‘Ghostbusters’ (2016): The Little But Important Details You Might Have Missed
Stuck at home? So is ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer — which is why he’s watching things streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, YouTube, Criterion, Tubi, and elsewhere, and then writing about what he finds. If you want to suggest something for him to watch and write about, find him on Twitter. Previous installments of this column can be found here.
Director: Paul Feig
Writers: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
Stars: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon
Box Office Total: $229.1 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 74 percent
Currently Streaming On: FX
Why I Watched It: One of my favorite kinds of pieces to write is a post-hype review of a movie that generated a huge amount of positive or negative press on its release. Back when I worked at The Dissolve, I loved doing the monthly “One Year Later” column, where I’d rewatch and re-examine a big movie from the year prior — with the benefit of hindsight and without the burden of expectations or hype affecting anyone’s judgment. I never got to write a “One Year Later” about Ghostbusters, and I haven’t seen the film since it opened in theaters to absurd levels of controversy in the summer of 2016. With a new — but unrelated — Ghostbusters sequel recently pushed back to next spring, the property was also on my mind.
Months before it hit theaters, Ghostbusters became the target of a harassment campaign from trolls who objected to the notion of replacing the original cast with a lineup of female comedians. The trailer got downvoted on YouTube in record numbers. “Fans” bombed its audience score on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. Their behavior kicked off a trend that’s been repeated with other pieces of pop culture (most notably Star Wars: The Last Jedi) that are deemed offensive by some online commenters because of their perceived progressive values.
So by the time Ghostbusters premiered in July of 2016, it had become this huge thing. But how does it hold up as a movie? That’s what I wanted to find out when I rewatched it at home this week...
Gallery — Little Details You Might Have Missed in Starship Troopers: