After 37 years and a Covid related setback, Ghostbusters Afterlife debuted on the silver screen. Following the debacle that was 2016, there were many nervous fans out there. Was this Ghostbusters Afterlife going to be a success or a letdown like its predecessor? Let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t for Ghostbusters Afterlife.
What Didn’t: Odd Ghost Choice
This is a small gripe but the introduction of the “Muncher” ghost was an odd addition to the movie. He didn’t get the same reaction that a certain ghost did with the original. With all the nostalgic themes throughout the movie, it would have been great to see Slimer make his return.
What Didn’t: Bloated Runtime
Another small issue but one that affected the overall movie was the runtime. For what this movie was to have over a 2-hour runtime was a bit much. There could have been some scenes that would have benefitted from a brisker pace.
What Didn’t: Gozer Again?
Using the same baddie from the original gets a slight frown. With a supernatural theme, there could have been hundreds of different ghosts to use. It would have been great to see them branch out into something new.
What Did: Incredible Cast
Easily the best part of the movie was the fantastic job done by the cast. All involved did a great job of capturing the emotion and spirit of the original.
Mckenna Grace was the star of the movie. As Phoebe Spengler, she was the perfect combination of quirky and silly. She was also able to bring an emotional side to the movie that was not present with previous movies in the series. She was tugging at the heartstrings and this was a welcome surprise.
Outside of Grace, Logan Kim, as Podcast, was another great addition to the movie. The movie was filled with funny moments and Kim was responsible for most of them. He showed comedic timing that some adults cannot manage, and his biting commentary on podcasters was perfect.
Other than the two stars of the show, every other cast member was great. Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon were perfect as the adult leads. Finn Wolfhard was a great side character as the wise-cracking brother.
All in all, whoever did the casting for this movie deserves a raise. They matched every actor to their character perfectly.
What Did: Comedy
This movie was very close to matching the comedy from the original. It was not as subtle as the 1984 Ghostbusters but that is not a bad thing. This movie had a younger audience in mind and the comedy fit that to a T.
There were still some adult comedic moments that were welcome to the overall presentation but it was the young actors that truly stole the show. They were able to pull off some very funny moments that got a ton of laughs.
What Did: Nostalgia
Coming from a fan of the original movie, Afterlife was a great throwback. The background music throughout was direct from the original. It was a subtle way to establish the same tone as the original.
There were also some great nods to the previous movie throughout Afterlife. Having a twinkie in the glove box of Ecto-1 and seeing a large stacking of books in Egon’s farmhouse was a great nod to the original and one that only hardcore fans would have picked up on.
As far as harkening back to the first movie goes, nothing gets better than seeing Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson reprise their roles. It was only for a few minutes at the end of the movie but it was perfect placement. All three men established themselves in the film without upstaging the new blood. It was the best way to pull off a cameo.
What Did: The Emotional Backbone
Running throughout the entire movie was an emotional theme of loss and betrayal. Those were some serious themes that were not present in the original and it helped to set this movie apart.
All of the emotion came to a head in an incredible climax. Without spoiling it the climax will not leave a dry eye in the theatre. It was a testament to the story being told and how well it dealt with the themes mentioned above.
What Did: The Direction of Jason Reitman
What made the 1984 movie work so well was the beautiful direction of Ivan Reitman. He knew what movie he needed to make and he made an instant classic.
This type of direction was mirrored by his son in Afterlife. Jason took over the franchise and captured the same charm that made the originals great. He included his flare that added a freshness to the movie and this shows the great job that he did.
If there is a sequel, which is almost assured at this point, hopefully, Reitman will helm it. It would be interesting to see how he can build off his first venture into Ghostbusters.
This writer was nervous going into the movie. The 1984 movie was a near-perfect comedy and was there any way that Afterlife could live up to it. Luckily, this movie was a great successor to Ghostbusters. It followed in the themes of the original while striking out on its own. It was a great movie to introduce Ghostbusters Afterlife to a new generation.