Today is Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer premiere day, and by the time you read this post it will have either slimed everyone’s social media screens or be hours away from doing so. At that point, a collective groan or collective sigh of relief will permeate all things Afterlife, and Director Jason Reitman will either feel confident he has done right by dear old dad and Uncle Danny A., or ask Sony Pictures to start that same ‘ol mitigation-machine to fix shit like the time when the Interwebs took a big old stinky male shit on the female Ghostbusters; courtesy of Paul Feig.
But that’s just the story everyone has written about ad nauseam.
What’s interesting to me is how, as of late, including in this EW article announcing new plot details from Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Reitman Junior is sure to make sure the entire world knows that this Ghostbusters picks up after the narrative pile of shit that Ghostbusters II: Secret of the Ooze was, versus the all-singing, all-dancing, all-female Ghostbusters (2016) that was bad because it had women in it, and it had women in it because it was bad.
Let’s face it. Perceived failure (versus real failure) in Hollywood sure does make people do some really crazy shit. Let’s not forget that Ghostbusters II: Electric Boogaloo did $215 million in worldwide revenue to Girl Ghostbusters which did $229 million. Yes, fuck you and your adjusted gross calculation. Girl Ghostbusters made more money than Ghostbusters II: Ghost in New York, yet Jason Reitman still is making sure everyone knows his new, Stranger Things-sweded version of the first Ghostbusters has nothing to do with those horrible, annoying, social-media scorned, women of the 2016 edition.
He’s wiping the slate clean, people. Jason Reitman is doing that for all our own good. He’s getting rid of any bad taste in your mouth because of the women who fucked up the Ghost Corps Universe that Akroyd was hoping would turn into his retirement (as if that skull vodka wasn’t already masquerading as his own alcoholic 401k anyway).
So, if you couldn’t tell, that kind of pisses me off.
Feig’s Ghostbusters was leaps and bounds better than Terminator: Wrinkled Linda Hamilton, and eons more entertaining than Elizabeth “We’re Not Taking Any Money To The” Banks’ version of Charlie’s Angels. It was better than a hundred other reboots, reimaginings and retreads, and if you were forced Clockwork Orange-style to watch Ghostbusters II and Feig’s Female Ghostbusters back to back, you’d agree that the girly one deserves some mad respect. It was funny as shit, McKinnon is hilarious, and the uber-mimbo performance of Thor Hemsworth is easily worthy of the admission ticket by a long shot.
It’s one thing to pick up after the second male Ghostbusters because there’s a narrative thread you are planning on picking up after the closing credits ran, and another thing altogether if you’re just saying it picks up in that world because you don’t want the female stink on your film. Because let’s be honest — Ghostbusters II isn’t anything to be proud of, and since Afterlife takes place multiple decades after both original films, are we really shoe-horning into Afterlife a bunch of old versions of Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd to save the franchise and distance ourselves from the women of it all?
Yeah, yeah, Sigourney Weaver’s gonna be in it. Fuck you.
Without even watching the trailer, I can tell you everything that’s going to be in it. The introduction of a new family, in a small town, with kids unaware of their ghost-hunting ancestor (Grandpa Ramis), then the discovery of a long forgotten Ecto-wagon, ghost-hunting devices, and a new threat will allow the Stranger Things kids to train up, battle a new threat, and gain the help of the old folks to ensure they do it right.
Feels tired to me. You’ll tell me if I’m right.
In the meantime, all this “it picks up in the old Ghostbuster Universe” does is make me think of Harvey Keitel, who played not one but two cleaners in two movies (Point of No Return and Pulp Fiction) — solely responsible for cleaning up the horrific mistakes of the killers who came before him. Let’s face it: Jason Reitman may be the Director, but he’s also the Cleaner of the Ghostbusters Universe.
And I just gotta say is this: clean shit up if you have to, but Ghostbusters (2016) didn’t need any cleaning up. If anything did, it was Ghostbusters II. So if you’re gonna try and explain away the skeletons in the closet, can you address the real stinker of the series and be honest about your motivations?
Is that so much for a girl to ask?