The original Ghostbusters came out around the same time as Real Genius, Weird Science, and Revenge of the Nerds. Those ‘80s films happened to share a theme: geek underdogs triumph over bullies and idiots while inventing bizarre contraptions. In 2016, of course, geeks who started a small tech company in a tiny loft space would be showered with venture capital rather than scorn.
So it’s a good thing that the new Ghostbusters film remixes the idea of geeks in tan jumpsuits hunting down poltergeists. Rather than try to recapture the exact glory of the original Ghostbusters, this new movie reflects how geek culture—and our relationship with the paranormal—has changed. That in turn is what makes it worthy to bear the name Ghostbusters.
I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about the idea of a new Ghostbusters film. It’s a “reboot” of one of the all-time great science fiction/fantasy comedies, up there with Back to the Future, so it had a lot to live up to. The trailers didn’t look great, and I know I’m not the only one fatigued by Hollywood’s compulsion to remake everything, from RoboCop to Total Recall. Plus Spy, the previous collaboration between Ghostbusters Director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy, didn’t wow me, even though I liked their other films, Bridesmaids and The Heat.
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