The next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe comes to us from the father/son team director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman (who directed the original films). That fact alone had me excited for what this film would have to offer.
So what’s the storyline of the film? Let’s keep it simple. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
Take a look at the trailer below.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Movie Trailer
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Movie Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like
Sequels, prequels, and remakes are a slippery slope. Rarely does a secondary film ever live up to the hype of a much-loved cult classic. Take 2016’s Ghostbusters, for example. It was a horrible film – despite an incredibly talented cast of females.
So how does Ghostbusters: Afterlife stack up to the previous films in the franchise? Well, it’s definitely better than 2016’s attempt. And I would argue that it does a good job at capturing the feel and absurdity of the original films from the ’80s. However, it still doesn’t hold a candle to Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
With films like this one, you have to enjoy it as a separate film. If you try to compare it too much to its predecessors, you’ll be disappointed. So what works well in this movie? Let’s start with the cast.
The film has an exceptional cast for this genre. First of all, Paul Rudd should be in every comedy. His timing and overall presence are delightful to watch on screen, and there’s no exception here. Next up, Finn Wolfhard also delivers a great performance. There’s something about the Stranger Things kids (well, they’re adults now) appearing in genre films that make me feel like we’re still in the 80s (Looking at you, It).
But the real star of this film is Mckenna Grace. She does a fabulous job at capturing Egon Spengler’s mannerisms. Her performance here, much like everything she has appeared in as of late, makes it clear that she’s one to keep an eye on. She does a fabulous job at capturing Egon Spengler’s mannerisms.
While there’s absolutely a shark-jumping moment in the third act of the film, one could argue that’s to be expected with this franchise. For me, it was a little too much over the top. Without divulging spoilers, I’ll just say something happens to Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd’s characters that we could have done without.
However, that aside, this movie does a good job at crafting a story that fits well inside this universe. There are too many Easter eggs to count (though I challenge fans to do so), and overall, it feels like it pays homage to the original films in a way that is respectable.
The Special Effects
The Ghostbusters franchise doesn’t have the greatest record for impressive special effects. But that’s okay. It’s not a movie that positions itself to be taken seriously. That being said, since the original film in 1984, visual effects have come a long way.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife does a solid job at retaining the quirky visual feel of the franchise while making it feel modern and probably more accepted to critiquing eyes of 2021. For what it’s supposed to be, from a visual effects stance, this film delivers.
Overall, the nostalgia is nice. The Easter eggs are awesome. And the film is fun.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife captures the spirit of the original films and pays tribute to them in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be the original films or replace them. While diehard fans aren’t typically fans of change, this film manages to change just enough while keeping all the pieces it needed for an entertaining sequel.
Just don’t go in expecting the magic from the first two films.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Movie Review