Paul Feig’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Film Has an Unfair, Sexist PC Bias
With an established fanbase prepared to scrutinize any and every detail, Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” reboot definitely has its hurdles to overcome.
The discussion of creating another “Ghostbusters” has been ongoing since the release of “Ghostbusters II” and with over 20 years of incubation, an extremely high standard has been created. Spawned from a combination of expectation and anticipation, this fanbase standard is out of reach for most anyone behind the project.
But let’s hypothetically make these fans of the original film, a bit more lackadaisical in regards to their critique. Even if the studios were able to adequately appease the fanbase, Paul Feig has made a bold move by treading into the territory of social debate. By changing the gender of the characters, he’s opened up a discussion on sexism between the PC (politically correct) movement and those strongly opposed to this movement.
For those strongly opposed to the movement, we’ve seen whole-hearted attempts to poison the film before it’s even officially released. Throughout forums and social media, some have gone so far as to discredit positive reviews of the film out of pure spite. Whether their intent is purely misogynistic or a combative result of feeling that Paul Feig’s project panders to a specific demographic is up for debate. But regardless of their intent, a majority of these preemptive objections do cite their contempt for the gender swap.
— FilmFad (@FilmFad) July 11, 2016
On the other end of the spectrum we have what some call the “social justice warriors.” They too have preemptively formed opinions of the film but have done so to advocate a more progressive stance on gender equality in film. Their voices aren’t as loud as their misogynistic rivalry, but the strength of their voice has grown to counter the unjustified negativity towards the film.
The unfortunate result of this rivalry is a pre-established perspective of “Ghostbusters.” Whether that bias is for or against is irrelevant. To give an honest and fair opinion of the film, it needs to be critiqued as a standalone movie without any preconceived notions.
To the original “Ghostbusters” fans out there, you’re going to be hard to please with any attempt at rebooting the original. There’s a nostalgia factor that makes the originals so iconic to you so it’s going to be hard to see this film without comparing. But keep in mind that the original films have not been tainted by this reboot treading in that territory. If the original “Ghostbusters” cast and team wanted to make another film happen, they could have. Unfortunately other conflicts and priorities got in the way and at least we got a shot at the franchise continuing. Paul Feig even remains humble by paying homage to the original cast members with cameos in his film and has not taken those characters away from you. In this film the names are different, they’re all new characters, and overall this is a reimagining.
As for the social debaters out there, this film is not intended to incite a social agenda war. Just like many directors, Paul Feig has identifiable elements within his films and even some commonly used cast members. Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, and many more all have unique cinematic traits and also pick from their own pool of actors.
When you look at films directed by Paul Feig, many of them tend to have a similar comedic tone and familiar faces. Not to mention that all of them that have followed this approach have received a majority of positive reviews. So with a formula that has been proven to work time and time again why change it? He’s worked very well with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, so is it really that big of a surprise that he would want to work with them again?
This “Ghostbusters” reboot does not intend to placate sexists nor does it intend to pander to feminists. This is a Paul Feig film that is structured around what a majority of us love about him. He didn’t pick a female cast to for the sole reason of making a statement, it just happened to be a result of casting actors that have proven to work well with him. In addition to Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, Feig chose two actors to match their comedic tone and SNL stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones were an obvious choice for chemistry. So yes, this is a reboot, but mostly this is a Paul Feig film.
My review will be posted tomorrow but without breaking embargo, I can give you this advice. Go into the film with an open mind. Don’t compare to the original “Ghostbusters” nor focus on the fact that there is a gender change. These are new characters, this is a new film, and whether you have a negative or positive bias, just leave it at the door. Empty your mind and try to enjoy the film. That is why we go to the movies is it not?