I think we may have reached peak nonsensical nerdrage with this whole hating on the new Ghostbusters movie thing. The last year or two has seen a whole lot of what I call pre-hating – crapping all over a movie long before it hits theaters based on what you see in rumor sites or even legitimate stories about the production process. I first noticed it when Ant-Man caught a bunch of flak after the original director left, and then again when some people found the teaser trailer underwhelming. Fantastic Four took a bunch of heat from the moment it was announced and we learned that Michael B. Jordan was going to play the always blonde haired/blue eyed Johnny Storm. And then there was Batman vs Superman. Don’t get me started there. And now we have the new Ghostbusters movie.
Now to be honest, I wasn’t really that interested in the movie. I loved the original movie, didn’t like the sequel much, and felt that we didn’t really need any more where that came from. So when this one was announced my general feeling was……meh. But thanks to some totally irrational behavior that’s been going on, I’m going to see it. According to these people this movie needs to tank because replacing four male leads with four women is just wrong, there’s no place for a remake/reboot of such a classic movie, and…….who knows? The tipping point is when a reddit thread was tweeted out showing some people conspiring (badly, I might add) to make sure the bad reviews got pushed out while the more favorable ones were obscured. These idiots were actually upset that the reviews weren’t coming in as bad as they hoped they would.
In what world do you root for a movie to get bad reviews? And in what world is Ghostbusters such a sacred work of cinema that it can’t get remade or rebooted? True Grit, Ocean’s Eleven, The Manchurian Candidate, Total Recall, Friday the 13th and a lot more movies have gotten the remake treatment and the ones that were panned were at least given a chance to be shown in a theater first. I don’t think Ghostbusters clears any ‘don’t remake me, bro!’ bar at all. Which of course bring us to the other reason…..the ladies. There have been some real big pushes on social media for increased diversity in pop culture whether it’s movies, books, comics, or television and with that brings the inevitable backlash. The term Social Justice Warrior has become a pejorative in some circles alongside PC police as a label for people who cause trouble and contribute to the supposed wussification of America. By pushing for more inclusiveness and more sensitivity towards different people’s concerns, these interlopers are supposedly ruining everything. Yeah, ok…….
Look, it’s real simple. Most fictional characters that have become icons were either created decades ago and/or were created by white men. Most of the people who have influence in our society are white, and since people tend to choose to associate people they feel most comfortable with and create characters that they can easily identify with you end up with mostly white men working in the industry, onscreen, and on the page. That isn’t going to change on its own or by osmosis. It has to be fought for and brought attention to until the people in charge have no choice but to change things. And when they do, then yes you are going to get characters (and creative people) who don’t look like what’s been the status quo. And that means yes, you will have some deliberate attempts at changing things like swapping four male characters out and replacing them with four women. Get over it already.
It’s just a movie; if it’s good then you have one more thing to enjoy. If it’s not you move on. This isn’t Star Wars or a Superhero franchise where a whole series of movies, books, video games that we all want to see can be derailed by one film. Yes, if this succeeds there will be sequels, spinoffs, etc. And those will likely have casts that resemble this one more than the original film. Times are changing, folks. There are plenty of gigs for people who have been traditionally getting them. Bashing a movie before you’ve seen it is bad enough; hoping ahead of time that it will be bad enough to get bad reviews and fail at the box office to preserve your precious feelings is just stupid. Grow up already.