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‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ evaluation: Finally, a watchable sequel

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To be often known as the second greatest “Ghostbusters” film was by no means a badge of honor. Until now.

After the improbable 1984 unique, a New York comedy basic, got here its dumb follow-up, “Ghostbusters II,” wherein town was attacked by offended pink slime and a speaking portray. To virtually quote Ray Parker Jr, it was one thing bizarre, and it didn’t look good.

Then in 2016 Paul Feig directed a meh all-women reboot starring Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy that made no cash. Plans for extra had been rapidly scrapped.

Well, it’s taken 36 years and 6 presidencies, however with “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” followers lastly have an unembarrassing sequel to like. Director Jason Reitman’s soul-satisfying movie, which shocked New York Comic Con on Friday night time, harkens again to our favourite summer season blockbusters of the ‘80s, even though it’s set in 2021, and pays homage to the unique whereas feeling recent and new.

Kind of just like the 2018 “Halloween” starring Jamie Lee Curtis, “Afterlife” has selective amnesia and pretends that the flicks after 1984 by no means occurred. There isn’t any point out of Vigo the Carpathian or any characters from the 2016 film. Thank Gozer for that.

Also, maybe controversially, New York City is within the rearview mirror.

“Afterlife” as a substitute takes place in fictional Summerville, Oklahoma, the place there are not any skyscrapers however the corn is as excessive as an elephant’s eye. After her estranged father dies, Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two teenagers Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) transfer to the city to cope with his creepy outdated farmhouse. Grandpa — and this isn’t a spoiler, as Reitman has mentioned this extensively — was Egon Spengler (the late nice Harold Ramis). 

Mckenna Grace plays inquisitive Phoebe in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."
Mckenna Grace performs inquisitive Phoebe in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Eve

The small-town locale, to not point out the casting of Wolfhard, lends the film an appealingly retro “Stranger Things” or “It” vibe. And leaving Manhattan for Main Street, USA (appears like all my buddies after they have children) was the appropriate name by Reitman. The unique “Ghostbusters” firehouse was in Tribeca again when no one needed to go to Tribeca. Now the scariest factor about Tribeca is the price of dinner.

In Summerville, Phoebe and Trevor be taught that gramps deserted his household and ghostbusting friends and have become the city outcast who was engaged on a undertaking related to mysterious earthquakes there. When Phoebe, an aspiring scientist, and Trevor uncover his proton packs, ghost traps, beige uniforms and well-known Ecto-1 automobile, followers will go loco.

Together with a humorous little sidekick named Podcast (Logan Kim) and their summer season college trainer Mr. Grooberstein, they grow to be an unintentional new technology of Ghostbusters.

The ghouls are angry and green as ever in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."
The ghouls are offended and inexperienced as ever in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
Columbia Pictures

Reitman, who simply so occurs to be the son of famed producer of the 1984 film Ivan Reitman, is an achieved director in his personal proper, having helmed the great “Juno” and “Up in the Air.” He finds the proper tone right here, particularly in how he makes use of composer Elmer Bernstein’s unique music whereas Phoebe and Trevor tinker with Egon’s devices.

He’s additionally expert at getting real efficiency out of younger actors, as he proved in “Juno,” and balancing humor with stakes — important for comedy-horror like “Ghostbusters.” The jokes are very humorous and Wolfhard and Grace make life-threatening peril appear to be a ball.

The ending will likely be divisive, however I discovered it tastefully completed. And all through the film, followers will likely be thrilled to be reunited with many acquainted, hilarious faces.

I can reveal that because the credit roll, we hear the basic “Ghostbusters” theme tune that’s virtually extra well-known than the precise film at this level. You’ll be grateful that Reitman is a purist and didn’t finish his profitable sequel with “Who Ya Gonna Text?” by Billie Eilish.

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