When there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! – Ray Parker Jr.

Ghostbusters was a revolutionary franchise, achieving new feats in cinematic spectacles and entertainment with its funny, poignant storytelling, and now Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire attempts to relive the good ol’ days with a humorous yet somewhat odd experiment, ushering the new age with the assistance of the former cast.

The film centers on the Spengler family and their return to their New York City firehouse, fighting crime as they always do. However, an ancient artifact unleashes a legion of evil upon the city, threatening to cause another ice age, which forces the Spengler family to team up with the original Ghostbusters squad and a top research squad to save the world from this force of doom. The film stars Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Mckenna Grace as the Spengler family with the original Ghostbusters consisting of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts.

The film visually is decent as it conveys what it needs to convey without causing a gasp. The set designs were the best feature as the research lab and its many apparatus provide an added layer of authenticity to what meticulous studying is. In addition,  the sound mixing is another bonus too as the heightened tension does not drown the dialogue and feels appropriate to a fast-paced thriller that this film is. Despite that, the film’s soundtrack apart from the titular song is lacking heavily as the generic, recyclable summer blockbuster vibe is not doing it any favor, and the cinematography is not exceptional as it barely carries the film forward in a meaningful way and does the bare minimum instead.

The best characters in the film are Gary Grooberson and Phoebe Spengler. These two individuals are fleshed-out beings that serve the film its ultimate meaning of family, trust, and mutual understanding. Paul Rudd portraying Gary as a father figure trying to connect with his daughter Phoebe, played by Mckenna Grace, is believable and the duo have a natural chemistry with it as well. However, the best performance came from James Acaster as Lars the scientist. His comedic timing was precise, clever, and witty as he never missed a beat and made the film better than already was.

The themes of good vs evil and family were the most developed as the main tension of the film hinges on capturing the evil spirit tormenting the world and the good standing up and providing justice. Another message the film tried to convey was the gap between young and old and how both mindsets bring about interesting perspectives but also could lead to clashes and family bonds being torn apart.

Overall, the movie is a fun watch but it is not as great as the 80s versions were and there was a lot of room for improvements visually and thematically but a significant upgrade on the 2016 edition. I do recommend others watching this and have a good time laughing and living up the nostalgia if this is one of your favorite franchises.

Rating: 5/10

 

 


Header image: “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.” IGN, www.ign.com/movies/ghostbusters-frozen-empire. Accessed 5 Apr. 2024.

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