At The Movies With Josh: Ghostbusters Frozen Empire – Newsradio 600 KOGO

When the women were the cast of Ghostbusters in the 2016 movies, I felt bad for them that all the fanboys were attacking the film before ever seeing it. After seeing it though, I was also disappointed by it. [How do you have the comedic talents of Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy, yet not be funny?]
A few years later we got “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”. It was a cute, serviceable film and the cameo bringing back the original cast was a treat. This latest movie combines the old and new cast, and while co-written by Jason Reitman again (his dad Ivan did the original), it was directed horribly by Gil Kenan, with pacing that’s just off in a two hour movie that isn’t worth sitting through.
I did laugh at the intro, but it was personal. I had recently bought an old gramophone for the living room, and this has folks in 1904 New York City being frozen to death while listening to one. That introduces us to the brass orb that stores a deadly demon.
When we get back to modern times, with Gary (Paul Rudd) hanging out with the Spengler family, my wife made this observation.
“I think their family dynamics are weird.”
And I agree. Phoebe (McKenna Grace) also has a weird relationship with a female ghost. Someone in the audience sitting in front of me at the screening, asked their partner, “Are they supposed to be lesbians, or what?”
You never do find out (I did think that Phoebe shouldn’t get involved with that ghost, despite her prowess at chess; but that’s because I saw the horror movie “The Entity” when I was 13-years-old, and that was a story that had Barbara Hershey being raped by a ghost, but I digress.)
Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe are fighting ghosts, while their mom Callie (Carrie Coon) tries to discipline them, and occasionally flirt with Gary (Paul Rudd). There’s a mayor (William Atherton) that wants to shut them down. The crowd went nuts when he showed up, and I think the filmmakers thought – hey, if we just bring in folks from the original, we don’t need to do much else. It’s a shame, because a better story was needed.
Speaking of people from the original, Winston (Ernie Hudson) shows up. He’s a billionaire and has a new facility. When we see the place, it reminded me of how James Bond would always meet with Q to see all the new weapons and gadgets they were working on.
The biggest and baddest of the ghosts, finally escapes from the brass orb. And the guy that brought the orb, was my favorite part of the movie – the always hilarious Kumail Nanjiani.
We get a handful of expository talk to let us know what’s going on (one time it was funny, because Bill Murray yells at Dan Aykroyd in the middle of it, “Just shut up and do it, we all trust you.”).
There are a handful of fun jump scares.
Yet there were just too many characters, none of which are developed as well as they should be. I brought a friend because “Ghostbusters” is his favorite movie of all time. He hated it, and kept saying, “What was this movie about? Was it about that ghost with the horns? And why did he need his horns? Do those have power? Is it about that gay girl ghost? Was it about the family?”
He texted me an hour later asking the same questions, and demanding to know “What the hell was that movie even about?!”
I did like the “possessor ghost” was a red light that could bounce to various objects and inhabit them. Nothing like watching a vacuum cleaner start up on its own. And, there are a few cute jokes, but not many (I liked the one about a portable CD player being haunted by a Spin Doctors CD).
The cast also includes comedian Patton Oswalt (who is there to give more exposition), and of course, Annie Potts.
1 ½ stars out of 5.







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *