Jason Reitman tries to do his father, Ivan, proud with his take on busting ghosts, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Alas, he overdoes the fanboy elements, similar to what happened with the final Star Wars installment. Just call this The Rise of Ghostbuster.
Ivan, of course, directed the original—an irreverent, out-of-nowhere comedy classic that captured lightning in a bottle, in part because Bill Murray wound up in the cast. This take leaves New York City (all three previous Ghostbusters films were based there) and sets its story in rural America, in a place featuring wheat fields and abandoned mine shafts.
The first half of the movie has its merits, with a young cast including Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard in a mildly interesting, good-looking film with a few original ideas—but almost no laughs. Paul Rudd shows up as the comic relief—it’s not good when your comedy needs comic relief—while Carrie Coon plays the struggling mom.
Just when you start to appreciate the film for trying for something new, it goes hog wild with tributes to the original—to an extent that it becomes annoying, with Easter eggs overtaking any effort for an actual story.
To talk about the things that are the most bothersome about this film would be to give too much away. Let’s just say the results will leave you with a new appreciation for Ghostbusters 2, although you should still hate the Kristen Wiig reboot. That film will always suck.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is playing at theaters across the valley.