate onto the open market was better than nothing. Well, what happens when your attempt to force a candidate onto a population backfires?
You create an environment where it becomes harder to get better material through for years to come. If this film and its aftermath became any more Meta, Slimer would become a new Cabinet pick.
- 1 hr and 56 mins