Movie #51 2022: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

It’s honestly depressing how few movies I’ve been able to watch this year. Remember that time when the world went to shit and we all had to stay indoors? Well, one good thing about that was the fact that I could watch a movie every single day. Sometimes, I’d watch three in a day. No matter how terrible the pandemic was (and still is, to be fair), being lucky enough to spend my time doing that is such a memory to cherish for me. Might sound sad… and yet I don’t care. I wish I could still watch films that often.

One of the cinema releases I missed as a result of COVID was Ghostbusters: Afterlife. No, I’ve never seen the original Ghostbusters movies (yes, yes, I know), but there was something really intriguing about the trailer for this one, so I actually did want to see it. To summarise, it follows a single mother and her two children, who move to a new town after running into some financial trouble. Although their new life gets off to a rough start, things get interesting when the kids begin to discover their connection to the original ‘Ghostbusters” legacy.

Taking into account that I’ve never seen the 80s classics, I’m obviously someone who has absolutely no sense of nostalgia for the past movies. As a result, it was relatively easy for me to go into this with an open mind. And if that failed, I figured that Carrie Coon is a really great actor so at least there’s that!

Surprisingly, I actually quite enjoyed Afterlife. So yeah, it’s quite a generic, crowd-pleasing blockbuster, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun with it. Not only is it jam-packed with great performances from the adults but the kids prove their talent here too. Some may find the story a little slow in places since it has a lot of build-up, but seeing as I’ve not seen the original movies, I didn’t mind that at all. To put it bluntly, this is a real popcorn movie. 

YEAH, I KNOW. Apparently it’s a sin to not have seen the original Ghostbusters. I hear that some people criticised this sequel because it focused too much on nostalgia and fan service. Honestly, even though I’ve not seen them, I could tell that this was the case. Thing is, I didn’t hate that about it. I’m a sucker for a nod to a past film, and every nod tied seamlessly into a plot point, so it was fine by me. Others seem to have been let down by the fact that this sequel wasn’t a comedy, and therefore the tone was not in-keeping with the rest of the franchise… but again, I didn’t care. It seemed more like director Jason Reitman was in this from the start to make it a love letter to his late father, and it was full of heart in that regard. How can you dislike that?

What this movie could have done with was being a little more concise. There are definitely moments that didn’t need to be included and I am sure the story would have still been cohesive without them. But you know what? A scene with Paul Rudd being attacked by little marshmallow guys is always welcome. Plus, it helps that CGI has come a long way since the 80s!

All in all, I found this to be a delightful piece of pure, box office entertainment. I was not bored once, despite it clearly not being rooted in comedy like its predecessors were. It won’t be as fondly remembered as those, of course, but it definitely warrants a further sequel if you ask me.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently streaming on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½

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