‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ movie review: Nostalgia revisited
This 2021 revival of the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise that stars Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard, has a charming ‘Stranger Things’ vibe
There is something sweetly reassuring about Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Directed by Jason Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989), Ghostbusters: Afterlife tells the story of a single mom, Callie (Carrie Coon) who comes to a nowhere town in Oklahoma with her two children – 15-year-old Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and 12-year-old Phoebe (Mckenna Grace).
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When her estranged father passes away of a heart attack, broke and homeless Callie hopes he has left her something. When she comes to Oklahoma where her father had been living like a recluse, she realises her father was viewed as the town eccentric and all he has left her is a rambling old house.
- Director: Jason Reitman
- Cast: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts
- Story line: There is something strange in the neighbourhood and a new generation of ghostbusters is on the scene to tackle it with a little help from the original crew
- Run time: 125 minutes
Furious at having to leave his friends and move to a deadbeat town, Trevor changes his mind when he sees his pretty classmate, Lucky (Celeste O’Connor). Social awkward and brilliant Phoebe also finds a friend in the equally nerdy Podcast (Logan Kim). Phoebe and Podcast’s teacher, Gary Grooberson, (Paul Rudd) while having strange ideas of age-appropriate movies — he encourages the children to watch Cujo and Child’s Play, has got his heart in the right place and also a soft spot for Callie.
Matters come to a head when Phoebe realises her grandfather was Dr Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) one of the original ghostbusters with Dr Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). With all the ghostbusting tools including the Ecto 1, Phoebe and gang confront an ancient evil that is running riot on supermarket shelves animating murderous marshmallows among other things.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife has a charming Stranger Things vibe — oh look there is Finn Wolfhard from the show in the movie while Stranger Things referenced the movie in so many ways. That mid-credit sequence in Ghostbusters: Afterlife after Ray Parker Jr’s song plays out is just awww…
Maybe wringing every last drop of nostalgia out of everything, speaks of creative and moral bankruptcy. However, these are strange, gloomy days and that mug of hot chocolate while probably too sweet for health, does feel good going down.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently running in theatres