In less than a month, Columbia Pictures will try to reboot the 1984 Ghostbusters franchise for a new generation once again, with Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, and Finn Wolfhard spearheading the second reboot. After the catastrophe of the 2016 version, its safe to say that Columbia pictures has to be careful on how they craft the upcoming film. All the ingredients for a successful film are there; however, here’s several issues that Ghostbusters: Afterlife needs to avoid.
The Lack of Originality
Let’s be honest, the 2016 version of Ghostbusters mostly bombed because women took over the role of the original characters. However, behind the unnecessary backlash of the 2016 feature, it essentially a less funny carbon copy of the 1984 feature. By no means is this a terrible movie, but the 2016 Ghostbusters fails to carve its own identity. The Melissa McCarthy pic didn’t add anything to the mythology of the original series nor is it a compelling reboot that explains its own existence. Ghostbusters: Afterlife needs to stay away from redoing the origin story. Most fans know and understand the central premise of Ghostbusters. The film needs to firmly establish new and interesting characters and have a reason for its existence. If the film can dive deeper into the mythology of ghostbusting then it would help expand the franchise’s universe and add some rich layers that prevent the franchise from going stale. Going over to The Terminator saga, part of the reason that the franchise became so tiresome is due to the fact that it rarely expands on its lore. Out of all six movies, only Terminator: Salvation deviates from the “save X from a Terminator of the future in order to save mankind”. Obviously, this film is called Ghostbusters, so some ghostbusting should be done; however, the formula of heroes chasing and capturing ghosts will get stale if the franchise fails to explore other themes. Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn’t have to particularly worry about deviating from that direction as the franchise hasn’t hit that stale period yet, but it needs to add new elements in order for the latest chapter to feel fresh and new. Thus far, the film is hotly anticipated by most fans, so hopefully the studio was wise enough to move away from the trappings of the 2016 feature.
The Desperate Need To Be Funny
Another issue with the 2016 reboot is that the jokes felt desperate and forced, thus making a good portion of them unfunny. One of the worse gags of the feature is Chris Hemsworth’s character, Kevin. He’s dumb and the film beats you over the head telling you that he’s an idiot. In fact, he’s such an imbecile that it’s amazing that he has the ability to put on pants by himself. The point is that Kevin doesn’t feel like a human being. Audiences failed to connect with the Hemsworth character because of this. Him being a walking imbecile became very tiresome quickly, as does most of the jokes and gags throughout the feature. Ghostbusters: Afterlife shouldn’t feel the need to force jokes. Paul Rudd is an extremely talented comedic actor, but so is Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Based on the trailers, Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks really good and seems to recapture some of the magic from the first two films. Based on the solid 74% on rotten tomatoes (as of this writing), the film appears to be a hit, though to be fair, the 2016 Ghostbusters currently has a 60% score on the website as well.
Pay Respect To The Original Ghostbusters
One of the vital mistakes that the 2016 reboot makes is that it pretends that the previous films don’t exist. Some of the original cast members return, but in thankless, nothing cameos. This pretty much goes back to my skip the origin part for Afterlife. The reason this move worked for Halloween because everything after the first film is considered trash by many. The previous two movies are not, though the 1989 sequel isn’t as loved as the first movie. The film doesn’t have to piggyback off of everything introduced in the previous two films; however, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore need to exist in this world. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver are scheduled to make a return here and hopefully their work in the previous installments is acknowledged. They don’t have to be in some deep role, just something meaningful that honors the legacy of Ghostbusters. The upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife has the opportunity to revive the once popular franchise. Hopefully, they managed to get the quality right this time around.