- April 10th, 2022, 4:43 pm#4968784
I think the human/authoritarian antagonists help to add an occasionally necessary friction to the Ghostbusters' operation, which then allows them to be seen triumphing over small obstacles as well as the bigger ones. Additionally, the human antagonists can occasionally provide a bit of checks and balances to keep the Ghostbusters grounded in a moral sense.
Which is why the human/authoritarian antagonists need to evolve with the reality of the Ghostbusters' world, we've had three movies of antagonistic or obstructive humans who've been so largely because they didn't believe the Ghostbusters were anybody but quacks.
And one of the big missteps with Ghostbusters II was the effective reset of the world... That the majority of people opted to believe what they'd witnessed was a hallucination, and I think rebooting the public's view on things robs the franchise of the possibility of telling additional interesting stories, stories that the comic series has been able to either tell outright, or hint at, because it was able to establish that ghosts are now part of everyday life.
Specifically, one of the more interesting stories from the comic was the Ghost Smashers arc, getting a glimpse into what could've happened if the Ghostbusters were less principled and more unscrupulous - likewise the story's part-inspiration, the RGB episode Robo-Buster, which again shows some of the strength in human antagonists, while not diminishing the paranormal thread the Ghostbusters encounter.
Let's consider our real-world examples for a moment and see the possibilities if we translate them into the Ghostbusters world: an antagonist who assumes he/she knows more than the Ghostbusters do about the spirit world, another who's well-meaning but misguided... Someone who combats the Ghostbusters because they think they're oppressing a previously-unknown minority, or another who coerces some ghosts into running a protection racket. Even a relative who attempts to sabotage the Ghostbusters' attempt to remove a ghostly relative because to everyone else, that ghost is a nuisance.
The flaw with Hardemeyer was that he was just another Peck: a two-dimensional authoritarian who's just there to be a bad guy... When the best bad guys need to be someone with a bit of depth, and maybe even someone who has an understandable stance even if we don't agree with it.
Feeling overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic? Please visit The Support Thread.What would Ryan do?