Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Directed by Jason Reitman
Written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan
Reboots, remakes, reimaginings are often what gets served up most of the year in theaters. Ghostbusters (1984) introduced the wordl to four eccentric and quirky scientists who save the world. I have always liked the idea of science being the answer to solve the world’s problems. Ivan Reitman directed a phenomenal cast of Bill Murray, Dan Aykryod, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson in the first film in the long standing franchise. It is almost kismet that Ivan’s son, Jason, gets to helm this film. This film has two tall orders for it to be successful. One is to keep the comedy quirky and hit the right nostalgia beats. Unfortunately it does one really well, but not so much the other.
Here comes the spoilers.
A down on her luck mother, Callie, is facing eviction and can’t afford to pay rent and bills. She takes her two kids, Trevor and Phoebe (Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace) to live on her recently deceased father’s farm in Summerville, Oklahoma. Trevor takes a job at a local diner and Phoebe is enrolled in a summer science program. Here is where I felt the writer’s missed a huge opportunity of sibling rivalry. Trevor is the gear-head tinkerer and Phoebe is the analytical scientist. They could have been setup to always be at odds over how to approach things and this could have been used to setup some comedic moments and crafted another emotional note for the plot line when the two have to work together to save the day.
The science program teacher is played by the typically funny Paul Rudd, but here he seems to be wasted a bit. I think fans will love the original cast characters popping up here and there. It was also a touching tribute to Egon’s character played by CGI images of the late Harold Ramis. The other story beat they missed was the anger the daughter felt towards her father. They should’ve shown a flashback with two perspectives. One of the daughter watching her father leave her behind, and the one of the father doing it for her future and his wife agreeing to it. Obviously he had pictures of her growing up so therefore he had contact with his wife all those years. This would go to show the lengths of his sacrifice for the greater good and a father’s love for his child. Add to that two siblings coming together despite their differences to save the day would have given this film the emotional beats it sorely lacked. I hope future films infuse more heart into the plot.
Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.