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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review: A Fun Mess

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is the fifth Ghostbusters movie made, the fourth in the main Ghostbusters franchise, and was directed by Gil Kenan. The movie stars Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and original cast members Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts. In this movie, the Ghostbusters return to New York City, and the Spengler family continues the legacy of the Ghostbusters and must take on a phantom god who threatens to create a ghost army and freeze everyone. The movie is also written by Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman.

Similar to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the movie focuses on the new group of Ghostbusters, the Spengler family. The new cast continues to deliver funny, good performances. Mckenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler delivers a great performance as she deals with being left behind after NYC mayor Walter Peck, once again played by William Afterton, threatens to go after the Ghostbusters. Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson returns, is now Phoebe’s stepfather and he struggles to adapt to his new role of being a father to her.

The original Ghostbusters cast gets more screen time this time around, mainly Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. It’s nice to see Hudson’s character Winston play more of a leadership role in this movie, funding the Ghostbusters and the new tech being developed. Aykroyd’s Ray is awesome as always and wants to be more involved in the action this time around, mentoring Phoebe and Podcast. Bill Murray as Dr. Venkman feels more like a cameo in comparison to the other cast members, but was still hilarious. We finally got to see Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz suited up in a Ghostbusters uniform helping the crew.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has a lot more humor than the previous movie, as well as higher stakes. The special effects and ghost designs look great, with the action being fun as always. The main issue with the movie is the story feels rushed. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is shorter than Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but has more characters, story arcs, and more things happening. Certain things also felt unnecessary, including this subplot where Finn Wolfhard’s character is dealing with Slimer. Certain things felt convenient, including how Podcast and Lucky Domingo, once again played by Logan Kim and Celeste O’Connor. Also, Walter Peck, the former EPA employee who hated the Ghostbusters in the original movie, returns as the mayor of NYC, which felt unnecessary and only in the movie to give the Ghostbusters another problem to deal with.

All in all, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a solid entry into the Ghostbusters franchise. It has more laughs than the previous movie and shows the original cast more. The ghost designs are great, and the action improves. The movie could have been longer to flesh out certain scenes and moments. Certain plotlines also felt unnecessary in the movie.

My final grade of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a B-. It’s a fun sequel with great throwbacks and fun performances. The original cast gets to do more in this movie. The plot, while promising, felt rushed, and the runtime should have been longer. If you are a Ghostbusters fan, I still recommend the movie. What are your thoughts on Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire? Let us know in the comments below.


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