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Ghostbusters review: A nostalgic mess

Updated: Apr 22

(Source: Ghostbusters)

The newest installment in the Ghostbusters franchise ‘Ghostbustets: Frozen Empire’ whilst being the best film ghostbusters in 30 or so years still isn’t great. Which v should say more about how the last 2 Ghostbusters films have been dreadful. With this being an improvement.

Despite this film being better than the last 2 that came before it, it still has many problems and with dysfunctional storytelling makes it a hard watch.

The film starts with the main cast of the ghostbusters with Carrie Spengler, (Carrie Coon) partner Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and their children. They embark on an active ghost chase through Manhattan carelessly letting 15 year old Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace) fire deadly weapons throughout the street. It’s a good thing no one got hurt because it would seriously tone down the movie. The scene consists of whips and jokes not really taking it too seriously. 

After capturing the ghost they are met with the mayor who asks them about all the damage they’ve caused which is a lot and finds out that Phoebe is only 15 and not 18 meaning she cannot be under employment so she is fired for the time being.

(Source: Sony Pictures)

Now we meet up with former ghostbuster Ray, doing as good as ever by telling everyone to like and subscribe on YouTube channels because when you get older you become out of touch with reality obviously. Ray has now been running his own business in which people bring in artifacts and he tests their ‘spirt level’.

As luck would have it Nadeem walks in with an orb shaped relic in which Rey now possesses in exchange for 50 bucks.

Moving on Phoebe is sad as she can’t be a ghostbusters for a few years and makes a ghost friend whilst playing chess called Melody and the two make a connection with Melody appearing throughout the film. 

However there’s been an issue at Ghostbusters HQ, the storage unit where ghosts have been trapped are now trying to escape as it’s getting too full and hasn’t been emptied in over 40 years . But behind the scenes there’s been a secret plan to move in which former ghostbuster Winston has been setting up. After giving the ghostbusters a tour they all love how hi tech and compact it all is and look forward to there so I hope nothing goes wrong. 

In the meantime the orb that Ray now possesses does some research into and fits out if it’s unleashed it will freeze the entire world for all of eternity. So i hope no one does anything anything with it.

Ray takes the orb to the new Ghostbusters HQ in which some scientists do some tests on the new artifact, leading to the orb starting to move and change the lights whilst shutting down all generations meaning the ghosts can escape, but luckily they don’t. Following on, Scientist and Comedian, James Acaster touches the orb and his hand is frozen over so he now has a sling over him for the rest of the film.

This gets the attention of the new and old ghostbusters, Ray takes the kids to the libary to learn more about the orb, in which they play a song which brings the ghost alive via a record player and because they play the song for a second too long the the ghost becomes alive through the orb and ends up escaping.

Going  through the library leading us to a very familiar scene which Ray runs into the library ghost a carbon copy of what happens in the original Ghostbusters. Meaning Ray is now out for the scene so the ghost dressed as a black bin bag makes a run for it and takes possession of a statue of a lion and before the main characters are in danger Carrie and Gary show up to destroy the statue leading us to another scene with the mayor of how irresponsible the ghostbusters are. However the ghost has now escaped, which can only be bad. So they go and recruit Peter Venkman (Bull Murray) who’s still doing tests on people for his help and expertise and brings some life into this film as he always does.

The villain ‘Garraka’ which will freeze over New York has a plan, the Chest ghost Melody isn’t just some character she’s apart of this plan all along. Garraka had to posses a human form in order to come back to life. So Melody has been ‘flirting’ with Phoebe so she can turn herself into a ghost to meet and see Melody in ghost form. So she does exactly that. And whilst Phoebe is knocked out Garraka possesses her body and is now alive in the real world making his plan nearly complete but now he needs to find the original owner of the orb or the ‘Fire Master’.

So naturally Garraka goes straight to a vape store despite not being previously alive for hundreds of years.

The fire master in this case is our old friend Nadeem and once Garraka shows up on his doorstep Nadeem shows him all the ancient relics and artifacts once owned by Garraka including his horns which means he can now freeze over New York.

So he does just that, it’s the middle of July and a big freeze comes straight over New York, we see people frozen on the spot, frozen on rides, massive ice spikes coming up from the ground. And yet no one, no one, dies from this. And even better yet none of the ghostbusters are frozen despite this being completely sudden. 

Once the new ghostbusters find Phoebe she wakes up and explains what happens to her in which she apologizes and now the characters can plan a strategy on how to defeat Garraka.

This is a simple set up and payoff with a Nadeem being able to breathe fire using a lighter and Nadeem playing the hugest role because of this. There isn’t really a plan B it’s just hope Nadeem can breathe fire on Garraka and 

the big fight can happen which is reminiscent of the final fight of Ghostbusters 2 in terms of a big villain being in the center and our hero’s just firing their weapons in which nothing happens.

All the main characters are facing towards Garraka who unleashed a spell of ice towards pinning all the characters to the left and right side of the wall. However whilst all hope looks lost a Phoebe and Nadeem walks up the stairs and sees everyone in this peril but are able to distract Garraka so Nadeem can make a fireball with this hands and destory Garraka which ends our villain off and as such the rest of New York is now unfrozen.

This movie isn’t all bad it’s so much better then the last 2 installments but this doesn’t make it good, with callbacks to slimer which Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard) has to face and constant reminders of the Stay Puft Marshmallow men they serve nothing to the plot and are largely irrelevant but only there to brings back memories then reminds you that your not watching that film anymore, your watching this one. 

(Source: Sony Pictures)

The films biggest issue is the amount of characters the film tries to juggle, there’s a few nice heart to heart scenes with Gary and Phoebe in which Paul Rudd can shine some character through but doesn’t go anywhere as Phoebe ends up saving the day anyway. Ray and Winston share a scene in which they talk about getting old and talk about their love for ghosts but other than that no other characters get anything in terms of development or portrayal. 

If you remember the first ghostbusters its cast consists of 4 ghostbusters and then the next character with the most screentime is probably the receptionist and the film works well. But in this you have 3 of the original ghostbusters, 4 new ones, Melody the ghost, Garraka the villain and Nadeem, there’s around double the amount of the characters the first film has and it just doesn’t work.

The film is the best since the franchise has been rebooted but it’s a step in the right direction in comparison but this film is still missing the charm, acting and storytelling which made us fall in love with Ghostbusters back in 1984.

Written by Kieron Loughran


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