Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Although rough in spots, the follow up to Ghostbusters: Afterlife is an improvement. Overstuffed with a bit too much fan service and a bland CGI big bad, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire pales in comparison with the original, but it does still provide its share of fun. The sequel brings back the Spengler descendants and more familiar faces of the original movie as well for another big stand against both the politics of Ghostbusting in the Big Apple and a fight against an evil god out to destroy New York.

The most interesting aspect of the film deals with Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace) who is struggling with the Mayor decreeing she's too young to be a Ghostbuster, dealing with a bit of teen angst towards her mother (Carrie Coon) and her now boyfriend (Paul Rudd), and beginning an unexpected friendship with a ghost (Emily Alyn Lind). The last of these is really where the film breaks a bit of new ground even if it doesn't lead to the inevitable question of whether busting ghosts is really the best thing for them.

Phoebe gets all the best bits of the film here, as after reestablishing the characters and the moving into her role as the linchpin in the script it almost feels awkward for Rudd, who is nevertheless charming, and the rest of the Spenglers to be brought back in. Into the mix we also get Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson reprising their roles (along with a couple other returns I won't spoil here). In terms of new characters, other than Lind's ghost, the only notable addition is Kumail Nanjiani in a rather obvious callback to the Key Master of the first film, albeit with a different twist.

While I had fun with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, I struggle to remember much of anything specific about it and have never had a desire to seek it out for a second viewing. Even if it's fueled at times by a little too much nostalgia, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is certainly more memorable, and more effective, than the previous film while also flexing a bit to expand the Ghostbusters family to Winston's team of scientists. The effects of both the ghosts and the freezing effect work really well and the return to New York provides several callbacks to the first two films from Ray's book shop to the return to the New York City Public Library. Fans of the franchise should have fun with this one.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
  • IMDb: link

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