GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

★★★

WHOLESOME FAMILY GHOSTBUSTING

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
15th December 2021

I think we have a new trend - the nostalgic reboot of a reboot. Right now, a lot of franchises seem to be getting a retooling, when both sequels and spinoffs have lost touch with the original work and filmmakers decide to strip it back and return to its roots. 'Halloween', 'Rocky' with 'Creed', 'Jurassic World', 'Planet of the Apes', and 'Terminator' like, 3 times. After 2016's disappointing box office result, it was time to finally return to a third 'Ghostbusters'.

In 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife', Egon (Harold Ramis, 'Knocked Up', 'Groundhog Day') has passed away and his estranged family has to travel to Summerville to clean up his past. His daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon, 'Gone Girl', 'Avengers: Infinity War') along with her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard, Netflix's 'Stranger Things', 'It') and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace, 'Gifted', 'Spirited Untamed') start to uncover things among the junk as paranormal behaviour haunts the town. When they talk to summer school teacher Gary (Paul Rudd, 'Ant-Man', 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'), they learn Ego was a Ghostbuster and his reason for leaving everything behind becomes clear. But with the original Ghostbusters disbanded, it's now up to Phoebe - who takes after her grandfather with her love of science - along with her brother, Podcast (Logan Kim) and Lucky (Celeste O'Connor, 'Freaky') to save the town.

'GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE' TRAILER

While I absolutely hate the "giving Ghostbusters back to the fans" angle, this new film is a completely engaging and energetic watch. It's the ultimate summer popcorn flick. Considering the plot, the film also does a really good job of handling fan service, and everything feels very natural. As a medium-level 'Ghostbusters' fan, the film hinted enough at the past films while building a great set of stepping stones for the future.

The kids are scene-stealing here. Mckenna Grace is perfect as Ego's granddaughter, and Finn Wolfhard as always is charming. While Rudd's casting does feel like he's here as a big name, he's also quite funny and enjoyable to watch. He never weighs things down; it's truly the kids' film.

The kids are scene-stealing here. Mckenna Grace is perfect as Ego's granddaughter, and Finn Wolfhard as always is charming.

While re-treading a lot of the first film, this entry is much scarier than any other entry in the franchise. While never reaching terrifying heights, it's fun the way they play with those scarier moments, yet it's still a family film. The film also has some great action scenes - the return of the Ecto-1 sequence is fantastic and the sound design is enormous, demanding to be seen (and heard) in Dolby Atmos.

The film does have the stupid plot point of the kids having to discover who the Ghostbusters were and realise they are related to one. I understand it happened in the past, but it was the 80s and was well-documented. If this happened in our world, I don't think people would easily forget people defeating ghosts.

'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' is both a throwback and step forward for the franchise for fans and newcomers. The nostalgia is strong but the new characters really steal the show. Aided by heart, scares and comedy, it's the ultimate summer blockbuster.

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