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'GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE' REVIEW

BY SEB JENKINS MARCH 22, 2024
Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

More fun than substance, Paul Rudd and the Spengler clan jump from hot water to Frozen Empire in the latest film in the Ghostbusters saga.


I ain’t afraid of no ghost – but the average moviegoer is right to be fearful of Hollywood’s rampant reboot rampage. If there’s something weird, and it don’t look good – could it possibly be Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire? The answer is a resounding yes… and no. Forty years on from the beloved original, the Ghostbusters are back for the fourth (or fifth) instalment in the franchise, but one important question remains – does bustin’ still make us feel good?


SYNOPSIS

Set three years after the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Paul Rudd and the Spengler family have left sleepy Summerville behind, taking us back to where it all began, New York City. The Ghostbusters are back bustin’ their stuff in the iconic firehouse and now have a state-of-the-art top-secret research lab at their disposal. However, it appears the only 40-year technological advancement from the original day-to-day ghostbusting gear comes in the form of a trap attached to a drone. When the busters uncover an ancient artefact that contains one of the deadliest ghosts in history, it’s up to Paul Rudd and the gang to both kickstart and then prevent a second ice age. Doesn’t that just send a shiver up your spine?



REVIEW

The biggest issue facing Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is that it was doomed to fail from the beginning. In general, people are bored of being force-fed commercial remakes and reboots that lack the proton zap of the originals. After all, why watch a lesser remake when you could simply go and rewatch the 1984 classic all over again? The answer is simple, for a bit of fun.


If you walk into the theatre expecting Frozen Empire to change the landscape of your cinematic viewing experience, you are going to leave frostbitten and disappointed. On the other hand, if you go in willing to overlook the shortcomings, you can have a genuinely fun time. Laugh along with the one-liners. Tap your foot along to the theme tune. Experience the nostalgia of bustin’ on the big screen. Enjoy the film for what it is. Comparing Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire to the original would be foolish. This is the fifth appearance of the iconic beige jumpsuits on screen – that is more akin to a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and next to that, this is a modern masterpiece.


Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

Frozen Empire hints towards a budding queer romance between Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace) and a ghost by the name of Melody (Emily Alyn Lind) but never quite hones in on the chemistry between the two characters enough to make us feel invested. Similarly, the design of the evil demon, Garraka, is suitably creepy, but the character is introduced far too late and far too tame, never quite laying a glove on the fragile, human Ghostbusters. The recipe was there for a far better film, but what remains is still surface-level, enjoyable escapism for fans of the franchise.


Despite the storyline shortcomings, Ivan Reitman and the Ghostbusters team fill the movie with enough light-hearted comedy to maintain an enjoyable experience. It is no coincidence that the cast is filled with masters of comic timing, such as Paul Rudd, James Acaster, Kumail Nanjiani, and even a cameo from Bill Murray. The reprisals of Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts, as well as Slimer the ghost, are also enough to at least eek a nostalgic smile from original fans.


Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

A special mention has to go to McKenna Grace who continues to carry the rebooted franchise with her personable portrayal of Phoebe. Although, at 17, she is already a star of the big and small screen, we can expect a similar rise to the top experienced by her co-star Finn Wolfhard over the next few years.


So, if there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?


Is it time to finally disconnect the phone line? Probably. Does that mean it will happen? Almost certainly not. See you all in a few years at the release of Ghostbusters: Tokyo Bust.


STAR RATING

Rating Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE IS OUT NOW IN CINEMAS

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