Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review: Bustin Has Never Felt So Good

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire swoops into the franchise with the thunderous claps of supernatural comedy and heartfelt moments that its predecessors are known for. Directed by Gil Kenan and co-written with Jason Reitman, this sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife manages to maintain the delicate balance of nostalgic reverence and fresh innovation. In this iteration, we see a harmonious blend of the original Ghostbusters cast and the vibrant new generation taking on an otherworldly threat in a bustling New York City setting.

Two years have elapsed since the events of Afterlife, and the narrative takes an ambitious leap. The Spengler family, along with their quirky companion Gary Grooberson (played with effortless charm by Paul Rudd), relocate to New York City, reinvigorating the iconic firehouse with new life and ambitions. The storyline excels in weaving the warm essence of familial ties with the expansive lore of the Ghostbusters universe. It’s not just about zapping ghosts anymore; it’s about legacy, friendship, and the continual fight between good and eerie evil.

The addition of Kumail Nanjiani as Nadeem Razmaadi brings a delightful freshness to the cast. Nanjiani infuses his role with a charismatic vulnerability and timely humor that beautifully contrasts the stoic dedication of Mckenna Grace‘s Phoebe Spengler. This dynamic adds a rich layer to the ensemble, further enhancing the chemistry among the team members. Grace continues to shine in the role as well, taking the reigns of the franchise once again. She more than proves that she’s one of the most talented actors working today as Phoebe. It’s only a matter of time before Grace wins her very first Oscar and I can’t wait for that day to come.

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson slip back into their roles with such ease that it feels like no time has passed at all. Their characters act as the bridge between past and present, offering wisdom, wit, and the occasional eye-roll-worthy dad joke. It’s a pleasure to see them on screen, guiding the new generation and, at times, being wonderfully outsmarted by them.

The plot of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is as chilling as it is exhilarating. An ancient artifact unleashes a formidable adversary, aiming to create a second Ice Age. The film cleverly navigates its narrative through thrilling action sequences, punctuated by genuinely hilarious moments. The script is sharp, littered with Easter eggs for the dedicated fans, and accessible humor for newcomers.

However, where Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire truly excels is in its heart. It never loses sight of the emotional core that made Ghostbusters: Afterlife so compelling. The intergenerational bonds, the struggle for acceptance, and the discovery of self-worth are themes expertly threaded throughout the ghost-chasing escapades. This emotional depth is where the film earns its stripes, proving that even amidst the most laugh-out-loud sequences, there’s room for a tear or two.

The visual effects are a spectacular highlight, blending the familiar proton-pack streams with new, innovative spectral manifestations. The visually stunning spectral army is a formidable antagonist force. The icy grip of the Frozen Empire is felt visually and narratively. It creates for a unique aesthetic for the film that stands out in the franchise.

Where the film slightly falters is in its pacing. At times, the narrative seems to rush through pivotal scenes, sacrificing potential character development for spectacle. The action sequences are thrilling and exciting. But a more measured approach could have given depth to the newer characters, like Emily Alyn Lind and James Acaster. Their potential feels slightly underexplored, a minor blemish in an otherwise captivating film.

The climax of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a whirlwind of emotions and special effects. It brings together all the elements that make the film such a joyous experience. It manages to close the chapter on a high note while leaving the door ajar for future adventures. This ending encapsulates the film’s spirit — a blend of farewell and promise, encapsulating the eternal cycle of legacy and innovation.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the franchise. It honors its past while fearlessly charging into the future, equipped with a proton pack full of laughs, scares, and heart. This film is not just a successful sequel; it’s a loving homage to the series and a bold step forward. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer, there’s something in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire for everyone to enjoy. It’s a supernatural comedy that doesn’t just aim to entertain but to remind us of the power of legacy, and a good ghost story.

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  • Acting - 8/10
    8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/10
    8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8/10
    8/10
  • Watchability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Rewatchability - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.