Monday, 9 December 2019

I can confirm that Bustin' continues to Make Me Feel Good

Well, that was exciting!

Having watched this trailer, oh, a few times this evening, that's my strongest reaction. It's exciting. It looks like an adventure. Yes, it's clearly a film made in the shadow of Stranger Things and the IT adaptation; it's even got Finn Wolfhard, the go-to kid for eighties nostalgia movies. As grandson of Egon Spengler, Trevor looks like he's going to be a great protagonist, but it's Mckenna Grace as his sister Phoebe who I really want to see more of. Just from these glimpses, she's got some real presence. I've only seen her in Captain Marvel, but from what I read, she's quite something, and it looks like she's a real character actor, unlike Wolfhard who, although brilliant, plays to type.

Then we have Paul Rudd, who's always a joy to watch. I like the idea of someone who was actually there in the original and remembers the “Manhattan Cross-Rip.” He'd have been fourteen when the original was released, and, although Rudd is apparently ageless, I assume his character is going to be around the same age as the actor. It makes sense that the events of the original would have passed into legend, and that's not a bad reflection of how we fans feel about the film. There's a real frisson seeing the old equipment – proton packs, a ghost trap (apparently still occupied) and, of course, Ecto 1, bruised and battered but never bettered.

It doesn't feel like the originals. It doesn't really feel like any version of Ghostbusters we've seen before. It feels like a modern adventure film clearly (and sensibly) with an eye on a young audience. It also looks like it might be quite dark, which might be down to the cut of this trailer, or might reflect a more serious version of the concept. Then again, there were a couple of horror movie moments in the originals (heads on fricking spikes), and even The Real Ghostbusters got surprisingly dark at times.

The trailer doesn't make the film look very funny, but then, the trailer for the original didn't much either. It's hard to judge, on one trailer, how this will play out. Have they left out all the jokes, or is this easing us into a more serious version of the franchise? So far, there are two elements that are certain: excitement and nostalgia (and pretty much the entire surviving main cast of Ghostbusters one and two are returning for the film).

We've been here before. This is the third attempt at Ghostbusters 3, after Dan Aykroyd's own script, which stalled and stalled and was eventually recycled for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and the 2016 reboot, now renamed Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, which I thoroughly enjoyed but utterly failed to set the world alight and didn't do anywhere near well enough to start its own franchise. Still, it did well enough and generated enough talk to show that there was still a lot of interest in the Ghostbusters property.

This looks like a good balance of honouring the originals while pushing ahead into something new. The reboot suffered from trying to be two things: an entirely new vision of Ghostbusters and a cameo-fest for fans of the original. This, potentially, can balance it better. There's a reason for the old cast to appear, and while that still might end up as glorified cameos, it's more fitting than having them appear as new characters. I mean, those cameos were cute, but all they succeeded in doing was make you long for the originals. Here, echoing the originals is kind of the point. Sure, it might backfire, but it could also really work.

And what a beautiful way to honour Harold Ramis. When he died, it looked like Ghostbusters was finished, but if anything, it made the remaining cast realise that they were running out of time to reunite (and seemingly kicked Bill Murray out of his sulk). Having a new generation of Spenglers is a lovely touch, and Wolfhard and Grace just look the part. Plus, you know, it accepts that it's been a long time since the original film, and it's better to embrace that and make something of it than pretend we're just picking up where we left off.

There will be more trailers. I'd like to see more jokes, more ghosts, more of Grace and perhaps a glimpse of the returning cast. But for now, this has me interested.

No comments:

Post a Comment