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‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ plays it safe for an underwhelming revival

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ plays it safe for an underwhelming revival

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ plays it safe for an underwhelming revival
December 05
18:52 2021

For years, everyone has known who to call if there is something strange in their neighborhood. Just in case anyone forgot, we now have “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” as a reminder, the newest entry in the Ghostbusters franchise.

With a tone similar to the original, almost a little too similar, and a carbon copy of the original film’s third act, there is a lot to criticize. However, if you are a huge fan of the first film and don’t mind a little repetitiveness, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is a huge step in the right direction for the franchise. I was able to set aside my problems with the film and had a lot of fun watching it. Everything is getting a reboot or sequel now, and with a lot of opportunities to drop the ball, the film plays it safe and ultimately delivers.

This cast is actually pretty perfect. Mckenna Grace is, without a doubt, the best part of the film and solidifies herself as one of the best young actors working today. She has been in films like “Malignant” and “Captain Marvel” in smaller roles, but this film puts her front and center and it pays off.

Her character, Phoebe, is trying to find her footing in the world. She is probably the only character with an actual arc in the film, which is why she stands out so much, but regardless, Phoebe is a strong point in why this film absolutely works. Paul Rudd is in this movie, which is pretty much all I have to say. His character is there to be the Rudd we all know and love, so if you are a fan of PEOPLE’s 2021 Sexiest Man Alive, you will enjoy his time on screen. Carrie Coon and Finn Wolfhard give performances not really worth caring for. Wolfhard’s character could be absent from the entire film, and it would not have made a single difference.

I really enjoyed it when this movie was doing its own thing. There were glimpses of greatness, and you can see certain moments where taking a risk may have elevated the film a little bit more. I will always be a fan of movies swinging for the fences, even if the swing is a miss. There are a lot of formulas to follow with these blockbusters, and by the end of the second act, you can probably predict the outcome of where the film will be when the credits roll. It is not disappointing, but more exhausting because this film is not bad by any means — it is just a film we have all seen plenty of times before.

You would think a franchise like “Ghostbusters” would welcome all kinds of variety with their stories, but director Jason Reitman can’t help but rely on throwaway jokes from the original film to carry the weight of this newest entry. As far as continuing the legacy goes, Reitman and company do a solid job, but I wish there would have been more material to separate this film from the original. I love fan service just as much as the next person does, but when it is used to keep the audience from losing interest, it is a little disappointing. I am all for this movie getting a sequel because I want them to fully lean into this goofy world and see how crazy and creative they can get. All the pieces are there — it is just missing the desire to take a big risk.

I watched the first “Ghostbusters” at a very young age, and the weirdness of it all is what made me a huge fan. Nostalgia has been a huge selling point for pretty much every movie referencing the ’80s, and this movie is oozing with nostalgia. There are a lot of movies to go out and see right now, but if you are a fan of “Ghostbusters” or Paul Rudd, you will have fun with “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

Jaden’s final rating: 3.25/5

Image source Sony Pictures

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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