It has been a long five years dealing with the obsessive whining and complaining of those who refuse to accept the fact that nobody liked the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.
Paul Feig’s all-female reboot of Ghostbusters resembled a modern-day episode of Saturday Night Live more than it portrayed a reboot of one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. For years, anyone who refused to proclaim the Melissa McCarthy led film as a cinematic marvel was labeled a sexist and an incel despite the movie losing nearly 60 million dollars for Sony.
It was a rough period for true fans of Ghostbusters against those who looked to hijack the franchise to push their political narrative but things quickly turned around when Jason Reitman was announced as the writer and director of the latest Ghostbusters movie that would ignore the 2016 disaster film and serve as a direct sequel to 1989’s “Ghostbusters II”.
Reitman being the son of director Ivan Reitman, the man who was at the helm for the 1980s Ghostbuster films, there was a promise to return the heart and the soul of the franchise back to the fans and Jason certainly pulled that off with “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”.
Set 30 years after the events of “Ghostbusters II”, a single mother and her two children are forced to move to the middle of nowhere town known as Summerville, Oklahoma. Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) is the estranged daughter of the late Dr. Egon Spengler.
After his passing, Egon left his home and equipment to his grandkids Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard). Summerville is a town where nothing truly happens except a series of unexplained earthquakes that rock the town. As Phoebe begins to dig around her grandfather’s belongings she begins to realize that Egon was planning for the arrival of something that can doom all of humanity and now she will have to finish the job for him.
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is the best Ghostbusters film in the last 6 years, but that isn’t saying much. While the film is full of fanservice and callbacks, a return to form is welcome for a franchise that has been starving for a positive move forward for the last 32 years.
The writing is a huge improvement as the humor is sharper and smarter than the previous film. Jason Reitman stays true to the source material and provides a film full of charm with the help of a great cast.
Mckenna Grace carries the movie as Egon’s granddaughter that shares a lot of similarities with the late Harold Ramis’s character. Grace delivers a performance worthy of audiences wanting to see more of her in future films even outside of the Ghostbusters universe.
Moving the franchise out of New York City gives Afterlife a fresh coat of paint by allowing them to take the story outside of the city and create new and impressive set-pieces in Middletown USA.
There are times where the film borders on pandering with its nostalgia. There is a case to be made that the film is too heavy on fan service to the point it takes too many callbacks with the original but the central idea here was to make fans happy after the firestorm surrounding the last film and hopefully build towards the future by going in the right direction.
Afterlife is a film that pays homage to its predecessors in the right way and you don’t have to be guilted into liking it.
Whether “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is the first step in a new direction with a younger cast of stars depends on box office receipts but the film excels in charm & fun and that is really all that is needed.