Trailer Review – Ghostbusters

Luke Stevenson is a children’s journalist at Community Care and an avid cinema-watcher. He is also one of the three hosts of The Popcorn Muncher Podcast.

The sequel to the most hated trailer of all time is here, trying to convince us that we won’t hate this movie as much as we hate every threatened white boy online. That’s right; it’s Ghostbusters.

A comedy movie with a bad trailer, like the first one, can often be dead before it really gets a chance to breathe. Even moreso, a movie with the rather unnecessary moniker of being ‘controversial’ because it decided to cast women instead of men had its chances harmed even more when its subpar first trailer landed in March.

The central question surrounding this movie is not, and should not, be about whether it can justify an all-female cast, but whether the movie can justify why it was remade at all.

The second trailer does an overall better job of doing this, focusing on jokes and spectacle. While the spectacle looks a bit sloppy, overdrawn and like they hired the same CGI team who did the original Ghostbusters, the jokes land. Leslie Jones, in particular, has standout moments. In my opinion, the job of a comedy movie trailer isn’t necessarily to make you laugh hard, just let you know that by watching the whole movie you will.

The bits that don’t work in the trailer mainly involve Chris Hemsworth. A man as handsome as that – whose comedy credentials are limited to a few fish-out-of-water moments in Thor movies – just can’t sell the hapless-assistant-with-good-intentions roll in the same way Rick Moranis did so brilliantly in the originals.

Slimer in the new Ghostbusters movie
It was nice of the production company to put bad blood to one side and let the most prolific commenter on the original trailer cameo in the movie

One thing the two trailers reveal when taken together is that this film will stick close to the original Ghostbusters formula. Doing this with a reboot has a track record of working. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a recent example. However, in this instance, Ghostbusters runs the risk of overfamiliarity and repetition.

There’s also a question about whether, by including homages to classic moments like Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the movie is targeting the right audience. Original Ghostbusters fans have expressed enough ill-feeling towards this movie to let the production company know they will not be their core audience, so who are they really making this movie for?

By sticking close to the original, it feels like this movie is struggling to carve out an identity that effectively communicates itself to audiences. It has its strong-female cast, but from a story point of view this is not treading new ground. The talent is there and this trailer showcases it, but a bigger version of the original Ghostbusters is not what people ordered, and this could struggle to evoke the original’s charm.

However, when the Ghostbusters music plays and you hear newscasters speak about “new heroes”, you can’t help but feel a sting of nostalgia that makes you think the whole thing might just work.

 

What do you think of the new trailer for Ghostbusters? Can the new, all-female cast pull this off? Let us know in the comments section.

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