A new Ghostbusters trailer has been released for the upcoming film, but it’s not made us very excited. In fact it’s made us a bit mad. See, Mike and I are big fans of the original Ghostbusters film(s). The first one was a classic. The second one, not so much, but it’s still a good film. So, let’s go through the trailer.
It starts with your standard slow text intro:
“30 years ago… four scientists saved New York… this summer… a new team will answer the call.”
This is a nice opening. It’s directly referencing the original films and showing that it’s a continuation of that. The eerie piano playing the famous theme tune is a nice touch. With the arial city shots and the Ghostbusters logo graffiti on the wall, it shows that this is a much more contemporary film, with better graphics and quality. So far so good.
Then we cut to three of the lead actresses. Straight away you’ve got the ‘cool one’ eating Pringles (product placement!), the portly nervous one and the smart bossy one. The new ghosts look quite impressive actually, but then you get the big sliming that looks like something from Little Britain. In the scene in the original film, you don’t actually see the sliming and it works just as well. Clearly they’re going for a more slapstick approach to comedy in this new film.
We then see the three leads in action in their lab, including Holtzmann (worryingly close to Venkman) who barely says a word. After a few more slapstick jokes, we meet Patty, the token black character. I don’t mean to sound racist at all with that remark, it’s just that in the original film there was the brilliant Ernie Hudson and now it feels just a little like they’ve got Leslie Jones in to make the team look identical. If you’ve ever seen Extreme Ghostbusters, they take the casting to a whole new level by adding a disabled character. Again, I have nothing wrong with disabled characters, but when you’re running around multi-storey buildings chasing ghosts, having someone in a wheelchair is maybe not such a great idea. But anyway, I digress.
So, back to the trailer and we see a new Ecto-1, which is now a hearse. Again this is a nod to the old film, which also had a Cadillac that was an ambulance/hearse. It now starts to feel like there’s too many references creeping in, like it’s trying to copy the original but update it to make it feel “fresh”. In the next scene we see the whole team in costume, which have been kept similar to the old outfits, but with some extra orange lines. I guess this is one part where we have to be grateful they stuck to the original design, as it would have been all too easy to dress them in skimpy outfits that showed cleavage and left nothing to the imagination.
We now get our first glimpse of the actual plot, with the revelation that “someone is creating a device that amplifies paranormal activity.” I actually quite like this idea, as it makes more sense than the original plot with the supernatural beings. We see more of the ghosts – which again look pretty impressive – and we also see the new proton packs. Obviously they’ve been updated to look more advanced, with new gadgets and smaller guns.
Then there’s there’s a plot twist thrown in. The ghosts can possess the human form. What, you mean like it did with Louis Tully? This is the point where it really starts to feel like a remake of the original. Except, in the original we had the brilliant Rick Moranis, who was largely used as the comic relief in the film, but still proved to be one of the most memorable characters from the whole franchise. Now we’ve got Chris Hemsworth – largely known as the actor who plays Thor – who is clearly the “eye candy” for the female viewers. Now I’m not saying that Rick Moranis was ugly, but back in the day producers didn’t worry too much about getting pretty boys in the film. Chris Hemsworth is a fine actor and we don’t see much of him in this trailer, so who knows, he could turn out to be a great character, but he’s still no Louis Tully.
It’s not only Hemsworth’s character who is possessed, as we also see Yates (the portly nervous one) possessed. This trailer is clearly leaving no surprises for the actual film. In trying to rescue her, we get to see Patty running around screaming “Aw hell no!” – which Ernie Hudson just wouldn’t have done – and even more slapstick humour (quite literally this time) with her slapping her colleague.
Finally, the trailer ends with the new, updated logo in shiny 3D. It won’t surprise you to learn that I prefer the original.
Overall, the trailer all but confirms our suspicions that this new film is pretty much a “reboot” of the original classic. I will reserve judgement on the female leads until I’ve seen them in full, but, from what I’ve seen, I doubt they will be anywhere near as good as Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. I know they’re trying to make this a different film and it’s not really fair to compare these actresses to the old cast, but if you’re going to remake a classic then that’s what you’ve got to expect. In terms of the comedy, it seems like there’s going to be a lot more slapstick and cheap laughs, as opposed to Murray’s wisecracks and Moranis’s tomfoolery – the only word I could think of to describe it.
I will no doubt go see this film to find out if it’s any good, but my expectations are set pretty low thanks to this new trailer.