Ghostbusters Afterlife

 Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) - IMDb

I have very mixed feelings about this movie. On one hand it has an amazing cast and pays homage to the original. On the other hand this movie is completely riddled in fan service, has no original ideas, and they bring back Harold Ramis in the weirdest and most unnecessary way possible.

I love this cast, and I honestly would have been fine with it if they didn’t bring back anyone from the original cast from 1984. Sure it’s nice but it just seems gimmicky and out of place. Most of this cast I have seen in other projects like Finn Wolfhard in Stranger Things, McKenna Grace in The Gifted, and Paul Rudd in Ant-man, Friends, Anchorman, etc, etc. For such a great cast they rely heavily on the original cast members to come in and save the day which I think defeats the purpose of having the new characters if you aren’t going to use them. I also found the mom completely unlikeable and hard to root for at all. She is very dismissive and then has this very unnatural character redemption.

This movie has so much fan service. It is basically a recycle of the same plot from the original film. There are no new bad guys unless you count “mucher” instead of Slimer. I liked the mini stay puffed marshmallow army, but at the same time I felt like it was just thrown in to attract the original fans. I felt like I was in a fan trap the whole time I was watching this movie, but at the same time I liked the film. I love fan service when its used right like in Avengers Endgame. It should be more like easter eggs and not the entire plot of the movie. I just wish there were more original ideas and not just a reiteration of the original movie.

I saw this movie in 4DX which was the first time I had ever seen a movie in this format. For those who don’t know 4DX is where the seats move, there are flashing lights, water, scents, etc. It is an all immersive experience. I liked it a lot but at the same time it made it feel more like a ride and less like a movie. So I will likely be sticking to IMAX for the future. This format is cool, it just takes some getting used to and honestly it gave me a bit of a headache. It distracts from the movie itself and you are more focused on the effects and what is surrounding you. It takes you out of the movie instead of immersing you in it.

Harold Ramis is brought back in this movie in a way that makes me extremely uncomfortable. The idea is that his daughter and his grandkids come to stay in his haunted house for the summer because they are broke and it is the only property left in their name. The ghost of Ramis’ character Egon Spengler returns to take down the villain and then stands there awkwardly nodding as the original cast members talk to him. Because Harold Ramis has since passed away, the silent, CGIed version of him is very creepy and I don’t really know how I feel about them doing this kind of thing in movies.

I didn’t love this movie but I am still glad I went to see it. I was a little disappointed by it because I was waiting for it for so long while its release date kept getting pushed back. Then it didn’t really live up to the hype. I liked the idea of having another generation continue the ghostbusters story but it has to be a new story. I feel like this movie had so much potential if there was more thought put into the plot of the film. I like that it was the original director Ivan Reitman‘s son Jason Reitman who did this movie as that personal connection allows for him to have direct input in this movie. However, I also think it is this nostalgia and closeness to the original story that led to the over the top fan service. Overall, it's not a bad movie and I would probably watch it again but I am annoyed with the constant rebooting and retelling of the stories we already know that add nothing to the originals. I want to know what comes next, who the next group of ghostbusters is going to be, what new ghost filled adventure they are going to face. Not just whatever this is with the exact same ghost problem as the last movie.


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