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Critics Review
Ghostbusters: Afterlife review – Film offers no horror or comedy, just boredom

Paul Rudd who is a part of the film just shouldn’t have starred in this supernatural comedy.

2.0
Aishwarya Vasudevan
Nov 18, 2021
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Story:

The sequel to the original Ghostbusters world comes from filmmaker Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman. When a single mother and her two children move to a tiny village, they uncover their link to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan wrote the screenplay.

Review:

Taking a legacy forward is tough and taking a franchise forward is tougher. Jason Reitman took the responsibility on his shoulders, to direct the next instalment of the Ghostbusters franchise which was started by his father Ivan Reitman. Titled Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the film, unlike its 90s counterparts of having New York as its premise, is set against the backdrop of a small town named Summerville in Oklahoma.

One of the main Ghostbusters is played by the late actor Harold Ramis, as Dr. Egon Spengler's death leads his estranged daughter and her kids to move to this rustic town permanently. The good part of the film is that the makers didn't replace Ramis, who passed away in real life in 2014. That's another legacy that they kept on, which brought an emotional depth to the film.

Carrie Coon as Callie Spengler plays a single mother to Mckenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler and Finn Wolfhard as Trevor Spengler.

So if you have a Stranger Things actor featuring in a horror-comedy, it's unlikely that there will be many references to the series. The film looked more like a Netflix show spin-off where strange things were weirder and idiotically conceptualised.

The hero of the film is Grace, who will remind us of her grandfather Spengler's attitude and love for science. Despite getting scared, she connects with the house immediately and discovers all the research her grandpa did during his lifetime to bust ghosts in every possible way.

The young actor also did a stupendous job by going from a timid and nerdy pre-teenager to a brave girl who believes in her grandfather's legacy and wants to take it forward.

Before I forget, the film also features Paul Rudd, who should most probably wipe this out of his filmography. The "sexiest man alive" gets a good start in this film when you think of him joining the forces as a ghostbuster. But no, the makers thought of the stupidest thing for his role, which is just unjustifiable and a disappointment to the next level.

He plays Gary Grooberson, who is a seismologist and a summer teacher. While he shows horror movies to his students during class, Grooberson examines the tremors that take place in the town every day. But the role could have been done by anyone or something that he could have opted for during the start of his career.

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The actor who gave us Ant-Man, Living With Yourself or the latest, The Shrink Next Door, did a bad job in this film and by choosing to be a part of it.

One of the good characters to watch out for is Logan Kim, as Podcast, who, like his name, has a podcast in which he records anything and everything. He helps Phoebe by finding ghosts and busting them as a "usual" brave kid would do.

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Wolfhard blends in as a supporting character but brings very little to the table. Although he is entertaining to watch, it's not something new to witness on the screen. The actor who plays Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things has been doing the same.

Meanwhile, Coon brings an emotional angle to the story, but the way she gets roped into the whole ghostbusting thing will make you shake your head immediately. It would be a major spoiler (not an interesting one though) if it's disclosed here.

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The film also brings back the original characters: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis (CGI), Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson, reprising their roles. They, sadly, do not help as a catalyst but offer hints that this is not the end of the franchise.

Going the Marvel way, two post-credit scenes show where and how the series will be taken forward.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife has no jump scares or any scary moments that will make you gasp or even cover your face (if you dislike or are scared of watching horror films). The film is more of an attempt to be funny rather than go horror-way. However, it fails miserably in falling into both genres.

Not just that, even the start of the film starts with a boring sequence that doesn't bode well for the premise, and as it progresses, the boredom stays throughout.

Jason Reitman, who has directed Juno, took the great responsibility of taking his father's franchise forward. Unfortunately, he just couldn't match up to the screenplay, forget the execution.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife shows how a supernatural comedy flick can go wrong in every possible way, despite having a franchise to carry forward.

Verdict:

Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn't stick to its genre of supernatural comedy and does not fit into any category. The film just goes haywire in its execution, primarily due to a poorly written screenplay.


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