A Sequel Worth Watching
By Nirupa Mohan Dore
Ceylon Today Features
The long-awaited fantasy driven supernatural comedy film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, released recently, after several delays, since July 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on Ghostbusters by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, the film features a young lead cast, who uncover a legacy that their late grandfather left behind for them.
The 124-minute film by director Jason Reitman, working with his father Ivan Reitman as the producer, was made in collaboration with production companies Ghost Corps, Columbia Pictures, Right of Way Films, Bron Creative and The Montecito Picture Company. The film comes as the fourth film as part of the popular Ghostbusters franchise and is the direct sequel to 1984 and 1989’s Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, which were both directed by Ivan Reitman. It is good to see the father son team, capture the core elements of the originals, that viewers loved.
The film this time stars a young lead cast, which includes Mckenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler, Finn Wolfhard as her brother Trevor Spengler, and Carrie Coon as their mother Callie Spengler, while Logan Kim stars as Phoebe’s new classmate and local friend, who calls himself Podcast, and Paul Rudd plays the role of their school teacher, Mr. Gary Grooberson. The film also sees special appearances, from the stars of the original films, as they return reprising their roles, with Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Ernie Hudson as Dr. Winston Zeddemore, Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond ‘Ray’ Stantz, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, and Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, in a short but prominent role, which feels like the highlight of the film, for fans who grew up watching the film series. It brings back nostalgia, given that the story is in line with their individual character and team personalities, that fans loved watching.
The story is set 32 years after the events of Ghostbusters ll, and centres around a single mother and her two children, Phoebe and Trevor, who move to a small town due to financial stress, after they inherit their grandfather’s property. The film’s core plot unfolds when the children discover that their grandfather was a part of the original Ghostbusters and uncover the legacy that he left behind for them. The film takes the new cast on a ghostly adventure, that is sure to entertain and spook viewers of all ages.
Looking back, after an original cast member, Harold Ramis died in 2014, an all-female lead cast driven reboot was released by Sony in 2016, collaborating with director Paul Feig, which saw controversy, and failed at the worldwide box-office. In this film the original director and his son, seem to take a step back, and focus on a veneration to Ramis, which has received praise, while his character Dr. Egon Spengler, returns in a short role via archival clips, with the help of digital makeup, photos, special effects, and age progression technology, supported by Ivan Reitman and Bob Gunton as body-doubles.
Made with a budget of seventy-five million dollars, this is a film that takes the time to appreciate the originals, with fan service, while establishing itself as a new instalment that is light-hearted and fun to watch, both for a new audience of young fans and for seasoned fans of the franchise, bridging the generational gap.And even though the film’s release was delayed for over a year due to the pandemic, its recent release proved to be a success, easily earning over184.9 million at the worldwide box-office. Meanwhile, Reitman’s direction has received praised from fans who appreciate the familiar theme and feel of the film that creates a strong feeling of nostalgia.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife has received moderate ratings with 62 per cent featured on Rotten Tomatoes, 45% on Metacritic and a positive 7.5/10 on IMDb. This is a sequel that has clearly been done correctly, to revive the franchise, with care and focus on delivering an engaging storyline, which feelsgood to watch and can easily be appreciated by fans.