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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
                             review by Bobby Blakey


In 1984 we all found out who we could call when the ghosts came haunting, with Ghostbusters. Since, it spawned a sequel in 1989 and remake in 2016 both of which I loved. Sadly, the new film didn’t get the numbers we hoped for so thought the franchise might be over until son of original director Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman stepped up with a new idea that delivered what fans had hoped for with Ghostbusters: Afterlife in 2021.


Now Monster House and Poltergeist director Gil Kenan is stepping into the director’s chair as well as co-writing the latest chapter Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire with Jason Reitman. The film features the returning cast alongside some new additions including Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Celeste O’Connor, Logan Kim, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Bill Murray.


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire follows the Spengler family who returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.


As someone who has loved all incarnations of the Ghostbusters series despite some issues, I was excited to see this. This new story takes us back to familiar territory of New York and the original firehouse making it even more grounded in the original films which is great but also part of the films issue. Make no mistake, I am so glad that the original cast got to get more involved, most notably Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson who have the meatiest roles of the bunch. That is most excellent, but also keeps the new group from ever getting to take the reins fully.


I am not saying it hurt the film as it was the expected growth from the tease of the last one and now giving them a full sequel to play in, but hope should the series move forward they let the new cast take on the task and do their own thing. The story here is simple and not doing anything all that new, but it’s the kind of thing you expect from a Ghostbusters movie. I would love to see a more random series of just them trapping ghosts and doing their thing as opposed to having a big bad but get it. This time around they used the villain to also showcase their weakness in some of their equipment and allow them to make some upgrades.


Despite it opening with a couple of fun moments it is pretty slow going for much of the first half. Without having so much to needed to build on and introduce I think it could have been trimmed down some to quicken the pacing. It wasn’t bad, just had me losing interest initially, but thanks to well placed random moments it would pull you back in but shouldn’t need that. There are some great nods to the original films that will have hardcore fans that work well within this new story. Not a bit fan of the story involving Nanjiani, but he is a lot of fun here.


Despite some of the pacing issues I still had a great time with this flick and think it’s another great entry into the now growing franchise. It’s not quite on par with Afterlife, but still delivers. I hope it runs with the ideas it is setting up to make it bigger and more adventures and allow this new younger cast to officially take hold and run with it. We can still see the O.G.s from time to time, but they aren’t needed any longer for the film series to still flourish. I will say that I have always thought Ernie Hudson was given the wack treatment like he wasn’t one of the original Ghostbusters. This film along with his appearance in the previous feels almost like a well-deserved redemption arc for Winston.


I hope this is yet another steppingstone to a larger world, but if not, then glad we at least got to have more fun chasing ghosts with the fun crew. Decide for yourself and check out Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire in theaters now.

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