Ghostbusters Afterlife Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
And here we are. The newest installment in the Ghostbusters Franchise. A series that may not be very high on my must watch list. Have always enjoyed them for the most part. The first one being a solid all around classic, the second having its moment and even the third has its dumb fun moments. So, I went in knowing that no matter what, should be at least entertained. Now, that I have watched, lets dive in and discuss shall we.
The movie kicks off with something going on in a mountain, and we see a shadowed Egon being chased. Making it to his farm. Attempting to lure the ghost into a trap, but it goes wrong. Managing to hide another trap before the ghost catches up and kills him and we make the jump to his family. We see his Daughter Callie, single Mother of Phoebe and Trevor. Trevor being typical 15 year old while Phoebe is 12 and tearing apart the apartment electrical wires. The landlord shows up and despite her best efforts. Explaining her Dad died and she can get him the rent shortly, is evicted. Leaving the only place to go is the farm. While they are looking through the house, Janine showed up. Not only saying there was no money, but massive amount of debit and the farm. After, going out to eat, where Trevor lied about his age to get a job… to be near a girl. Phoebe’s chess board is knocked over and when she wakes up the next day, a pawn had moved. Moving a knight she goes off to school. Meeting her teacher Gary Grooberson and fellow student, Podcast. After a jaunt with Trevor at work, we see Phoebe talking to Grooberson about the Earthquakes that had been happening. Since they are not on a fault line or volcano. There shouldn’t be any but they have been happening daily. After class, Podcast leads her up to the mountains when she says she doesn’t believe in ghosts. showing her the etches in the side of the mines. Of some very familiar figures. When she does make it back home, finds the opposing Knight had been moved. Moving another, sees a piece move on its own. Going back and forth, when the devise she found starts to go off. Following it and the lights turning on. Leading her to the Living Room and a spot on the floor. Where she uncovers the hidden Ghost Trap. Taking it to school where Gary sees and geeks out over it, especially, when he realizes that it is not a replica. Telling them the story of when the ghosts attacked Manhattan and how there hasn’t been a ghost sighting since. Showing them the video of the Ghostbusters and Phoebe learning that her Grandfather was Egon Spengler. Deciding to open it, they wire it to a School bus and when it opens, we see what appears to be one of Gozer’s demons launch itself out and flees into the Mountain. Leaving Phoebe to start digging into what is happening and why her Grandfather was really out here for and that is why it is out here.
They did a great job putting this story together. Weaving a solid mystery story for the kids to unravel while discovering who their Grandfather was. Re-learning who the Ghostbusters were. They didn’t ignore the events of the first movie and people accepted that ghost were real, for the most part. Since there hasn’t been the sighting the memory just faded and no one cared. Which was a lot better then they had faked it. Along with a good enough reason to bring Gozer back, with this being the spot for their return and they were about to rise in New York since the metal used in the apartment, came from this mine.
I thought the way they handled Harold Ramis’s Egon was really special and woderfully. It was strange going with Egon’s family. I get why, but out of the four, would have bet that he wouldn’t have had one, but they did a tremendous job at channeling his energy through Phoebe. Could really believe that this would have been Egon at that age. Have Egon be this great guy at the end who sacrificed everything, including his family to try and save the world and the end fight can definitely hit you in the feels. They even cut top black at the perfect moment. Stellar dedication to the late great Harold Ramis.
Think they did a great job on the look and feel of this movie. Having a real feel of eighties nostalgia. Going with a little town in Oklahoma helped with that a lot. Going with practical effects when they could was the right call. Although the Cg looked really good too. You can say they had a bit too much fan service at times, but I don’t think that was a problem. Most of which got a chuckle or response out of me and most of the people in the theater I was in.
The cast ranged from solid to excellent. Mckenna Grace did an awesome job as Phobe. Like, I said, really channeling Egon into her role. A socially awkward child who was trying her best to fit or ease the tension with bad jokes. While showing her strengths by taking the fight to ghosts and standing up to the likes of Gozer. Logan Kim did a great job as her friend Podcast. Being a great supporting character who got behind her and strong enough to stand on his own at the same time. Making for a perfect team. Emma Portner killed it as Gozer. Bringing out the same motions and aura as Slavitza Jovan had. Interactions with Phoebe were really entertaining and loved when she interacted with the original cast. Carrie Coon put a lot of energy and passion into Callie. Could feel her trying her best to raise two kids who are each pulling in their own direction and doing her best. Along with her on pain of not having her dad and only knowing him as the guy who left. Paul Rudd is funny in just about everything he is in and this role was certainly not different. While I didn’t care too much about Trevor at first, Finn Wolfhard did a solid job as Trevor. Which is perfect Segway to….
My only mixed take and that was I really didn’t care about Trevor at the start of this movie. I really just wanted to by pass the Trevor and Lucky stuff at the start because all the fun stuff was happening with Phoebe, Podcast and Gary. It’s apart of the mixed because this could very well change after another watch, but could also stay the same. Which is why it’s mixed and could very well be more on me then the film.
In closing, this movie did so much right. Provided an interesting story, good character work, and good mystery. Serving as a great installment to the Ghostbusters franchise and with what the post credit scene showed. Looking for a potential follow up and would suggest going out and checking it out at the theater. Final grade – A +
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!