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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire"

Ghostbusters has been a part of my consciousness for eighty percent of my life.  (It’s OK for you to do the math; I know I’m old.)  After the second film and cancelation of the animated series, I was kind of OK with the franchise sitting right where it was.  Then came Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, which was a film that I didn’t have nearly the vitriol that others did for it.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it was still a good time to spend at the movies.


Then came Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and I could not have been happier with the way the original source material was embedded into a story that expanded its universe alongside the inclusion of the original cast and a tribute that hit me right in the feels.  Once that film took off, a sequel was on the way (with some reshoots done due to the world shutting down for a bit), and after the trailers and one-sheets were released for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the hype machine was in full motion.


This time, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Callie (Carrie Coon), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Gary (Paul Rudd) have relocated from Oklahoma to live in the Ghostbusters firehouse in New York City.  They have taken over the business side of things while still being bankrolled by Winston (Ernie Hudson), and when a strange relic is brought to Ray (Dan Aykroyd) by Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani) at his shop from a box of things owned by his grandmother, it sets events in motion that will take Ghostbusters old and new to save the world… yet again.


I have found that I have to be careful on where I set the bar for movies anymore.  As much as I truly did love Afterlife, I didn’t want to get too invested before seeing Frozen Empire in case it ended up disappointing me.  While I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the one before it, that margin is pretty slim.  The major issue that I have with this film is that there is A LOT of story being told, which really drags down the first half.  The second half of this two-hour-and-five-minute journey does fare a lot better and will probably make some opinions of it better than it could have been due to the tried-and-true method of finishing strong.  There are also a couple of story elements that wouldn’t change anything in the story if they were left out and felt like they were there more for fan service than anything else, which could have shaved the run time down about ten to fifteen minutes.


On the other hand, there are some new elements added to the mythos that I feel evolves the overall arch of the Ghostbusters’ brand itself that made it feel fresh alongside some cool homages to what came before it (including the animated series, which I truly appreciated).  Having all of these characters that have kept their staying power going from as far back as four decades ago was enjoyable but still not on a level that will land it more than the middle of the pack by the end of the year.


Whether or not there will be a third film of this iteration of the franchise (alongside rumors of another Answer the Call film, which I would be OK with a “multiverse” kind of crossover if it is done right) is yet to be seen.  Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire certainly doesn’t beg for it, but it also doesn’t close off the idea of doing so either.

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