Monday, 7 March 2016

Monday's are for moaning - Ghostbusters 3: the curse of nostalgia

So those of you who haven't been living under a rock for the past week will no doubt be aware that the new Ghostbusters trailer was released. I have to say, it's fucking awesome. I've had my doubts about a third film being released since Dan Aykroyd first starting blathering on about it years ago but as soon as Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig signed on I was all for it. And that was before I saw Chris Hemsworth in glasses. Obviously, I have huge love for the original film and have been in love with Ray Stanz for a really long time. Just like everyone else, I wanted this film to be good but not shit all over the original. Unlike a lot of the people on the internet, however, I fucking loved the trailer. Yeah, it was as silly and light-hearted as you'd expect from this group of people but, ultimately, it made me smile. Something the original always manages to do.

Now in this rant I don't want to focus on the people out there complaining about the fact that four men have been replaced by four women. To be honest, I don't want to acknowledge those fucking idiots any more than they already have been. The arguments are all baseless and I don't have the time to deal with that many stubborn and brain-dead morons. No, I want to talk about the more worrying set of people who are suggesting that the new film will in some way ruin the original for all of its fans.

In a film industry polluted by dozens of reboots and unnecessary sequels, we hear the phrase "ruined my childhood" far too often. There is an idea that every modern interpretation of something will become the definitive version of that franchise. It's something we see time and time again with fans who are too melodramatic for their own good. Take the prequels for the major example. All those people bemoaning the fact that George Lucas had "ruined their childhood" with his modern trilogy were just being whiny little bitched. Yes, the prequels weren't as good as the originals but does that mean, in turn, the original films became worse? Associating something good with something shit doesn't make it as shit.

Yes Transformers wasn't a great film but that doesn't mean you can say it completely destroyed everything that came before it. It's still a very successful toy franchise and cartoon. Yes, Battleships was the most ridiculous excuse for a cash-in in history but does that make the original game any worse? Okay, I'm not going to pretend I'm a big enough fan of the board game to actually give a shit but people surely didn't stop playing just because Rihanna was in a terrible film. Jurassic Park 3 certainly didn't ruin the idea of the first one enough to prevent the amazing Jurassic World being made.

I recently watched a reaction to the new trailer where the guy in question was nearly in tears because he felt the new film wasn't respecting the legacy enough. I thought he was fucking kidding until he went on and on about it. Not respecting the legacy? It's got ghosts and people who want to bust those ghosts. What's not being respected? What people really mean when they say it's ruining the original is "it's not got Billy Murray" in it. And I can understand that. Bill Murray is a fucking legend. However, 2016 Bill Murray is not 1984 Billy Murray. Having any of the original cast reprise their roles now could possibly have destroyed the original. Nobody wants the memory of those youngish men valiantly saving New York to be replaced with balding, grey and chubby old men rushing to the aid of their city using a fucking zimmer frame.

Nostalgia is a fucking bitch really. People get so caught up in wanting to relive the past that they romanticise and glorify the films of their childhood. It's understandable but it shouldn't lead to the kind of stubbornness that can't even accept that a re-imagining of something could possibly be good. We know Paul Feig is more than capable of creating funny films, even when they seem completely dire - I'm looking at you The Heat. Give him such a fantastic cast of funny women and a premise based on one of the funniest films of the 80s and it seems you'd have a home-run on your hands. Except to the fucking idiots who are still living in the 80s it seems.

Whatever your view on the new trailer may be, we all have to agree that it at least looks like an improvement on the sequel. I mean that was a fucking travesty. How can anyone say that Melissa McCarthy and co aren't taking the Ghostbusters ethos seriously when just a few years after the first film a badly animated statue of liberty danced through Manhattan to the song 'Higher and Higher'? You want to complain that something in the Ghostbusters franchise is too silly then you need look no further. Silliness has always been a part of the franchise and anyone who looks back now and claims it was trying to do something more serious is too pretentious for words.

Ghostbusters always has and always will be a comedy. It came from a silly idea Dan Aykroyd had for himself and John Belushi and only became sillier when Bill Murray and Harold Ramis came on board. Yes, maybe the new film isn't quite as subtle and has a screaming Leslie Jones slapping Melissa McCarthy in the face. Is that so wrong? It looks like it's going to be fun and the four women have great chemistry. I've watched the trailer countless times and it's mostly because of Kate McKinnon. I mean this film will probably be worth it for her facial expressions alone.

So shut the fuck up about your ruined childhood. We're all invested in this but some of us are mature enough to realise that change isn't always a bad thing. New often is as good as the original. Let's at least give the damn thing a chance before we start condemning it to reboot hell. I doubt that this will replace the first film in my heart but I am positive that I'll come out of it feeling happy. And isn't that the point?

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