After “Ghostbusters” with a female cast ( Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon ) went mediocre in theaters (the only good stunt in them was Chris Hemsworth’s witty role as a silly receptionist). That movie nearly ended the whole franchise. Obviously, it wasn’t like that, because next weekend the movie “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will arrive in cinemas around the world (including us).
What’s the joke? I guess Ivan Reitman, the director of the first two films from the eighties, could not bear that his greatest success met such an infamous end, so he persuaded his son, also a very successful director Jason Reitman (“Juno”, “Neither in Heaven nor on Earth”), to make another movie from the franchise. It is not the kind of film that suits his son, he avoids special effects and accentuated comedies, but there is a first time for everything. Judging by the result, he did a great job.
“Afterlife” continues directly to “Ghostbusters 2” (1988) and does not refer at all to the “female branch” (2016). Its protagonist is Callie ( Carrie Coon ), the granddaughter of one of the original “Ghostbusters” Egon Spengler (played by Harold Ramis in the first two films, but he died in 2014), who manages to educate and feed his two children Phoebe ( Mckenna Grace ) and Trevor ( Finn Wolfhard ). They had just been kicked out of the apartment for unpaid bills, so they had no choice but to move to the farm left to them by Egon.
The first encounter with a place called Summerville is scary, with only a few houses and one supermarket, but the farm where he will live looks even worse. Full of some weird patents and dust, and in all of that, Phoebe, who, when she grows up, intends to become a scientist, is doing just fine. In all that Egon has left, she is doing very well, otherwise, she is completely unsocial. But here in just a few days, she found a friend, Podcast ( Logan Kim ) who has similar interests as her.
Moreover, their professor Grooberson ( Paul Rudd ) is a seismologist and is thrilled to finally have two students who share his interests, and he also likes Phoebe’s mom. Trevor has other plans during that time, he is employed in the “fast food” restaurant there, not because he would be interested in that kind of work, but because he is fascinated by his colleague from work Lucky ( Celeste O’Connor ).
Small town action and return of the original cast
Summerville itself is quite strange, suddenly out of pure peace earthquakes begin, and ghosts appear, very similar to those in the first two films. Phoebe and Podcast will suddenly realize that the patents diligently collected by Egon have a purpose and that some may catch these occasionally ethereal and occasionally spooky creatures. It is no coincidence that the action takes place in a small town, so the budget is not too burdened, and most of the money is intended for special effects.
Also, the presence of Jason Reitman proved to be very appreciative, he was the only one who was able to persuade Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver (the latter two were also guests in “female” “Ghostbusters”) to appear in episodes, and it is amazing how they remembered to portray Harold Ramis with a hologram. A very entertaining film that fans of the original “Ghostbusters” will finally be happy with.