By Lee Romero
Ecto-1 and Proton Pack and Aztec Death Whistles, oh my!
Whether its popular cover song by Ray Parker, Jr or Ecto-1’s distinctive siren, for nearly forty years its looped in our head at some point. Since its release, Ghostbusters is a pivotal, franchise flick of the ’80s. Among other classics during the era, it’s a piece that helped make my childhood awesome. Back then, the names Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Winston were just as big then, as Iron Man, Capt. America, Thor, and The Hulk today. Yea, I know, different… but the same! Heroes who suited and strapped themselves up with all sorts of cool gadgets and set out to fight against supernatural chaos. In short… they had it factor, bro! Quirky, yet effective, this team of spook specialists (among antagonist souls of mischief) engraved themselves in our minds and hearts.
Guess who’s back!? (Well, kinda.)
Set after the events of GHOSTBUSTERS II (’89), a single mother (Carrie Coon) and her two children (Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace) move to a small town in Oklahoma, where they discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and their grandfather’s (Harold Ramis) secret legacy.
For the most part, the film is ridiculously entertaining. It has a great time making sure its audience is aware what the backdrop to this is all about. Jason Reitman hashes out a piece that pays tribute to all things Ghostbusters. So much, it’s intertwined throughout the entire run. No punches are pulled, and the narrative has lots of fun piggybacking off our ghost busting troops and their heroic acts saving NYC. Tied in with a contemporary touch that allows us to take in a new story, set of fresh faces, comedic parings, and cool set pieces, AFTERLIFE provides a fun continuation and upgrade towards a franchise most of its original fanbase can enjoy, as well as lure in a new brood of followers.
The highlight of this piece of course is when we get to see the originals show up. The story keeps them relevant, and brilliantly link Harold Ramis into the mix. I will admit it was pretty sad and spooky to see how they do it, but it worked and it was greatly appreciated. It made AFTERLIFE a lot more special than anticipated. Paul Rudd is a wonderful addition as well. The way he’s meshed into the narrative was a lot of fun. As a whole, AFTERLIFE is a charming piece full of fun frights, dialog delights, and spooky spectacles that ALSO entail some of our old ghost and goblins from the past. In short, a love letter to the original film.
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 2:04
Starring: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson
Directed by Jason Reitman