Afterlife REVIEW: Ghostbusters – A Fun Return To The Franchise
Directors have had to face a difficult task in following up the genre-blending, joyous success of Ghostbusters. Comedy veteran Paul Feig tried to reboot the show in 2016. It received a cold reception. However, it is still open to debate how many social politics played. Even Ivan Reitman’s 1989 sequel was criticized by critics and audiences alike. Its Tomatometer score, 53%, was 44% lower than its initial rating.
When it was announced that Jason, Ivan’s son, was the next blockbuster, one could easily believe the odds were against him. This is an entertaining, funny, and engaging movie that’s made for the cinema.
Ghostbusters Afterlife follows Carrie Coon’s Callie (the late Harold Ramis), daughter of Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, and her family as she moves into an old farmhouse that Egon left behind. They discover a rising tide of supernatural beings. After finding the tools left behind by their spirit-skirmishing grandfather, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Phoebe(Mckenna Grace), they fight back against an impending apocalypse, using everything from ghost traps to proton packs.
Jason Reitman, the director of this film, has stated that it would “hand back the movie to the fans” from the moment it was announced. This is to recreate the magic that made 1984’s release so famous. Many were concerned about this film becoming a nostalgia-driven nostalgia-fest, with little original content, as evident by comments like these.
There is plenty of nostalgia in this film, but aside from a very on-the-nose dialogue line (where one character said the line “Who are you gonna call ?”),”), the film almost treads the fine line between sentimentality, creativity, and even creativity to a satisfactory degree. There are some self-indulgent moments like the return of well-known cast members, but overall, this film is excellent.
This is due to the charm of the characters and the live performances of the actors portraying them. Callie is a delightful role for Coon. She brings a relaxed, carefree attitude to the role, but she delivers strong emotions when needed. Paul Rudd is the main attraction of Afterlife. He’s charismatic and works well alongside Coon to build a sweet and authentic relationship. Grace is the main star of the show. Her incredible comedic timing makes her a relatable lead, and you will root for her success.
Wolfhard is assigned a more difficult job and fails to do his best. Wolfhard is a familiar character – a mopey teenager who only cares about his phone more than anything else. It is difficult to care about his story or his fate. This leads to an endless eye roll whenever the camera switches over to his generic subplot.
Afterlife’s pacing is also a problem and fails to justify its two-hour-plus duration. It takes too long for the first act to get started, and it feels slow and sluggish while slowly introducing each character. Reitman could have cut 30 minutes off the story without compromising the storytelling.
It is a great film when it gets moving. This movie is more action-adventure than previous series installments and is well-suited for the big screen. Many set pieces are genuinely thrilling, including the chase of a metal-munching beast with their Ecto-1. This movie provides the kind of high-octane action we missed in closed cinemas.
Others, such as the scene where cute Mini-Pufts terrorize Paul Rudd at a Walmart superstore in Walmart, are genuinely hilarious. Forget the fact that many of this cast are teenagers – this still has plenty of humor for grown-ups to appreciate. Ghostbusters: Afterlife may be getting a bit of a kicking from many critics, but don’t be fooled; this is a hell of a ride. While it has its faults, the show is still a great experience regardless of whether you are a fan or not. There is still life in the old franchise.