Why The New Ghostbusters Trailer Was Awful — And It Wasn’t Because of The Cast

The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) inside the Mercado Hotel Lobby in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.
The Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Patty (Leslie Jones) inside the Mercado Hotel Lobby in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS.

Why The New Ghostbusters Trailer Was Awful — And It Wasn’t Because of The Cast

When the first Ghostbusters trailer hit the webs, I was just like everybody else – it sucked.  Even through all the puke, bodily functions and insufferable lines (“That stuff went everywhere…in every crack”), I still managed to see glimpses of hope.  Kate McKinnon seemed likable, and the cast had some chemistry.  After becoming the most disliked movie trailer in the history of You Tube (wowsers), there’s no doubt this next preview had to hit a steroid induced grand slam to gain favor with the public.

That’s what they came up with?

I’ve supported this movie.  I’ve defended the casting.  I’ve done everything in my power to remain hopeful about this motion picture.  That latest trailer though was an absolute atrocity.  For a movie that’s supposed to be funny, it seemed allergic to good jokes.  Now I’m sure there will be many people who will accuse me of jumping on the band wagon of piling on this film.  I’m going to very specific on why this trailer blows, so don’t you worry.  Before we get into specifics though, there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

IF YOU HATE THIS MOVIE, YOU’RE A SEXIST JERK BAG WITH NO SOUL

I want to be very clear about this: My hatred for the trailer, and why I believe this movie will ultimately suck has nothing to do with the all female cast.  I’ll repeat – My hatred for the trailer, and why I believe this movie will ultimately suck has nothing to do with the all female cast.  Before any trailers came out, I was one of the movie’s biggest supporters.

Will there be people who hate this film because it’s all women?  Of course.  But there’s also A LOT of people who think this will be bad for pure movie reasons.  I don’t care if the four actors playing the Ghostbusters were Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender and Daniel Day-Lewis.  If they were given the same material, I’d be just as harsh.

There’s a lot of online chatter right now trying to guilt you into liking this movie.  Look, this is just a trailer.  We all have to keep an open mind when we see the film, but if the movie doesn’t deliver, don’t get scared into an opinion by online nonsense.  Again, just to be clear – if you hate this movie because it’s an all female cast, than you are totally pathetic.  I can only speak for myself, and I resent being lumped in with these scum bags just because I don’t like the trailer.

Now that we got that out of our system, onto the actual trailer.

Ghostbusters poster

THIS IS REALLY REALLY REALLY NOT FUNNY

Whether you’re comparing this to the original Ghostbusters or Ride Along 2, I don’t care.  It doesn’t change the fact that this material is horribly unfunny.  The writing is so putrid that not even the great talent involved can save it.  Melissa McCarthy’s opening narration is the most clichéd speech in the history of movies:

“We do things others can’t do.”

Come on!  I really don’t think I’m being unfair here.  It’s just bad writing.  Then they go right back to the puke joke that everyone hated from the last trailer.  Wow.  Is the Marketing team trying to do a bad job?

While McCarthy and Kristen Wiig are merely forgettable, it’s poor Leslie Jones who got the scraps at the bottom of the waste bucket.

“Oh man, that’s so not good.”

Ugh.  The sequence where she slow walks with the ghost on her back could work, but the comedy is cringe worthy.  We know Leslie Jones can be funny, but Robin Williams couldn’t make this work.  Again, this isn’t about comparing it to the original.  As a comedy, it’s painfully unfunny.  There’s a scene where Melissa McCarthy screams “YEAH!” and does a fist pump with her gun.  This is bottom of the barrel.

Now to be fair, this is all out of context.  There’s no question all this could be hilarious in the actual movie.  All we have to go on right now is a trailer, and as a trailer, it’s pretty damn terrible.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH ISN’T FUNNY

Ghostbusters poster

I ranted and raved about this in our Summer Preview Podcast, but who decided Chris Hemsworth was funny?  He’s a good Thor, alright!  Can we just leave it at that?  Why is there this obsessive need to turn this guy into a comedian?  Just let him be a solid action star, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

His delivery of “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” is one of the worst movie trailer moments I’ve ever seen.  Not only are you forcing one of the greatest lines in movie history, but his delivery makes you want to punch the screen.  Everything about Hemsworth in this trailer stinks.  The dialogue.  The delivery.  The whole possessive crap sucked in the first trailer, and with Chris Hemsworth at the helm, those scenes look like a chore.

While I could see myself liking the four main actresses, it will take a miracle for Hemsworth’s performance to resonate with me.  This was bad casting from the beginning, and should have gone to Channing Tatum.  I know he’s the obvious choice for this type of role, but it’s obvious for a reason.

THE SHAMELESS CALL BACKS

So far I’ve gone out of my way not to compare this with the original.  This is where I stop making apologies.  Dammit, it’s Ghostbusters!  I’m going to compare it to Ghostbusters!  I understand it’s for a new generation.  I understand I sound bitter and petty when I bring it up.  I understand this movie isn’t going to break into my apartment and steal my DVD copy of the first film.  I GET IT, ALRIGHT!  But if this movie was so hell bent on forging its own legacy, then why is it ripping off the original?  That’s what really irks me.

ghostbusterscharacter1

The “mass hysteria” line almost gave me a heart attack.  Much like every line in the original Ghostbusters, it’s a classic, yet it’s used obnoxiously in this new trailer.  Then we have Slimer, who looks exactly the same.  We have a “device” that amplifies paranormal activity.  Oh, you mean like the Zuul building that Ray Stantz eloquently states is “Spook Central.”

Then of course we get the final strawberry to top off this delicious sundae.  The Marshmallow Man.  Yup.  Arguably the most famous image from the ORIGINAL Ghostbusters makes an appearance here.  So if this is a Ghostbusters for a NEW generation, than why are images like Slimer and the Marshmallow Man being used to sell the film?  Is it for the old fans, or the ones you’re failing to attract?  Which is it?  Ultimately, they are failing on both fronts.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

I’ve done a lot of kvetching, but I truly want to love this film.  I really do.  And even though I lectured about how you shouldn’t be afraid to detest the film (if deserved), the other side of the spectrum is wrong too.  Don’t go in ready to hate it.  It’s important to repeat that everything here is out of context.  We don’t know how it’s going to play out.  Chris Hemsworth might be funny?  We don’t know.  I pray they are intentionally hiding the good jokes.  It’s interesting Kate McKinnon was barely in the trailer, yet she seems to be the true break out character.

What I’m here to do today is react to a trailer, and these are unfortunately my reactions.  My hypothesis is that the film will suck, but we can’t go in with preconceived notions.  Don’t let the guilt trippers force you to like this movie.  Don’t be influenced by a Rotten Tomato score.  Don’t let social media dictate your opinion.  Don’t let your love for the original Ghostbusters affect you either way.

Think for yourself.

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.