Welcome back you everyone. It is I, Doc Comeau and I am back with another movie review. This week I am reviewing the new installment of the Ghostbusters franchise, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. A movie that serves as a tribute to Harold Ramis, the actor who played Egon in the original films. Afterlife stars Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Logan Kim and Celeste O'Connor. This movie is a tribute to Harold Ramis so it will be impossible to avoid spoilers until after my review as normal. So you are warned now. You should watch the movie before reading this review.
Authored by Doc Comeau on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 at 2:27 PM EST
All Photos from IMDb
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is technically the fourth installment of the Ghistbusters Franchise, however, it serves as a true sequel to the first two films and erases the remake film from the world's continuity entirely. I cannot for the life of me fathom a reason anyone alive today would not know about the Ghostbusters Franchise, but if you do not know it's the story of a group of paranormal investigators that confront trap and solve hunting and stop Demonic attacks. Afterlife is the story of Egon's Grand Children and their friends, discovering the GHostbusters technology upon his death, taking up the mantle of Ghostbuster from the original team and finishing Egon's last task as a Ghostbuster.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was Directed by Jason Reitman, the man responsible for producing and directing the films Juno, Up in the Air, and Thank You For Smoking. Reitman is a Film Producer and Director from Montreal, Canada. I don't really know anything about the latter two films myself as I have not seen it, but I am familiar with Juno, which was a comedic drama about child pregnancy and the choice of how to handle the situation to benefit both the mother and the child. I will have to check out the other two films.
Next we have the first two of the new Ghostbusters Egon's granddaughter Pheobe portrayed by Mckenna Grace (Left) and her newly made friend Podcast played by Logan Kim (Right). Like her grandfather Pheobe is a genius science prodigy with an almost autistic social awkwardness worthy of filling the shoes of the Legendary Egon Spangler and Podcast is the host and creator of a paranormal podcast about the mysteries of the unknown. A well suited pair for half of the new team.
Next we have the second half of the new team Pheobe's brother Trevor (Left) played by Finn Wolfhard and his new friend Lucky, played by Celeste O,Connor, who is coworker, love interest and the daughter of the local sheriff (Right). Trevor earns his spot on the team by restoring the classic Ecto-1 Ghostbuster's Mobile and Lucky secures her spot by helping retrieve the ghostbusting equipment locked away in the evidence room of her father's office. Another well suited pair for what appears to be the new official Ghostbusters team. Though I would like to have seen Lucky contribute a bit more than she did in this particular film.
Paul Rudd (Right) plays Mr. Grooberson a science teacher in a local town plague by weird seismic activity and Carrie Coon (Left) is a Callie Spengler daughter of Legendary Egon Spangler and mother to two of the four new Ghostbusters. Together they are new Keymaster and Gatekeeper of Gozer and serve to resuming her and her army of phantasms. It was the same storyline as the first movie, but with a new twist and these two fulfilled their roles perfectly.
Rotten Tomatoes Scores
This film was only recently released from the Box Office and is still the only place to see the film to my knowledge. At this point Rotten Tomatoes has the movie rated at "63%" on the Tomatometer and the Audience has given the new entry into the franchise a "95%." The Tomatometer is based off of "254" critical reviews and the Audience Score is comprised of over five thousand reviews. Below you can read both the Critics' and the Audience's Consensuses.
CRITICS CONSENSUS: Ghostbusters: Afterlife crosses the streams between franchise revival and exercise in nostalgia -- and this time around, the bustin' mostly feels good.
AUDIENCE CONSENSUS: A great cast, a fast-paced story, and tons of callbacks to the original movies make Ghostbusters: Afterlife fun for fans of the franchise.
Story and Screenplay
I normally give my overall rating at this point to avoid spoilers, but since that is not a concern here we can simply move onto the breakdown of the three areas at which I reviewed this film. Starting as always with the Story and Screenplay of the film. A story that was unique and the same as the original film. A suitable threat for the new team to handle on their first outing.
This installment in the franchise is essentially the same story of the original Ghostbusters film. The Keymaster and Gatekeeper of Gozer re-appear and allow Gozer the Gozerian to return to the world of the living. The new team with the help of the old must stand against her and stop her once of for all.
This is accomplished by bringing Egon's family to an old Farmhouse in rural America to settle his affairs after his death. His grandson in a desire to escape the small town and be free claims and works to salvage and rebuild the Ecto-1. The Ghostbusters' classic emergency response vehicle and his granddaughter discovers his equipment and plan with the help of Egon himself in Ghostly form. The pair bring onlong friends they meet along the way to form the new Ghostbusters and set out to finish what Egon started with the help of the original Ghostbusters.
The story ultimately ends with both the new Ghostbusters and the original Ghostbusters fighting Gozer with new and old tricks before trapping her and her entire army in a giant ghost trap made using Egon's farm. I enjoyed the story and despite reusing old plot elements it felt like a proper addition to the ongoing world and lore of the franchise. I give this section of the film a 7 out of 10. It looses some points for the reused plot elements.
I enjoyed the story and despite reusing old plot elements it felt like a proper addition to the ongoing world and lore of the franchise. I give this section of the film a 7 out of 10. It looses some points for the reused plot elements. - Doc Comeau
Performaces and Dialogue
The performances and dialogue were fitting the tone and humor of the two original films it follows. Trevor's way into the fight against Gozer made perfect sense. He wasn't just Egon's grandchild as mentioned he earned his place on the team by spending the beginning of the film working to restore the Ecto-1 to escape the lame small town he was stuck in that particular summer. Despite it's unusual appearance the classic Catalac that is the base for the Ecto-1 was recognized by Trevor and he gave her the love she needed to come back to life. Ghostbusters fans know this vehicle is a character in its own right.
His relationship with Lucky was typical for a boy his age and his Dialogue wasn't that spectacular, but there was one scene that stood out. The two of them were working in the burger joint they met at and Trevor was cold and she gives him her hoody and when he compliments it she tells him it's her boyfriend's and he freaks out and takes it off. Though neither of them got much screentime as this was essentially the story of Pheobe discovering who her grandfather truly was.
In that light Mckenna did an excellent job in her performance of Pheobe who was essentially a child version of her grandfather Egon Spangler. She had his level of intelligent and her facial expressions sold her awkward off humor jokes. Her friend Podcast was like a walking fan boy and the perfect companion to Pheobe who was initially skeptical of the existence of ghost and referred to humans as walking meat sacks
Paul Rudd was Paul Rudd. He needs no explanation. He fulfilled his role as the Keymaster perfectly and managed to maintain his unique brand of comedy. Though let's be real he is one of those characters that is the same character in every film you see them in.
His partner Egon's daughter didn't get much screen time outside being the Gatekeeper. She served more as character growth for Egon's final character arc. Though Carrie Coon fulfills this role perfectly. This part of the film was excellent. With the addition of the cameo of the original Ghostbusters I would have to give this part of the film an 8 out of 10. The chosen cast really brought the movie to life.
With the addition of the cameo of the original Ghostbusters I would have to give this part of the film an 8 out of 10. The chosen cast really brought the movie to life. - Doc Comeau
This is another area this film got correct. Instead of using CGI heavy special effects the Remake chose, this film kept the same aesthetic of the original films it directly follows. This choice was perfect for fans that didn't like the look of the last film. Basically destroying the narrative that the Remake was hated for sexism as we had a female lead here.
The only fail in this section of the film was the first time the group took out the Ecto-1 for an active ghost hunt. The sequencing and camera shots were perfect, but they missed the perfect opportunity to use the Iconic siren and emergency Alert. The car is a character unto itself and the first time she came to life she should have been allowed to tell the audience who and what she was.
Other than that it was your typical Ghostbusters film, though the shots with the original team and the Ghost of Egon despite Harold Ramis' death added to the film. They managed to not only make an enjoyable Ghostbusters film for new and old audiences, they turned it into a memorial to Ramis without sacrificing good storytelling. Loved that he looked like Ramis though I would have like to see him speak.
This section of the film gets a 7 out of 10 from me. It could have been an 8, but they lost a point for not allowing the Ecto-1 to sing the first time she went on a ride. The crew on this film knew what they were doing and it looked and felt like the original films. I hope to see more with the new team.
This section of the film gets a 7 out of 10 from me. It could have been an 8, but they lost a point for not allowing the Ecto-1 to sing the first time she went on a ride. The crew on this film knew what they were doing and it looked and felt like the original films. I hope to see more with the new team. - Doc Comeau
Despite being a fanboy and loving every second of this film after the sacrilege that was the Remake, I did have to put on my Critic hat and this film lost points. It could have been and epic 8 or 9 out of 10 had they gave some of the other new team members more relevant screentime, allowed the Ecto-1 to sing her song, and didn't rehash the plot points from the original film. I was forced to give this film a 7.3 out of 10. It's a fantastic film and can be enjoyed with friends and family. I recommend spending the money to see it in the theater while you still can.
It could have been and epic 8 or 9 out of 10 had they gave some of the other new team members more relevant screentime, allowed the Ecto-1 to sing her song, and didn't rehash the plot points from the original film. I was forced to give this film a 7.3 out of 10. - Doc Comeau
1) IMDb.com. (2021, November 19). Ghostbusters: Afterlife. IMDb. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4513678/.
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2 )Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Rotten Tomatoes. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghostbusters_afterlife.
Archived At; https://archive.ph/5IPRN