FILM 2

Ghostbusters review – Fighting sexism with sexism

There was mass hysteria in 1984 when a group of men were cast as the main characters in a comedy about vacuuming ghosts. Audiences were appalled at the lack of female representation, regarding Sigourney Weaver’s role as stereotypical because she didn’t get to punch something slimy in the face. A bit like she did in a small film about aliens. The widespread frustration led to a hole being torn in the fabric of reality, sucking in the entire planet and depositing it here in 2016, where everyone is far more level-headed.

Now there’s a new version of Ghostbusters and it’s been given a heavy dose of equality, filling all the lead roles with females and making the male characters as cerebral as cauliflowers. Director Paul Feig is clearly looking to balance things out here. And as we all know, the only way to beat sexism is with more sexism.

There is a subplot about four women combining their ingenuity to capture ghosts, but the film mainly consists of them vaginally panting over Chris Hemsworth. He plays a hunky receptionist with the intellectual fortitude of a floor tile, and, like most men in the twenty first century, is incapable of doing something as menial as answering a phone. As Hollywood looks to make amends for years of misrepresentation, it’s important that they take this opportunity to depict men as barely sentient slabs of meat that suck in air through a hole in the side of their face. Go, feminism.

“Fucking get some!” exclaimed a stout woman with purple hair sat beside me, as one character unleashed a flurry of laser beams. It was great to see the film directly empowering members of the audience, and again when the protagonists started using what were essentially nuclear hoovers. Other gadgets include a device that explodes when tossed and a sucking machine that chews up ghostly goo before spitting it out. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones do a great job of cleaning up New York, while simultaneously advertising Bid TV products.

In between these gender-levelling action sequences, there’s an embarrassment of cameos from the cast of the original films, which clearly seemed to distress some viewers. Luckily, most of them were too young to recognise Bill Murray and thought Dan Aykroyd was Kevin Spacey. There must have been another temporal shift that allowed them to slip back into our time.

Thankfully, any sign of the film returning to its blatantly misogynistic roots is quickly stamped out. Who cares if, in the process, all the humour is replaced with Hemsworth poking himself in the eye? As long as we keep diversifying by doing incredibly hypocritical things. I’m just looking forward to the next James Bond being played by Queen Latifah or a fucking manatee.

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