‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Movie Review: A Gooey Mixture of Nostalgia, Humor, and New Adventures

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review

After the Hollywood strikes put a freeze on production schedules across the board last year, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is finally making its debut on the big screen! As a fan who thoroughly enjoyed the humor and nostalgia of Ghostbusters: Afterlife back in 2021, my excitement for this newest film was as high as the stacks of Twinkies in Egon’s lab. As a child of the 80s, the Ghostbusters franchise, with all its quirks and ectoplasmic residues, holds a special place in my heart.

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler clan is back at the famous New York City firehouse, joining forces with the legendary original Ghostbusters. Together, they’ve built an ultra-secret lab designed to revolutionize ghost hunting. However, their world turns upside down when they stumble upon an ancient artifact that awakens a horde of ghosts, plunging the city into a deadly freeze. Now, it’s up to the new and veteran Ghostbusters to band together, defend their city, and stop the world from spiraling into a new Ice Age.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Trailer

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

Set three years on from the ghostly happenings in Summerville, Oklahoma, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire brings us back to the bustling streets of New York City. The cast, consisting of familiar faces from Afterlife and some of the original ghost-capturing legends, promises a revitalized Ghostbusters crew. Yet, for me, it felt a tad too crowded, and character development took a hit.

With so many characters zipping around, there’s barely room to dive deeper into any one storyline. The movie, in its attempt to be a bridge between generations, ends up feeling a bit too stretched, like an overstuffed sofa that can’t comfortably fit all of its guests. Pacing is another element that haunts the narrative. At times, the film seems to meander like a lost soul, unsure of which storyline to draw attention to next.

But where Frozen Empire may stumble in rhythm, it dances beautifully in humor. The jokes feel more organic this time around, and there are countless delightful Easter eggs for fans. The result is an installment that feels less forced than its predecessor, allowing its narrative to breathe and move freely, which I personally found more enjoyable than Afterlife.

New Movies Coming Out This Week: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The Story & Script

The script, while dotted with quips and comedic gems worthy of the Ghostbusters legacy, falls short of being the tight, cohesive narrative one might expect. Key plot points feel underdeveloped or hastily introduced, leading to more questions than answers. The movie’s villain, while visually terrifying, lacks the backstory that made foes like Gozer or Vigo hauntingly memorable.

The Acting

The performances are all strong here. McKenna Grace, returning as Phoebe, once again proves that she’s the heart and soul of the new generation of Ghostbusters. Finn Wolfhard may be a bit typecast into this genre due to his work in Stranger Things and It, but he’s always enjoyable to see on screen – and his angsty teenage “I’m an adult” humor here is no exception.

Paul Rudd, with his effortless charm and wit, brings lightness to every scene in which he appears. And the original cast members, including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, return like beloved ghosts from the past, their chemistry unfaded by time. That alone makes the film worth seeing in my book.

But the character I enjoyed the most was Kumail Nanjiani as Nadeem. Nanjiani infuses his character with a remarkably fresh vitality that stands out even in a cast as crowded as this one. His performance is layered, blending comedic timing with a tangible sense of vulnerability and undeniable side-hustle vibes.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review
Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Overall Thoughts

Let’s be clear – Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire isn’t looking to win Oscars. It’s ectoplasmic fun – a wild ride through ghost-infested New York with plenty of callbacks to the franchise’s roots. For fans, it’s exactly what we signed up for: a gooey mixture of nostalgia, humor, and new adventures.

And, despite its narrative bumps and missed character connections, it strikes a chord with those of us eager to strap on a proton pack and rev up the Ecto-1. The franchise continues to capture the hearts of a new generation while tipping its hat to the old guard, proving that some stories, like ghosts, never truly fade away. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review Grade:

Grade: B


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