Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024)

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

This stuffed, overstuffed instalment is a very diverse and enjoyable jumble of nothing.

How many spirits can “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” fit in a firehouse? This 40-year over-fitted, whimsical edition however, does include four main characters who starred in the original blockbuster for instance; six characters from Oklahoma set-offs such as “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” that was made in 2021 along with three new wizards and then several other types of ghosts as well as goblins or perhaps even Imps. At one point in Manhattan near an old Ghostbusters facility, more than ten men and women arrange themselves to ensure the ghost trap containing demons doesn’t crush similar to this movie itself has been squished too close together.

In scenes where the director Gil Kenan co-wrote the script with Jason Reitman thinks about having the walking dead disappear forever during these moments, it seems like “Afterlife” wants to know if its patrons are ready to let Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), who has lost interest in it, out of the series?

“Afterlife” introduced Callie (Carrie Coon), a single mother who happens to have been Egon Spengler’s estranged daughter played by Harold Ramis. Last night when their father died at their hands, they managed to repel Gozer— lord among Sumerian gods using help offered by an Arkansas high school physics instructor known as Gary (Paul Rudd); two fellow classmates named Lucky (Celeste O’Connor) and Podcast (Logan Kim) – yes his real name is Podcast; also Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) Winston Zeddemore(Ernie Hudson), Dr. Venkman(Murray) and Janine that sassy receptionist being the first members from Ghostbusters generation.

And now Oklahomans are speeding around New York City spearing wild spirits from a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance that has been retrofitted into the Ectomobile by the latest generation of Ghostbusters including their unrelated kids as well. Or in NYC, they meet a linguist (Patton Oswalt), an engineer dealing with the paranormal(James Acaster, a kooky English comic new to Hollywood’s silver screen) and an out-of-his-depth con man(Kumail Nanjiani) awarded possession of small spherical cryptogram containing something very bad inside it which is just itching to give you an absolutely fatal case of shivers – all of which makes for a great idea that looks like a Roland Emmerich movie disaster in practice.

The basics are killing my fingers. However, “Frozen Empire” is an eclectic, enjoyable barrage of nonsense —a cabaret act that starts with a Robert Frost poem and ends on Ray Parker Jr.’s eponymous synth banger. In every part there are laughs. Together they come out connected by the broken logic characteristic of dreams: at decisive points characters disappear to return drenched in slime. A devil goes into vaping boutique. Once I could have sworn this fire station’s pole was melted down; two beats later it was back up again.

Perhaps these subplots are barely tangible and fuzzy thus making them unreal or not real at all? Does Phoebe, lonely and fifteen years old, want to date with a pretty blonde phantom (Emily Alyn Lind)? Are Callie and Gary now going steady or did they bump fists as friends remembering when they slept together as demon dogs? Is Trevor’s entire character arc really about wanting to drive Ecto-1 at eighteen?

The girl acts really well and her Phoebe is eccentric and intellectual with an interesting dash of goth in it. It seems like she could practically carry the whole thing off within a kid’s comedy take on the Conjuring series, where Phoebe gets into new ghost stories while also coming to terms with her own feelings about what lies beyond.

May be, had it not been for internet flame wars over the all-female reboot in 2016 (which did not exist in this timeline), that might have happened. However, the movie refuses to separate itself from its essentials: particle streams, New York Public Library, Slimer and Murray rattling their chains. The least they do is make us laugh at them; for instance when little larvae versions of Stay Puft Marshmallow Man play with cigarette lighters or when Paul Rudd recites Ghostbusters theme song sincerely enough that you can think he was trying to convince his therapist that busting does make him feel good.

Kenan and Reitman seem aware that their audience is predominantly above 30 years old. Kids below 30 wouldn’t find a Discman possessed by an evil Spin Doctors CD as funny as I did. Nevertheless, nostalgia only works when it captures the flippant tone –not the idols- of older comedies made during the 1980s. This family has a healthy lack of interest in each other’s lives which harkens back to a time when parents joked about their children getting tattoos done on them. And Kenan handles this tremendously well by turning between hysterical outrage and deathly silence.

All of this was fine enough though in a way like being immersed into hot ghost slime so that by the time things circled back around to seeing Ghostbusters engulfed amidst cheering civilians, I felt stupid for even bothering wasting my energy questioning anything throughout all those confusing moments that pushed me there unavoidably. No one would dare challenge Benjamin Franklin’s spirit to rise again, there is nothing that can be done to death or proton packs.

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