It’s fair to say that Spy director Paul Feig‘s new reboot of Ghostbusters has been incredibly divisive prior to its release. Some of the people critical of the film have done so because they love the original and are sceptical about the quality of a reboot. Others, however, have taken issue with the film’s all-female central cast and have turned against the movie in something of a knuckle-dragging mob of moronic misogynists. It is these people that contributed to the film’s trailer becoming the most disliked in YouTube history.
The first reviews for the film are now in and they’re broadly positive. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 74% of Ghostbusters reviews have been favourable. Many of these reviews have chosen to address the big, sexist elephant in the room and this has led to some rather delicious takedowns of the online hate mob and its remarkable stupidity.
Here are some of the best…
“Girls rule, women are funny, get over it.”
Manohla Dargis cut straight to the point in her review for the New York Times. She called the film “cheerfully silly” and praised the central cast in her positive write-up, whilst taking a solid potshot at those who had already decided that women weren’t as funny as men.
“This whole dumb, fake, controversy is just so tired. I am so over it.”
Writing over at Uproxx, Mike Ryan just seemed exasperated with everything about the nonsensical pre-release campaign against the new Ghostbusters film. He called the backlash “tiring” before praising the film’s comedy, although he was less convinced by its CGI action scenes.
“Angry misogynist nerds rose up to whine and complain, using any argument they could…”
Devin Faraci, of Birth Movies Death, certainly had no love for the Ghostbusters detractors and their nonsense. He criticised the film’s final act, but noted how funny the movie is and took shots at the “sound and fury” that surrounded its release. He even went as far as to say he “can’t wait” for the film to get a sequel.
“The online haters didn’t have unparalleled insight about a film they hadn’t seen, then. Who’d have thought it?”
In his rather subdued three-star review for Empire, Jonathan Pile noted that the “gender-focused trolling” surrounding the film is something the script uses to its advantage. Pile praised the film’s humour and occasional scares, but had trouble with the onslaught of cameos and Kate McKinnon‘s offbeat turn, which has seemed to split reviewers.
“Remaking this beloved film with women as leads is an act revolutionary enough to attract the ire of legions of Ghostbros insisting that the very concept will warp time and space to retroactively ruin their childhoods.”
As well as the above zinger, BuzzFeed reviewer Alison Willmore also noted that the “toxic pre-lash” towards Ghostbusters played into the film’s plotting. She praised the four central women, but again had trouble with the cavalcade of nostalgic cameo appearances.
“…mouth-breathing, misogynist bile…”
Chris Nashawaty was not one of Ghostbusters‘ biggest fans. He gave the film a barely positive C+ in his review for Entertainment Weekly, but he had no patience for the “uglier elements of the social-media sphere” that the film’s existence had exposed. He said that the film had become something of a “cultural litmus test”. In his review, he argued that the film wasn’t funny enough given the level of comedic talent involved.
“…angry, bored, women-hating men expending otherwise untapped energy mining their own feelings of social inadequacy in a toxic bid for attention.”
Barry Hertz, reviewing Ghostbusters for The Globe and Mail, made tearing into the misogynist mob the theme of his glowing take on the movie. He said that the reaction to Ghostbusters was “a dispiriting reminder that misogyny is alive and well” before lauding the film for its strong cast and sense of fun.
“Ghostbusters will continue to be savaged on the spleen-soaked battlefields of the internet simply for existing.”
Village Voice reviewer Melissa Anderson was another critic who wasn’t entirely enamoured with the new take on Ghostbusters, but she was keen to call out the “idiocy” of the notion that women can’t carry a comedy movie. She said that the movie was a “tragic underutilizing” of its talented central actors.
“It’s not a ridiculous notion that three of the most brilliant scientists can be women, nor is it absurd to think that they could handle taking down ghosts around New York City.”
Julia Alexander reviewed Ghostbusters for Polygon and noted that the film was “hysterical and fun”, but also said aspects of the finale were “tedious”. She had a tonne of praise for Feig’s approach to the femininity of his team and the presentation of a group of female scientists as something entirely normal.
“…basement-dwelling bedwetters who mask their rabid misogyny as innocent geek entitlement and misplaced nostalgia.”
Perhaps the most snarky and acerbic rejection of the nonsensical misogyny surrounding Ghostbusters came from David Jenkins of Little White Lies. His highly positive reaction to the film was littered with references to the hate mob, whilst praising the film’s broad appeal and noting that it is “genuinely funny, inventive and clever”.
“Sometimes it’s cool for other people to enjoy something, even if you’re not keen on it.”
This line, from Richard Trenholm of Cnet, encapsulates everything about the new Ghostbusters in a nutshell. It doesn’t matter what the misogynists think; it matters what those who do buy their tickets to see the movie think. It is ultimately them who will decide whether the movie is a success or a failure and those who will decide whether the female cast actually works.
Ghostbusters opens in the UK today and will be reviewed on The Popcorn Muncher soon. Let me know what you think of the movie and the backlash in the comments section below.