Ghostbusters: Afterlife is nothing special. Light, safe, cliché. But at least, under the direction of Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult) who is the son of Ivan Reitman, the director of the first two films, it managed to do what its reboot failed to do five years ago. A modernization as well as respect.
Similar to Paul Feig’s version, the protagonists (though not all) are women. Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) is her name, a brilliant-brained girl who has no friends. Due to financial difficulties experienced by their mother, Callie (Carrie Coon), Phoebe and her older brother, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), are forced to move to the old farm owned by their late grandfather who recently died. Top Movie Site
It is there that Callie meets Podcast (Logan Kim), a conspiracy theorist, while Trevor falls in love with Lucky (Celeste O’Connor). As POC, Kim and O’Connor complete Afterlife’s mission to look modern in terms of diversity as Feig’s version, without overselling it. Best Movie
Another modernization lies in the element of “passing the baton” to the younger generation, while respecting the legacy of the older generation. If you have watched the classic film, it is certainly not difficult to guess the identity of Phoebe’s grandfather. Even Gary (Paul Rudd), Phoebe’s teacher and Callie’s love interest, plays a similar role to Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). The connections between these two eras are brought out neatly by the script by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan (Monster House, Poltergeist remake).
Perhaps what is quite disappointing is the more obvious form of respect, such as the legendary theme song that has just appeared in the credits, and the choice of Reitman’s shot to wrap up the long-awaited grand reunion moment. Instead of epic heroism, an awkward impression is created by the director’s lack of precise packaging choices. Even so, watching familiar faces reunite after a long time is still fun.
As a standalone spectacle, as already mentioned, Afterlife is solid but nothing special. Although the use of practical effects is commendable, the battle against ghosts including Gozer the Gozerian will not be stored in the audience’s memory for as long as the events of Manhattan 84.
Fortunately, Jason Reitman’s signature humor, from running jokes about Phoebe being bad at throwing jokes, a few dark comedy inserts, to lines of sarcastic tone, can be a refresher. Coon is the best performer when it comes to throwing sarcasm, as a mother figure who doesn’t even try to filter the words from her mouth. Movie Review