The forthcoming Ghostbusters, directed by Paul Feig, leaves us with many questions: Can a team of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones live up to the glory days of Bill Murray and Ghostbusters past? Are women funny? Should women be in movies? Are we truly alone in the universe? And, most important, can Sony cut together a modern Ghostbusters trailer that lives up to the unimpeachably classic trailer for the original?
The new trailer, which was released this morning, doesn’t even try to top the first's opening sequence.
This one opens on a tame, inoffensive New York montage — a slow piano cover of the Ghostbusters song plays in the background — and ends on the iconic Ghostbusters logo. Presumably, they have given up competing with the original trailer, which opens with Annie Potts, whose part has been filled by Chris Hemsworth. Chris, I don’t care how smooth your beautiful Australian muscles are, you will never be Annie Potts.
We are then gifted with our first sighting of the Holy One Kate McKinnon, McCarthy, and Wiig.
In terms of movie stardom, Kate’s probably the Harold Ramis here, but she’s hotter than Bill Murray by a significant margin, and I find Bill Murray pretty hot. Would call, no need to ask. Improvement!
Now, there’s no way around the fact that 1984's janky matte-painting special effects are cooler than digital 2016 special effects. These smooth and misty ghosts are nowhere near as cute or funny as the OG lumpy and grumpy foam puppet Ghostbusters ghosts. This is presumably a problem for the new movies, but! The original Ghostbusters trailer did not have Ilana Glazer playing a ghost! If I have to suffer through the personality-less polish of CGI ghostery for the rest of this movie, hiring Ilana Glazer to vomit slime on Kristen Wiig and hold my hand through digitally rendered shellac is not a bad way to break the news.
The original trailer introduces Sigourney Weaver right at the midway point, and how are you going to top the queen of sci-fi? But, eh! This is kind of annoying and offensive 1983 gender politicking, because SigWeavy’s barely in the rest of the spot — save for a brief moment of sexy wriggling on a bed — despite being a major character in the movie. Why doesn’t the old Ghostbusters trailer want my girl to shine? New Ghostbusters has the good sense to introduce Leslie Jones and let her do her thing all over the second half of this, smacking the shit out of Melissa McCarthy and providing the wheels for the new operation.
Still, neither trailer is avoiding marginalization here. If SigWeavy is shamefully downplayed in the old Ghostbusters materials, here it would have been nice to see new Ghostbusters include more than one woman of color.
However, Leslie rolls up with the new kicks, and, oh, man, that hearse is a great call.
The new Ghostbusters was operating on a handicap since old cars are both sturdier and cuter than new cars, but you know what’s better than an old car? An old car that transports dead people. New Ghostbusters is already showing some promising signs of good game.
More good game: stripy jumpsuits, Kate McKinnon’s wig gag, Kate McKinnon’s regular hair, Kate McKinnon’s goggles, women talking about quantum science. So, who you gonna call? OK, 1984, because that’s a whole movie and I can watch this trailer only so many times. But trailer to trailer? Let’s call it a draw.