Movie Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Synopsis: After learning of her estranged father's death, single mother Callie moves to his rundown Oklahoma farm with her two kids, Trevor and Phoebe. The locals believe her father was an insane loner but, in reality, the former Ghostbuster was secretly working to save the world from destruction and, as evil begins to be unleashed, Trevor and Phoebe try to finish their grandfather's work with the help of their friends.

Who's in it? The movie stars Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Logan Kim

Review: Thanks partly to COVID, it had been more than two years since I last watched a movie at the theater (Zombieland: Doubletap). However, after hearing the new Ghostbusters movie was finally out, I decided to put an end to that streak and attended it last night with my wife. 

To be honest, I was a little skeptical about this movie. After all, the last attempt to reboot the franchise was a disaster (I still haven't managed to make it through that entire film). As a result of this, I was concerned it wouldn't be worth the $9 per ticket. As it turns out, however, it ended up being well worth the money.

The thing I liked best about this movie was the way it managed to recognize the original films while, at the same time, being a solid stand-alone film with a great cast of new characters. If you are going to wait nearly four decades to do a sequel to a popular film, this is the blueprint you should follow.

The plot offered a fun mix of comedy, action and mystery and I liked how the movie (much like in the first film) revealed what was happening in small pieces, including some fairly solid Easter eggs that gradually made it clear how a small town in Oklahoma was related to the events that happened in Manhattan in the 1980s. 

And, I'll admit it, the ending is surprisingly emotional, both with the return of the three surviving Ghostbusters in an extended cameo and a well-done tribute to their deceased cast member, Harold Ramis. It was something that had my wife and I applauding and ultimately resulted in her tearing up toward the end.

Probably the only "complaint" we had after seeing the film was we noticed the overall lack of ghosts compared to the previous two films, even when all Hell was breaking loose. Though, to be fair, Muncher was kind of cool, especially with his ability to shoot chunks of metal like bullets.

I also found myself wondering if this movie was supposed to be a sequel for both of the first two Ghostbusters movie or, like Halloween, was pretending the second film didn't happen (it only references the first one). While not a huge deal, it is the type of thing that could lead to some confusion if there are other sequels (as is hinted following the credits).

Final Opinion: I had some doubts when walking into the theater but this turned out to be a much better movie than I was expecting. If you are going to see a film at the theater, this is one I would recommend.

My Grade: A


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