After 2016’s disappointing Ghostbusters movie, the franchise seemed finished. Could it, ironically, be brought from the dead? Or is Jason not the Reitman for the job.
When talking about all time loved movies, Ghostbusters(1984) will always pop up as a favourite from the era. Sure, the special effects are at today’s standard, but it’s heart endures the generations. The 2016 version proved that quick one-liners didn’t work for the Ghostbusters world. If it's a Ghostbusters movie we need, then who are we gonna call?
The story is very easy to explain. Essentially there is something strange in the neighbourhood of single mother Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard). They are pretty short on cash with only the house of Callie’s late father to their name however it turns out to have left behind a secret legacy connected to the original Ghostbusters.
The main point about this movie, and the exact reason I would recommend you bring your whole family to see it is simple. It’s the heart on show for the entire movie. Directed and partly written by Jason Reitman, who is the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan, the whole movie feels natural and a fitting addition to the name. Despite the strong debate for nepotism in Hollywood, it is this connection to his father that is at the central point of the story. Callie is far from loving towards her father and she wants nothing to do with the Ghostbusters name, as it was his obsession, to the point where she pushes her kids to steer away from their grandfather’s career, similarly to how Jason Reitman originally steered away from directing in his own career to not follow the same path as his father.
On top of that heart is a layer of silly humour, a classic “the world is ending” story and characters so generic that one of them is named Podcast. And I ate every single scoop of it up and loved it so much. Look, this movie isn’t going to redefine what cinema is. It’s not going to win any Oscars. It is, however, the kind of movie you will definitely watch again with your friends or family, when you are all snug on a Saturday night. Just pure entertainment through and through and that doesn’t happen as often as you think anymore. It is just a harmless movie. You don’t necessarily need to have seen the original, although the ending will hit much harder if you have. It knows what it is and sticks to it.
Lastly, the cast had to be talked about. Led by Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) mostly, Ghostbusters: Afterlife creates its own team through the movie. Nothing is forced but special acknowledgement has to be given to the sexiest man alive (not me, yet) Paul Rudd. Possibly the most likeable man around, Rudd’s love for the Ghostbusters of old, along with his almost childish wonder, make for a great link between the younger cast and the original franchise. Rudd is also a seismologist in the movie, which harkens back to the original Ghostbusters actually being incredibly well educated.
Overall, this movie will be deemed a silly family movie, aimed at kids with nostalgia bait for older viewers. My reply is that I don’t care. This movie is treating you to a good time, and in a cinematic world full of beautiful but boring movies (I’m strongly looking at you Dune), it’s nice to see a fun movie, where Paul Rudd gets attacked by tiny marshmallow ghosts, a child called Podcast comes face to face with a demon, and a director gets to add to a story his father told before him.
Director: Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air)
Gil Kenan (A Boy Called Christmas)
Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
Carrie Coon (Gone Girl, Avengers: Infinity War)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man, Clueless)
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, IT)
Mckenna Grace (Gifted, I,Tonya)
Running Time: 2h 4mins
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy