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Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Movie Review

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Wow.  And just like that a HUGE existential hurdle has just been crossed by a person who was raised on the set of the original film.  Makes sense then that the Ghostbusters story here in Ghostbusters: Afterlife is told from the viewpoint of a child discovering the truth about their own ghostbustin' grandpa and, honestly, it’s the best way to tell this narrative as we have a very touching moment that transcends the limitations of the movie and finds its way right into our very soul.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a complete and honest hit that resurrects all the right laughs and chills that you remember from the original two films. Bustin’ makes me feel good!

"Jason Reitman has put together a wonderfully heartfelt love letter to not just his father’s work, but to Ramis’ legacy as a Ghostbuster, too"


 

I like to imagine that this continuation of the Ghostbusters saga began with a dream or an image of Ecto-1 plowing through fields of endless yellow and grasshoppers in Oklahoma.  If this is where the seed of Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife - which focuses mainly on the Spenglers -  began then count me a happy man.  

Why?  Because growing up in the Midwest and walking to the local movie theater, which was mere blocks from where I lived,  to watch the original Ghostbusters over and over again was something I remember doing fondly.  Busting ghosts was a favorite pastime of my wheatfield-trapped imagination and, yes, my friends and I even dressed in the appropriate gear - with handmade proton packs - for Halloween of ‘84.  

While I have often found myself always defending Ghostbusters II (it still is not as bad as its reputation indicates), I always wished for more from the original ghostbusting team of Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, and the late Harold Ramis.  That hope seemed gone with the release of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call, the fun female-led version of the original film that went on to become a massive bomb.  

I did not expect Ghostbusters: Afterlife to ever see the light of day, but now that it is here, I cannot fathom a world where it does not exist.  

To put it plainly, writer/director Jason Reitman - son of the original director of Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman - has put together a wonderfully heartfelt love letter to not just his father’s work, but to Ramis’ legacy as a Ghostbuster, too.  This film - which focuses on kid ghostbusters in the Midwest - is very much a continuation of the original mythology that Ramis and Ackroyd put together.  Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Yes, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is extremely nostalgic, but there is not a faulty joint in its mechanics as we begin in an inspired story arc with a familiar face battling supernatural baddies - the locals call him the crazy dirt farmer - who seems to be trying to outrun something otherworldly in the fields of Oklahoma.  While in the shadows, there is little secret as to who this person is and it will be his family -  Callie (Carrie Coon), Egon's estranged daughter, and her two children, Trevor (Stranger Things’ Finn Woldhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace, who steals the show with her absolute charm) - who breathe new life into ghostbusting equipment found in his home after his passing, which is outlined in the beginning.  

After settling in, Phoebe discovers that both the house and the land - as Summerville is rocked with violent earthquakes that have even her teacher (Paul Rudd) stumped - are both haunted, although by two separate entities.  With mystery and humor, she finds herself stumbling into the path of her grandfather as a Ghostbuster.

Her ghostbusting begins, alongside her brother and Podcast (Logan Kim), with Chomper, but when the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster show up, along with miniature Stay Puft marshmallow men, she discovers there is something more than she is capable of dealing with.  So, she makes the call.  You know, THAT call.

Something is amiss here and only the original team of Ghostbusters - Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stanz (Ackroyd), and Winston Zeddemore (Hudson) - can help her stop it from ripping a hole from deep with the earth and filling the world with supernatural members of a familiar, yet very ancient eldritch of Sumerian origin.  Well, there is that friendly and guiding ghost in her grandfather’s house, too.

With its heart in the right place, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has all the right "feels" in place.  Ghostbustin’ feels right again thanks to this nostalgic trip back to the cinemas to kick some more supernatural ass.  Bring a tissue.  Bring two or three because there are some unexpected surprises from all FOUR members of the original team and be sure to stay for the ENTIRE credits.  The surprises - including all the fun hidden surprises laying about in the movie - are never ending and thankfully so.  

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is now playing in theaters.

5/5 stars

Film Details

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references.
Runtime:
124 mins
Director
: Jason Reitman
Writer:
Gil Kenan; Jason Reitman
Cast:
Carrie Coon; Paul Rudd; Finn Wolfhard
Genre
: Comedy | Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
Discover the Past. Save the Future.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I believe that everything happens for a reason. Call it fate... call it luck... call it karma.."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site: https://www.ghostbusters.com/
Release Date:
November 19, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife

 

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