To say that the enthusiasts of the Ghostbusters franchise rightfully hold these movies to a high standard is an understatement. The original Ghostbusters story offered something for everyone. Ghostbusters was a perfect blend of comedy, science fiction, and action with a small touch of horror to spook the 80s babies while remaining safe enough to maintain the seal of a PG rating. The Ghostbusters, a franchise conceived by Dan Ackroyd, has given us 2 classic 80’s flicks directed by Ivan Reitman, the comedic mastermind behind films like Meatballs, Twins, and Kindergarten Cop as well as a video game, The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, etc. A lot has changed in the world over the last 30 years and The Ghostbusters are back with a direct sequel to the first 2 films. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is appropriately directed by Jason Reitman, the son of the director of the original films, and I can honestly say that this film lives up to all of its standards.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife comes through with the classic ‘kids are smarter than the adults’ scenario as Phoebe and Trevor, the grandchildren of Egon Spengler, move with their mother to their recently deceased grandfather’s house in a small town in Oklahoma. Trevor is played by Finn Wolfhard, whom you may recognize from Stranger Things. Maybe Netflix was dropping an easter egg on us with that one. Phoebe has a great relationship with science and makes friends with her teacher, played by Paul Rudd. Rudd’s character, Gary Grooberson, is the type of teacher that shows movies like Child’s Play in his classroom and makes statements like, “Science is a safety pin through the nipple of academia.” The dynamic between Rudd and the teenage cast is brilliant as he stands as the textbook example proving that the kids are actually smarter than the adults.
This film offers just enough nostalgia to satisfy one’s longings for that 80’s comedy vibe while not relying too heavily on this factor to sell the movie. Afterlife feels like a modern film in the ways that you would expect as the special effects are amazing, the cinematography is topnotch and there is a higher production value that is evident throughout the entire picture. The comedic dialogue also feels modern in comparison but there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and quotables like, “Your grandfather was a legend! You can literally be anything you want like an influencer or DJ!”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a solid blockbuster that holds its own against anything in the Marvel Universe. This franchise has loads of potential and could go a number of directions as the universe is fun, relatable, and palatable. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the perfect flick for folks who like big, exciting, action-packed comedies.