GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

I remember the experience of going to see the original/first Ghostbusters in the summer of 1984.  Ray Parker Jr.’s hit song was playing on the radio, and we were surrounded by the merchandising hype of clothes, toys, cereal, etc.  Part of this was fandom and part was the 80s themselves and the “how else can we get their money” mentality.  In 1989 Ghostbusters II came out and didn’t feel the same to me.  Like other movies at the time making sequels, it left something to be desired.  More time passed and I moved on to other interests.  In 2016 a reboot was made with an all-female cast; it was met with mixed thoughts and opinions.  I liked the concept and there were things I enjoyed in the movie.  2021 and we return to the canon of the first two films with the addition of some gender equality with Ghostbusters: Afterlife.  March 22, 2024, a few months shy of the 40th anniversary, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is released.

I rewatched the first two and Afterlife over the weekend.  This not only brought back memories, but it also improved the experience of watching Afterlife.  It may also have had a positive impact on my viewing of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.  This is not to say you must have seen or need to rewatch prior movies to enjoy this one.  Having the nuances, and the clear memory of what happened in the films allowed me to easily catch some of the easter egg moments and the emotional memories had me hyped up for it. 

The newest installment was written by Gil Kenan (who is also the Director), Ivan Reitman (Director of the first two films), and Jason Reitman (son of Ivan and Director of Afterlife).  It opens with a Robert Frost poem and then takes us to Firehouse Hook & Ladder Company 8 responding to a call in 1904.  This sets things in motion for what is to come.  Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) has relocated to New York City with her children 18-year-old Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and 15-year-old Phoebe (Mckenna Grace).  Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) is also with the family and still dating Callie.  Lucky (Celest O’Connor) and Podcast (Logan Kim) are also in New York working with the Ghostbusters.  Of course, Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) are still part of protecting the world from the paranormal.  There are other character appearances from prior stories and a few new faces.  Melody (Emily Alyn Lind) is a specter that is surprised Pheobe is not afraid of her, Lars Pinfield (James Acaster) is in engineering and development for the organization, and Nadeem Razmaadi (Kumail Nanjiani) is a slacker selling off his Grandmother’s treasures.

This film stayed closer to the flow of the first two with its wit, humor, flow, and pacing.  The mini-Stay-Puft men are back and Slimer has returned as well.  The acting is well done without anyone taking themselves too seriously in their role.  It does appear to be reaching out to a new (aka younger) fan base with a focus on Pheobe and how being 15 impacts her life, Trevor becoming a self-proclaimed adult, and their friends.

My only issue is with all the characters and subplots being laid out it took a bit longer to get to the expected battle with the baddie that was unleashed.  This led to a shorter battle than I wanted.  On the flip side, there are some moments where the creative side comes into play such as the scenes with the mini-Stay-Puft men and their hijinks, and a scene with an animated trash bag that I adored.  

In the words of Ray Parker Jr and as quoted by Gary, “Bustin makes me feel good.”  I did leave the movie feeling good and will be seeing it again to find more easter eggs.

The film is dedicated to Ivan Reitman who passed away in 2022.  He was given writer and producer credit posthumously.

 

Director: Gil Kenan

Written By: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman

Cast: Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Kumail Nanjiani,

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for supernatural action/violence, language, and suggestive references.

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Selig Rating: 4 stars

Runtime: 1h 55m

Release Date: March 22, 2024

Trailer: Ghostbusters Frozen Empire final trailer

Website: Ghostbusters Official Website

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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