Sunday, November 21, 2021

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Movie Name:
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Year of Release: 2021
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Carrie Coon, McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, J.K. Simmons, Annie Potts, Bob Gunton, Shawn Seward, Bookeem Woodbine, Sydney Mae Diaz, Hannah Duke, Olivia Wilde, Tracy Letts
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
After releasing two features in 2018, namely the underrated "Tully" with Charlize Theron and "The Front Runner" with Hugh Jackman, writer/producer/director Jason Reitman is back, this time around tackling a family legacy property, "The Ghostbusters" franchise, which his father started in 1984. The film follows the events which took place in the original feature, this time around specifically focusing on Egon Spengler's family. With Egon passing away, his family comprised of his daughter and her two kids, move back to the farm he owned in a small town called Summerville. Turns out Egon left his life in NY years ago, and abandoned everything and everyone he knew to move to that town,  in order to keep abreast of a menace he knew to be bound to happen and could destroy the planet. While the kids are initially unimpressed with the overall rundown state of the farm and the house, they slowly start getting acquainted with their family legacy, and the story of the town itself. They also start realizing the frequent earthquakes that the town suffers may have something to do with strange events that they start witnessing. 
Jason Reitman who co-wrote this feature with Gil Kenan (who started his career with "Monster House"), goes in a very different direction than Paul Feig did when he tackled "Ghostbusters", which was released in 2016. This installment of the franchise ties itself with the original feature, by acknowledging the legacy of the original group, but also giving it a life of its own, with the younger generation understanding their inheritance, embodying the spirit of the group, but still being their own selves. The film also smartly dives back to the mythology of the original, allowing for an enticing and dynamic third chapter of the film. While the fish out of water concept storyline which introduces the characters is somewhat unoriginal, it still allows to get an understanding of the city, and a bit of its history. Where the film does falter a bit, is in providing some additional dimension to the characters, where Carrie Coon's Callie for instance, reads somehow always a bit one note, carrying a grudge towards her life and family, in almost literally everything she says or does. Some welcoming levity comes in the shape of Paul Rudd's Grooberson, who is both capturing some of the energy of Rick Moranis' Louis, but also has the whole "Ghostbuster" fandom enthusiasm perfectly captured. It's a film that both pays homage to its original, but also carves a path of its own. The cast is uniformly solid, with Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd having apt support from McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, not to mention the original Ghostbusters themselves, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson (with great cameos from Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Olivia Wilde). The cinematography from Eric Steelberg is impeccable as is the score from Rob Simonsen. An entertaining film from an interesting director.