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Ghostbusters III

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Year Of Release
Jason Reitman
Ivan Reitman
Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman
Based on Ghostbusters by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
Eric Steelberg
Dana E. Glauberman, Nathan Orloff
Rob Simonsen
Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Logan Kim, Celeste O'Connor, Bokeem Woodbine, Annie Potts
With Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson
And Harold Ramis

In 2021, a mysterious loner is living on a farm, and has been predicting the end of the world for decades.
After his death, he leaves all of his belongings to his estranged daughter and her children, including the farm itself.
Amongst the property and belongings he left behind, are the bits and pieces of highly specialised scientific equipment, and the remnants of what used to be the Ghostbusters.
Odd movie this one.
It shouldn't work.

After the debacle of 2016 and the backlash Sony received, they returned to the Ghostbusters family, Ivan and Jason.
The backstory here is that Jason had planned but not executed a 3rd script for GB3 years before, but simply sat on the idea without developing it.
2016 happened, and the rest is basically history.

I was wary of the movie though once the cast had been announced.
Grace as Phoebe in the lead... backup from Wolfhard, Logan Kim and O'Connor... made me grind my teeth that they were maybe making some kind of Saturday morning live-action kid-flick.
Gladly though, what we've been treated to is both a kind of fan-service, and a genuine 3rd movie at the same time.

With Jason's writing and direction, and Ivan's guidance, plus the backing of a talented cast, the filmmakers have managed to create something that's fun, spooky in places, nostalgic, and also brings new things to the table.

Now, there's a couple things wrong with the movie.
The first being that fan-service I mentioned.
It doesn't exactly pander to the audience in the same way that maybe Rogue One did, or even Force Awakens and Jurassic World... but it does have all those Easter Eggs laced throughout with pieces of equipment dotted here and there, nods to GB1 with trinkets and props and the occasional line of dialogue.

The movie also, for some weird reason, seems to ignore GB2 when the characters are talking about historical events... and looking online, GB2 is still canon according to the filmmakers... so I'm not sure exactly what happened there. Maybe it was cut for timing or something.

Which brings me to the screenplay and writing, timing etc.
This movie is almost perfect.
It rolls out nicely, and doesn't lose the audience with anything too complicated, and also doesn't lose the audience by being boring or overly zany.

There's a slight wobble in timing near the middle of the movie once Phoebe gets hold of a working proton pack with her pal Podcast (Logan Kim)...
They immediately take it out for a test-run, and immediately come across as ghost... which then immediately leads into the car chase scene and the gunner seat (great nod to the 80s cartoons by the way).

It felt a bit rushed in that 7-or-so minute sequence.
I'd have liked to have seen maybe the characters having to get used to firing the neutrino wand and struggling with things before going on their first hunt.
Still though, the sequence does include them struggling during the actual chase and entrapment of a ghost, but it still felt a little forced.
There was no real comedic lead-up to the similar scene in GB1 where the main 3 basically destroy a hotel ballroom because they're essentially cowboy tradesmen.
Once that scene is over with though, the movie balances itself back out again.

What I did love about the movie, even with it forgetting about GB2, was the familiarity it had with the original two movies.
It feels like a Ghostbusters movie.

It's fun, funny, exciting, has a couple little pieces that harken back to the set-up and payoff of "turning the land, never planting anything" in a similar way that the original used "don't cross the streams" as its payoff.
It's nice to see as well, that the filmmakers actually love this IP rather than just making it for the money.

I think along with all the familiarity, the one thing I wasn't keen on, was Zuul, Vinz and Gozer again?
With Callie and Grooberson as a repeat of Barrett and Tully?
It makes it fell like a re-tread of the original plot.
Plus, and I'm laughing typing this: We had skybeams!

Gladly though this time having the backstory of kids and grandkids doing all the discovering, it works.
And that's really the gist of what I'm trying to pinpoint... they were damned if they did, and damned if they didn't.
In this case, the cons are forgotten because the pros are so good... they are all kinda cancelling each other out and the movie felt as though it was in safe, loving hands.
As for loving hands and understanding the lore... we have a stellar cast.
Logan Kim might be a little annoying sometimes, but, he's likeable.
Wolfhard and O'Connor as the secondary characters play it well too. They seem to be having fun playing off as the (almost) teenage lovers with Wolfhard desperately trying to get the attention of the girl he's taken a shine to.

Rudd and Coon as Gary Grooberson and Callie are brilliant to watch as their blossoming romance grows, before they get thrown into an apocalypse. They have probably the best chemistry in the movie.
Coon in particular has a real mom feel about her. She somehow plays both relaxed and stresses at the same time.

Mckenna Grace as Phoebe though. Wow.
12-13 year old leading lady, in an 80s style nostalgic Ghostbusters movie?
I absolutely love her in this film, she's the soul of this movie and carries a lot of the weird dialogue really well. Kid's got a future ahead of her.

The rest of the Ghostbusting team are more a lengthened cameo.
I won't spoil it, but it was fun to see them again, even if it was short lived... and Aykroyd rattling out his 30-second-long speech to Gozer is great to see.
Aykroyd loves long complicated lists

Now, the bit I've been putting off writing about.
Harold Ramis' Egon Spengler.
I was intrigued... then I cried, and then I laughed.
And then I cried again.
It's a lovely homage they did throughout the entire movie, and the beautiful goodbye to Harold as well in the 3rd act.
For that, it's a bravo, and standing ovation from me.

All in All, tons of fun.
Tons of nostalgia.
Also finds its own feet in the storytelling with the grandkid side of things.
Not as whacky and zany or repetitive as GB2, and not as adult oriented or fresh as GB1... it manages to find a middle ground, brings new things to the table, and still feels like a Ghostbusters movie.
A worthy reboot.

My rating: 86%