GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE (2021)
A balance of fan service to call back to what has come before and fresh faces to take the franchise into the future, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a fine, but familiar watch that fails to chart any new meaningful course in a film that leaves me more to be desired.
Inheriting her home from a her late father, a single mother (Carrie Coon) and her two children (Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace) move to a new town where secrets will be unearthed and chaos is on the horizon. As a fun family film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife mostly works, though the fun is hit and miss. Such a film, however, seems different from the sci-fi comedy of the original two films (and a far cry from 2016’s adventure that is completely ignored). The focus on Wolfhard and Grace’s characters was a smart choice; their energy largely carries the film and aids the delivery of nostalgic moments with their enthusiasm and interest. It’s hard not to be brought right back into the lore, but that’s not always a great thing.
Why the decision was made to basically lift the villain from the first film, complete with their trusty CGI dogs, and rehash what we have already seen, I’ll never know. Sure, we get Paul Rudd and his comedic timing, but even that is short lived as he descends into goofy-entranced mode, getting lost in the shuffle much as Coon did from the beginning. Writer/director Jason Reitman mostly does a nice job, but he plays it too safe; I went in wanting something new, and instead found myself wavering in enjoyment until the last 10-15 minutes. While the rest of the movie may not rise past mediocrity, the final scenes knocked it out of the park. The true crime, however? No Slimer. Shame.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is now playing in theaters.
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