Although the story itself wasn't hugely original, the characters were written with love creating likeable, human characters not meant to be perfect or normal but just people.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I liked how the movie honored the character Egon. I also enjoyed watching the kids find all the ghost stuff and figure out how it all worked.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Defiantly worth the wait
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
It was a fun movie to watch and enjoy. Lots of twists and turns with tongue in cheek humor. A good family movie with just a few fun jump in your seat moments.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
I wanted to love this film but I don't. It is much better than the travesty that was Ghostbusters 2016 but that is not saying very much at all.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sweet, inoffensive and blatantly fan-service heavy. In short, EXACTLY what it needs to be!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is a sequel of the original franchise that started in 1984 and written by the actors Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. So why did it take 37 years for a part 3 to come out?
Bill Murray, who starred in the first two movies wasn't thrilled about doing a third one and turned down offers for many years. And then there was Ghostbusters II – it was a financial success, although not as big as the first one, and that showed in the response from the fans – it wasn't as well received as its predecessor.
Over the years, the two movies became a cultural phenomenon and it spawned several incarnations of comic books and animated shows and a video game.
And Dan Aykroyd kept working on the script for the third movie. On one of the re-writes, Harold Ramis, who also starred in the first two became actively involved once again with Aykroyd ‘s script.
Then the movie hit a few snags.
Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two movies, stepped down, but stayed on as the producer. And Harold Ramis died in 2014. Rick Moranis had already retired from acting after the death of his wife in 1991.
The script was shelved until Jason Reitman stepped in as director with his father as the producer. This time, Jason Reitman also co-wrote the script to Afterlife, ignoring the 2016 re-boot completely. And the original cast all returned either in body or spirit except for Moranis.
So why is Afterlife a sequel of the original and not the re-boot? Basically, the re-boot received negative audience reviews and was a box office bomb to boot. And Aykroyd got his dream of getting another Ghostbusters off the ground.
Afterlife centred around the Spengler family, which helped maintain a strong connection to the first two movies, yet it had an all new cast.
The opening sequence was eerie and had the hook to drag viewers into the story. They never showed the face of the person on screen in that opening sequence, however, I, like quite a few, had the feeling that they were trying to portray Harold Ramis' character Egon.
The next part of the movie establishes the Spengler family, although we don't learn the connection to Egon until much later – however the clever story writing keeps adding little clues which makes you think of their possible identity and their connection to the character in the opening sequence. However, this part of the story was fairly slow, had no action or gravitas and had it been a stand-alone movie with no connection to the Ghostbusters franchise, I might have walked out.
Once the spooky stuff starts, the plot line gets more intriguing and eventually pulls the audience in.
The plot, of course, is once again the connection to the original movie. The adversaries are familiar – Zuul, Vinz and Gozer are characters that appeared in the original. The Keymaster and Gatekeeper are again synonymous with the OG. The issue with bringing these guys back was that Afterlife seems to regurgitate a now-tired plot line, and fails to come up with an original idea of its own. If using these characters were meant to have the movie connect to the 1984 version, then it fails miserably. The Spengler family had already achieved the connection, bringing heart and soul of the original to Afterlife.
The other plot hole I felt was Paul Rudd's character in dealing with the Ghostbusting aspect. He was the only adult in the situation, and a teacher to boot, yet he did not seem to provide any guidance to the children even when he knew they were going to unearth the mysteries by themselves. Seeing that he was the only one familiar with the events that transpired in New York years ago, knew who the Ghostbusters were and knew that ghosts were real, that the containment devices the Ghostbusters used were real, Paul Rudd's character should have been a lot more cautious when experimenting with the containment device. The fact that he started to date the mother and learned that she was Egon's daughter seemed to only compound the error of his aloofness to the whole mystery of Ghostbusting. But if we relegate his character to a man who failed to take adult responsibility then we can not only accept him but his faults actually work positively for the film.
The story does cleverly create a whole mystery surrounding the Gozer mythos and the middle-of-nowhere country town. And Paul Rudd's character, as mentioned can work - if we start to accept his character as an irresponsible, child-at heart goof-up, which suits his name – Gary Grooberson. In fact, as a teacher, he definitely is a failure, since he does nothing to inspire his kids, accepts that the school kids care nothing about learning and instead shows them movies in class which have no connection to the syllabus.
When Gozer appears on screen, the creature cannot be so easily destroyed this time. In fact, the monster almost wins the battle against the new ghostbusters until the hurdle is overcome by the arrival of the original team-up and the re-activation of the massive ghost trap that Egon had created. It took the ghost trap activation, the kid ghostbusters and the original ghostbusters acting in sync to help defeat the enemy which made him a convincing adversary.
Of the cast, Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Ben Stiller were initially supposed to take over as the next generation of Ghostbusters in Dan Aykroyd's script. While I'm sure that version would have been hilarious, noting the actors, Afterlife put Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim and Finn Wolfhard as the new generation portraying Phoebe Spengler, Podcast and Trevor Spengler respectively. However, the Trevor character seemed to be wasted until mostly the final act of the movie when he starts taking his cue from his younger sister. He is sour due to the change in scenery and being uprooted from his home to live in the middle of nowhere and develops a crush on a local girl and gets a job in the same restaurant just to get to know her – a plot line that can effectively be removed from the story without changing it, however I feel this may be a setup for the next sequel. And Podcast seems to be around just for comic relief but he is actually not that funny – more of a weird geek. The cast is a bit more serious than the usual Ghostbusters movies with the exception of Paul Rudd's goofy character.
Another surprise addition was the casting of JK Simmons in the role of Ivo Shandor, however, the role does not afford the actor much on-screen time.
And of course, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts all make appearances in the movie along with computer-wizardry recreation of Harold Ramis. Even Sigourney Weaver makes a quick cameo immediately post-credit.
I seem to recall one of the actresses from the female re-boot having a hissy fit about this movie being brought to screen instead of a sequel of her film. And the rant had something to do with the female re-boot being sidelined in favour of the all male sequel. So how does this movie stand up? Well, Afterlife really is a female-led movie. Mckenna Grace does a magnificent job of acting and basically carries the whole movie. The story is really about her and finding her connection to her grandfather and then realising that she is not so much of an outcast in the family, rather her qualities may have come from her grandfather. And of the new generation of Ghostbusters, Mckenna Grace/Phoebe is really the brains and well as the heart of the teamup, while her brother and Podcast are only there as cursory characters along for the ride. Podcast needs a friend and finds that he shares similarities with Phoebe and hence want to hand out with her. Trevor would never have been part of the team-up had he not been her brother. And of the original all male team-up, they only have supporting roles and a far less screen presence. So yes, this is a female led movie and it is still intriguing, funny at times, exciting and worth the purchase of a ticket and is definitely worth adding the blu-ray to your collection.
It also makes me wish for sequels to this new generation, with, of course, a more rounded development of Trevor and Podcast.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When battling the fandom of ghost-busting regulars, a film like "Afterlife" will rustle some feathers. And yet, the film – like the magic of the originals – has an effortless entertainment value wrapped in a blockbuster mould. Yes, it often spends valuable time lost in sickly nostalgia and some questionable acting from the child ensemble, but when experienced over popcorn, becomes an easy way to spend an evening. Plus, I mean, who doesn't love Paul Rudd?
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Ghostbusters turned into a YA/kids story with a dash of fan service to lure in nostalgia seekers. I had a tough time making it through to the bitter end. There were so many moments where I wanted to scream at how bad this film was and turn it off, but I grimly hung in there, hoping that there would be something to redeem this awful travesty. Alas, no such luck. Just another desperate cash grab preying on those who loved the original film and gullible neophytes. Please let this franchise die in peace, the studio has ripped away any honor and dignity it might have had left.