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Movie Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) *Spoiler Free*

Ghostbusters: Afterlife One Sheet.

I'm going to preface this review by saying I am a fan of the original Ghostbusters movie and its sequel, and I did enjoy the all female 2016 attempt at a reboot. I also realize I'm very late to writing a review since I didn't get to see this in theatres and decided to wait for the film to come to streaming (Amazon Prime).

Never the less, I feel compelled to write about Ghostbusters: Afterlife because it really gets a lot of things right, while at the same time it feels like quite a lot of scenes were filmed but didn't make it into the movie.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a direct sequel to the first movie but set thirty years later (present day basically). Single mother, Callie (Carrie Coon), and her two kids, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) move to a small, rural town, to deal with her father's estate after he recently passes. However everything isn't as straight forward as it seems. Meanwhile, school teacher, Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd), is investigating Earth tremors in the area that seemingly don't have a source.

The premise of this movie is a real strength. While it pretty much follows the same formula of the three previous films it does so in a way that adds more story to the events of the first film, even though, once you know what's unfolding it's all becomes a big nostalgia kick.

The new, rural setting, is interesting, and it's fun to see the kids piece together what's left of the original Ghostbusters but the film doesn't really bring anything new to the paranormal side of the operation that you haven't seen before - albeit you're seeing variations but you've seen most of it in the other films.

None of the kids in the movie seem to know about the Ghostbusters initially (as they point out, they weren't born in the eighties) but they sure get up to speed on all the Ghostbusting gadgets very quickly. From their first ghost catch onward the movie seems to rush toward the final confrontation with very little build up of paranormal activity.

The cameos of original cast members are very clunky with only Annie Potts, as Janine, appearing in a fairly organic to the story kind of way (with exception to one other original cast member who is present throughout the whole film), though it feels like she could've played a much bigger role in the kid's adventures - especially with Phoebe.

While all of it pretty much works, this rush to the finish makes it feel like a lot of story was taken out for time issues. Potentially because the first act does actually take a bit of time to establish the new cast to the point that, I felt at least, it was a little slow to get going.

Despite all that, you'll watch this film and think, if they'd have released this movie in 2016, we'd probably be on to our second film in a new franchise right now instead of a second attempt at a reboot.

Unfortunately the backlash to the 2016 film probably hurt the box office potential Ghostbusters: Afterlife could've had, if it had been the next installment on from the original films.

As I said at the beginning, I liked the 2016 film, it just wasn't what the fans wanted... but at least it opened the door for Chris Hemsworth to do more comedic roles.

I'm not sure where this leaves the franchise as Afterlife seems like an aside given how the film ends. People seem to want the Ghostbusters to be in New York but Callie and her family definitely can't afford to live in New York... and the kids aren't really old enough to be the new Ghostbusting team.

Another Ghostbusters movie would kind of have to be another soft reboot, or at least one set ten years on so the kids can be in college or something?

Overall I enjoyed Ghostbusters: Afterlife. It's not played for laughs as much as the 2016 film but it's a better story and stronger premise to build from moving forward.

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