Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, Dan Aykroyd (Screenplay)
Starring: Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Paul Rudd
Plot: 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.
Tagline – If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, then you know who to call.
Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Ghostbusters: Afterlife starts when Callie (Coon) and her children Phoebe (Grace) and Trevor (Wolfhard) are forced to leave New York to move to the remote farmhouse owned by Callie’s estranged father and former ghostbuster Egon Spengler.
As Trevor tries to fit in with the everyday teenagers his own age, Callie finds herself meeting Phoebe’s summer schoolteacher Mr Grooberson (Rudd), but Phoebe starts investigating what happened to Spengler, learning about her grandfather, and needing to work with her new friends to stop an apocalypse.
Thoughts on Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Characters & Performances – Phoebe is the social awkward youngest daughter to Callie, she finds the new home filled with science she wants to explore, learn and discover, finally finding a place where she feels comfortable in life. She is the heart and soul for of the film, the one that will look most comfortable in this new world. Mckenna Grace is brilliant in this role, looking the role of the uncomfortable young girl, while being brave enough to stand up and make the difference. Trevor is the older teenage brother that hates the idea of moving to a small town, but does what he can to meet other teenagers with his hapless pick up lines. Trevor does fall into the typical older sibling that reluctantly helps the younger one on their mission, getting more of the lines that make sense to comic relief of what is happening. Finn Wolfhard plays this role well through the film, staying on the right side of the line, with the character having the potential to become annoying. Callie is the single mother that has been struggling to make ends meet, always having resentment towards her father for abandoning her, she also struggles to connect with Phoebe, not being the biggest support of scientist. Carrie Coon does give us a character that is easy to connect to, as we see how her life changed because of her father’s decision. Podcast and Lucky complete the younger members of the cast, Podcast being brilliant to watch with every line not feeling like it should happen, but makes it work for someone who is equally as much of an outsider as Phoebe. Lucky on the other hand is a waitress that Trevor falls for, being one of the only other younger members of the town, he gets to meet. Mr Grooberson is the summer schoolteacher that just puts on horror movies for the kids to watch while he studies seismic activity in the area. He learns about Callie’s past, wanting to help them learn about what is happening, only to find himself needing to deal with ghostly figures in life. Paul Rudd works as the supporting comic relief, much like how Chris Hemsworth did in the 2016, they bring the laughs, while everyone else is doing the bigger picture. When it comes to the returning cast, they will get their moments without needing to become a major part of what is happening with the youngest.
Story – The story here follows the daughter and grandchildren of one of the famed ghostbusters who inherit his home after his death, despite not knowing anything about him, where they find themselves needing to continue his work and stop a potential apocalypse. This is a story that looks to bring a new version of the popular 80s movie, one that will continue on the lives of the previous characters through the eyes of the younger family members, needing to take on the same threat. The story will give us a family that will need to discover more about their past to understand their future, need to face emotional boundaries they have built up and learn how to become ghostbusters. Sure, the last part feels different from the rest, but this is about discovery and finding your own path, no matter how different you might be seen as. We will get to see the original reason to why the group split up, but it is only a small part of the bigger story going on here.
Themes – Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a comedy fantasy that will take us back to the world of the original Ghostbusters, where we see what has happened to fellow family members after all these years. The comedy does come from a different direction that the first, which does work for the playing into the awkwardness of the children in the new town, but nothing from the ghost connection. The fantasy side of the film might well be the same as the original, just new location, it will show us just who is ready to step up. The change of location does help the movie step out to itself, showing us the problems could become bigger in the grander scheme of things. The film also brings back many of the original famous parts, which will make us want to return to see more in the future, how they could evolve things.
Final Thoughts – Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a brilliant use of nostalgia, while offering a farewell to a popular cast member.