Sunday, July 17, 2016

195. Ghostbusters

My first thought after seeing the new Ghostbusters movie was, “What was all the fuss about?” It was two hours of amusing jokes, cool special effects, entertaining battles against hordes of the undead, all topped off with appropriate and lighthearted homages to the original. It wasn’t the perfect movie, but as far as mid-summer action-comedies go, it’s really good.

This was the first comedy I can remember where saying you were going to go see this or not going to go see this was some sort of veiled political statement. If you weren’t going to go see this, people thought you were sexist or immature for thinking that women can’t take the lead in an action movie, or for some reason that it was “ruining your childhood.” You couldn’t not see it because action-comedies were not your cup of tea, or you’d rather go see the Tarzan remake instead, no if you said you weren’t going to see this, you were a sexist imbecile who hasn’t grown up yet.

Then there were those who were concerned that the movie was racist because Leslie Jones, the only African-American Ghostbuster, was cast as an MTA worker. (For the record, I thought she came out just as intelligent as the others, in her own way.)

I wanted to go see this movie because I like all of the actresses in it. And action-comedies  are one of the few types of movies that my brother and I can agree on. So, I probably would have seen any sort of movie with these four women in a starring role. (Although, I think Kate McKinnon was the clear standout of the film. He timing to deliver quirky jokes was fantastic. She’s going to have a big year.)

It feels weird for grown men (and probably some women) to get mad at people for “ruining your childhood.” How can your childhood be ruined? It’s already gone past. They’ve remade dozens of movies that haven’t garnered this much rancor. (I’m surprised more people didn’t say that Independence Day: Resurgence ruined their childhood. People are dumb.

It feels weird to continue to have the discussion about women not having leading roles in Hollywood. The four, while not all delivering impeccable performances, performed just fine for a summer movie. The jokes were funny, the action was entertaining, and my mind rarely wandered away from the action at hand.

There also seemed to be unfairly high expectations for this movie. I know that summer comedies aren’t supposed to carry the weight of the cinematic world, but everybody tried to shoehorn this movie into one point of view or another. Remember, it’s a movie about fighting ghosts. People should relax with the pearl clutching and the megaphoning when it comes to summer comedies. Some people just want to see a funny movie.

In the end, I’m glad this movie was made. I hope my goddaughter Melanie gets to see it someday. I like showing that you can be funny, kick butt, and bust ghosts, no matter if you’re male or female.

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