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ghostbusters: afterlife

★★★★

director: jason reitman (juno, thank you for smoking)
starring: mckenna grace, finn wolfhard, logan kim, and paul rudd

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

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.

Nostalgia has started to get a pretty bad rap recently. Filmgoers bemoan the lack of original films while simultaneously not supporting non-franchise films. But that’s too big of an issue to tackle in a review. And to be perfectly honest I’ve become a little bit tired of franchise films too to a certain extent. The story has to draw you in with a dash of originality, entertain you, and move you. All without relying on nostalgia. And Ghostbusters: Afterlife does all of that. While Ghostbusters: Afterlife definitely has gives you some heady, joyous hits of nostalgia it doesn’t rely on it, instead giving the audience a fresh, exciting tale with characters you grow to love and root for.  

 

When a single mother and her two children move to a new town, they soon discover they have a connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

 

I came to Ghostbusters pretty late in life (tales of ghosts were not welcome at our home). So I don’t have the nostalgia of sitting down with my folks and watching Ghostbusters as a kid. So throughout the film when the fan service moments popped up I thought to myself ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ But it didn’t make the film for me. Like any good film, the story and characters did. 

 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife does however feel like a film that doesn’t get released at the cinemas that much these days. A family-friendly (with a few scares - maybe not for tiny kids) adventure flick with a ton of heart and super cool gadgets. While narratively there are touchstones to the past, the story feels fresh and new, ushering in a new and exciting new Ghostbusters era. 

 

Phoebe, the nerdy kid, Podcast, the slightly odd but funny kid, and their teacher Mr. Grooberson (the superb Paul Rudd) are a great trio that you will fall in love with and want to see in more Ghostbusters films. 

 

There are plenty of thrilling encounters with otherworldly beings, a terrific car chase sequence, and nostalgia that really feels earned. You can’t help but walk out of Ghostbusters: Afterlife with a big, stupid grin on your face. Great fun and damn entertaining. Can’t wait for the next one!

 

While Ghostbusters: Afterlife definitely has gives you some heady, joyous hits of nostalgia it doesn’t rely on it, instead giving the audience a fresh, exciting tale with characters you grow to love and root for. 

★★★★