GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE – “The nostalgia baits work – the frostbitten plot, not so much”

gbfe

RATING

DIRECTOR

Directed by: Gil Kenan (Monster House – 2006)

MAIN CAST

• Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson
• Carrie Coon as Callie Spengler
• Finn Wolfhard as Trevor Spengler
• Mckenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler
• Kumail Nanjiani as Nadeem Razmaadi
• Patton Oswalt as Dr. Hubert Wartzki
• Celeste O'Connor as Lucky Domingo
• Logan Kim as Podcast
• Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman
• Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond "Ray" Stantz
• Ernie Hudson as Dr. Winston Zeddemore
• Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz
• William Atherton as Walter Peck

SYNOPSIS

It is the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) and the fifth film in the Ghostbusters franchise.

The Spengler family decide to leave Summerville, Oklahoma and go back to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – and help the original Ghostbusters, who've developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level! But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.

REVIEW SUMMARY

Here’s the thing about Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the nostalgia baits work - the frostbitten plot, not so much. But don’t worry, it’s an agreeable sequel, just not a necessary one. The main issue is that the movie has too much going on narratively. And worse, none of it really stands out. For one, there’s way too many characters to serve. We’ve got the main family of four (our new Ghostbusters), the old Ghostbusters, and a slew of new and old side characters thrown into the mix – not to mention all those diabolical ghosts. Luckily for us, each is enjoyable to watch. The movie’s heart belongs to Mckenna Grace however, as her character’s inner angst and ghostly friendship with Emily Alyn Lind is not only tender, but well explored. And while OG fans will be happy to see Dan Akroyd feature prominently, they’ll likely be disappointed to know that Bill Murray is relegated to basically cameo status. I mean, it’s classic Peter Venkman when he is onscreen, but you can’t help but want more. Afterall, when it comes to Ghostbusters, it’s the sly jokes and quirky charm that make for a fun viewing experience. There is fun and laughs to be had here too, though. Kumail Nanjiani has a few great lines, meanwhile William Atherton’s Walter Peck makes a welcome return. Speaking of welcome reappearances, Slimer is a blubbery blast from the past. Also adding to the fun nature of things, is the return to New York City and, more importantly, the old firehouse. Unfortunately, the action sequences are nothing special - nor is the film’s big bad. Sure, there’s a little bit of tension and frights to be found, but nothing near the villainous highs of the previous instalments. Gozer, Zuul, and Vigo this “ice ghost” is not. What the film does have going for it (in spades) is nostalgia. Trust me, with the signature theme blaring as the credits role, you’ll be hard pressed not to leave the cinema with a big ‘ol smile on your face. What can I say, bustin’ makes me feel good too.

BOX OFFICE TOP 5

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