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Ghostbusters: Afterlife review

Animeman73Dec 23, 2021, 12:39:22 AM
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I recall when I forced myself to watch the abomination that was Ghostbusters 2016. You’re welcome by the way. When I watched it, I had hoped that Ghostbusters: Afterlife would be different.

Well, it's been an insane couple of years thanks to COVID-19. But after a long delay I've accomplished my promise. Here is my review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

 

I promised a review, and now I deliver.

 

Be warned everyone, there will be spoilers in this review. So, if you don’t want the movie given away stop right here. Let me start off by saying this movie is nostalgia done right.

I thought this movie would be in good hands when I heard Jason Reitman would be directing it. I was cautious yet optimistic in my view of the movie. Since Jason is the son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, I had a good feeling.

And I can say this movie did not disappoint!

This story takes place 32 years after the events with the despotic spirit Vigo.

The movie starts off with Egon capturing another ghost in Oklahoma on a dark night. Of course, we can’t see its Egon. Considering that Harold Ramis had already passed away, it was understandable. Oh, what could’ve been if Harold Ramis had survived to make this film.

Afterwards he sits down in his chair.

The scene then changes to an apartment in New York. Things are not going well for a lady named Callie and her family. Carrie Coon portrays the part of Callie.

She’s currently unemployed. She lives with her daughter Phoebe, played by McKenna Grace. And she has a son Trevor, played by Finn Wolfhard. None of them are too keen on their situation.

Things take an ugly turn when their landlord comes to their apartment. He serves them an eviction notice. Wow, what a great way to start the day!

 

Meet Callie, a single mother with a lot of problems.

 

Remember that summer we hid underneatha  table? Yeah, me neither!

 

The family moves out to a rural farmhouse once owned by Callie’s estranged father. It's near the small town of Summerville Oklahoma. Trevor applies for a job at the local drive through, and the food there is disgusting and unsanitary!

 

Meet Finn Wolfhard as Trevor, a smart aleck witha  heart.

 

Things take an ugly turn when their landlord comes to their apartment. He serves them an eviction notice. Wow, what a great way to start the day!

The family moves out to a rural farmhouse once owned by Callie’s estranged father. It's near the small town of Summerville Oklahoma. Trevor applies for a job at the local drive through, and the food there is disgusting and unsanitary!

But Trevor meets a local girl name of Lucky, played by Celeste O’ Connor. And it seems he’s going to get the job for the simple reason he has a pulse. Considering the unsanitary look, I see why, ew!

 

 

Phoebe is the quintessential nerdy kid. So, she's enrolled by her mother in summer science classes at the local middle school. Though it’s clear she’s not thrilled about the prospect. There she meets an eccentric seismologist name of Gary Groberson, played by Paul Rudd.

 

 

Callie meets Janine Melnitz, role reprised by Annie Potts. And learns that the house is worth nothing. In short, she and her family are stuck there for a while. Oof, now that’s a very bad day!

Young Phoebe learns their home has a ghost in it. First with a chess board, then she discovers a PKE meter underneath a chair. The very same PKE meter used by Egon Spengler.

Then she finds a strange puzzle to solve in the floorboards. Underneath them she discovers a ghost trap.

Trevor meanwhile finds and begins to repair a car he found. That car is none other than Ecto-1.

The next day Phoebe meets and befriends a young man named Podcast, played by Logan Kim.

 

 

They show the trap to Gary, and as it turns up, he’s an aspiring Ghostbuster. Well so the nerdy girl is becoming social, inconceivable.

 

 

Phoebe and Podcast discover Gary is there doing some investigative work of his own. Somehow a town with no quake epicenter is being rocked by them, very interesting.

Things get ugly when they open the trap. Said spirit then flees to a nearby abandoned mine. Phoebe and Podcast go to that local abandoned mine driven by Gary.

There they investigate the mine which was digging up selenium ore. Anyone with a knowledge of the original Ghostbusters movie would say this. “Wait a second, that seems familiar.”

 

Phoebe becoming more socialble, and teaming up to investigate a mine. WIll wonders never cease?

 

Trevor has a similar experience at a local shaft above the mine when he goes there with Lucky and her friends.

That night Phoebe notices the chessboard pieces move. Her supernatural chess opponent leads her to an underground workshop. Phoebe realizes the ghost guiding her is the spirit of her grandfather, Egon Spengler.

She proceeds to put back together a proton pack guided by her grandfather.

 

Yup, this is Egon's granddaughter!

 

The next day she and Podcast test out the proton pack. And then have an encounter with a ghost called a Muncher. Meanwhile Trevor repairs Ecto-1 and takes it for a drive. Brother and sister meet-up and go after the ghost.

This is where the film makes some additions that I liked. Ecto-1 has an upgrade with a gunner’s seat, nice! The three chase the Muncher all over town, and in the process do a lot of damage. This is not going to end well!

As the chase is going on Callie and Gary are on a date at a local restaurant. Callie laments that she can’t communicate with her daughter.

She reveals she has an aversion to science. This is due to her bad experiences with her father leaving her for some reason he never made clear. That’s not like the Egon I remember, interesting.

Their conversation gets interrupted when Muncher comes through. And that’s followed by the kids chasing after it in Ecto-1.

Trevor, Phoebe, and Podcast catch the ghost. And then get pulled over by a state patrol car. Told you this wouldn’t end well!

 

Chasing a ghost, trashing downtown. Yeah, this is NOT going to end well!

 

Trevor, Phoebe, and Podcast catch the ghost. And then get pulled over by a state patrol car. Told you this wouldn’t end well!

The three go to the local jail. Trevor learns that Lucky is more than “4th generation trash” in Summerville. She’s the daughter of the local sheriff. Well, that makes things extra awkward.

Lucky’s father then has Ecto-1 and all their gear locked up. Phoebe then places a call. But this call is not to her mother, instead she places a call to an occult shop in New York.

The one she contacts is none other than Ray Stantz. It seems he bears some grievance against the late Egon Spengler. He took some of their best equipment.

Egon suspected that there was a coming apocalypse, and his teammates didn’t believe him.

Ooh yeah, there are some serious issues going on here. Things get ugly when Callie comes for the kids. Phoebe almost blasts the police.

But her mother talks her down. On the way home she won’t believe any of Phoebe’s explanation.

Oh yeah, the Spengler family has some serious issues!

But a problem emerges for the group. The unleashing of that beast ghost activates a temple hidden deep in the old selenium mine. And one of the familiar demonic canines comes to life.

The next day, things start to build up. Trevor, Phoebe, Podcast, and Lucky investigate the mine. And they uncover a temple dedicated to the God Gozer within. They also discover Ivo Shandor in suspended animation.

At this point it should be clear what’s happening.

Egon came here because he realized Ivo Shandor had a backup plan. Likely in case things went south in New York.

The kids also discover the stolen equipment is being used to contain Gozer. All so it can’t escape and bring about the intended apocalypse.

But the best laid plans go awry. Vinz Clortho and Zual the Gatekeeper reemerge in their terror dog forms. Gary has a close encounter with little mischievous Stay-Puft Marshmallow men. Then he gets chased out of Wal-Mart by Vinz.

 

Start running Gary, start running now!

 

This chase scene I liked because Paul Rudd gave a convincing performance. The CGI effects were not overdone, in fact they melded well with the movie.

Next, Callie discovers Egon’s underground workshop. And there she learns her father didn’t abandon her as she thought.  In fact, he’d been keeping a very close eye on her.

Oopsie, time for some reconsideration of things. But then the moment gets shattered when Callie gets possessed by Zual.

Gary, possessed by Vinz, destroys Egon’s containment system. Thus, allowing Gozer to emerge. Meanwhile Callie heads for the mine.

Gozer manifests itself as Ivo Shandor awakens. It’s also confirmed the reason for the quakes is because Gozer has been trying to reemerge in the world.

At first Shandor thinks he’s going to share power with Gozer. But the malevolent deity has no intention of playing with others.

This is something that a lot of today’s writers don’t understand. Evil people and beings are not inclined to share their power. In fact, they’re likely to dispose of their useful idiots without a second’s hesitation.

And Gozer demonstrates that by ripping Shandor in half. I’ve heard of I’m half the man I used to be, but sheesh!

Meanwhile the kids have discovered why Egon never grew anything on this farm. Because it’s meant as a great big trap to use in a plan to trap Gozer and its minions once and for all. Now the pieces of the puzzle fall into place!

The kids don the Ghostbusters jumpsuits and go to the mine/temple to confront the Sumerian god. Doing her best Phoebe distracts the entity. Podcast uses a remote-controlled trap to catch Zual.

This causes Gozer to dematerialize.

In the process they free Callie from Zual’s control. Way to go youngsters! And the moral of this is never underestimate the ingenuity of kids.

The group draws Gozer to Egon’s farm. But the plan fails when Stay-Puft Marshmallow men disable the Proton pack used to power up the traps. The evil God frees Zual who possesses Lucky.

Well, no one ever said this would be easy, oh boy! At first it looks as though all's lost!

And then the cavalry shows up in the form of Bill Murray as Peter Venkman. Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz. And Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddmore.

 

It's the original cast to the rescue!

 

The three cross the streams of their proton packs as they battle Gozer. The evil deity manages to throw off the blast.

Phoebe battles Gozer alone. And gets some unexpected help from the spirit of her grandfather.

The three surviving Ghostbusters recover and add their aide to the Spenglers. Trevor and Podcast manage to reactivate the power to Trevor’s proton pack. He then fires at the power switch activating the multitude of traps Egon had set.

Gozer and its minions get trapped within bringing an end to Ivo Shandor’s backup plan. The spirit of Egon reconciles with his friends and family. The reconciliation of father and daughter I thought was the best.

Egon then heads for the afterlife. The surviving Ghostbusters get to know the Spenglers. Then they return to New York with Ecto-1 and the equipment.

In the closing credits we get a surprise. First, we see Venkman and Dana Barrett, reprised by Sigourney Weaver. They’re playing with his ESP cards and shock device.

And the way they're behaving with each other led me to one conclusion. Major ship/pairing in the Ghostbusters universe confirmed as canon!

In a post credit scene, we see Winston, now a wealthy financier and family man. He’s been maintaining the Ghostbusters’ properties, and he’s had Ecto-1 restored.

He places it in the reacquired firehouse. In a final shot, an alarm goes off on the old containment unit. Uh-oh is there a potential sequel coming? Could be, we’ll have to wait and 

I was hoping this would be better than Ghostbusters 2016. And I can say this movie didn’t disappoint!

The writing was far smarter, and the characters far more believable. Carrie Coon’s performance as Callie was fantastic. The quintessential single mom struggling on her own.

Mackeena Grace’s performance as Phoebe was fantastic. I could see that she's Egon’s granddaughter. She was so awkward, yet beneath there was a good person. One who wanted to come out to do something big.

 

Mackeena Grace as Phoebe. She's Egon's Grabddaughter all right.

 

Finn Wolfhard as Trevor was very reminiscent of a younger Peter Venkman. Though he didn’t quite have the experience Peter had. But he shined when he showed he was loyal to his family.

Logan Kim as Podcast definitely held his own with this dynamic cast. I found it appropriate that the one subscriber Podcast had to his program was Ray Stantz, well done.

I can also say Jason Reitman proved that he has directing chops here. He held his own and upheld the legacy his father helped create.

And the appearance of the surviving original Ghostbusters. The banter, Venkman’s snarky quips, I'd missed that. This was pure respect for the Ghostbusters franchise.

Jason Reitman you’ve done good sir, you’ve done very good!

Now in the beginning and middle the movie pacing did sputter in some places. But this was an excellent movie. I am so happy Ghostbusters: Afterlife turned out to be good.

Some of the lore might go over the heads of the uninitiated. But this movie is nostalgia done right!

 

Jason Reitman, you've done your father Ivan Reitman proud! And you have the Ghostbusters fans respect.

 

I hope you enjoyed the review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Please like and share this across Minds and all social media platforms. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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I’ll leave links below, and thanks for reading this review. I’m Animeman73 saying stay true to yourselves, stay classy, and God bless you all. Come back soon for another review.

 

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