Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – Film Review

40 years after the beloved hit 1984 Ghostbusters film, the Ghostbusters are back in New York City with the film franchise’s latest instalment, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, directed by Gil Kenan with a screenplay co-written by Jason Reitman. The sequel to 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire follows the Spengler family including Mckenna Grace’s Phoebe Spengler with Paul Rudd’s Mr. Grooberson in tow, in a tale where pioneer Ghostbusters are reunited with the newer crew to take on a brand new enemy.

The Spengler family moved house again and have turned the Ghostbusters’ iconic firehouse into their new home. The fireman’s pole is still there and so is the red box – the Ecto-containment unit located in the basement. Turns out, there’s still ghosts in there…

Original Ghostbusters member Ernie Hudson takes on a more prominent role as Dr Winston Zeddemore and it’s so great seeing both him and Dan Aykroyd’s Dr Raymond ‘Ray’ Stanz more involved with this new film. They have more screen-time and more interactions with the newer cast in the franchise.

Annie Potts also returns at Janine Melnitz, while Bill Murray fleets in and out as the restless but always attention grabbing Dr Peter Venkman, Murray having just enough screen-time to satisfy Ghostbusters fans. I would like to think that he was missing for a chunk of the film because he was too busy with his Mrs. off screen played by the legendary Sigourney Weaver. I am hoping that both will have more prominent roles in the next unconfirmed Ghostbusters film, but that’s just me. It was also wonderful having William Atherton return to the Ghostbusters franchise as Walter Peck who now holds the powerful position of Mayor of the city! Seeing him on-screen brought the biggest grin to my face!

The newer crew consisting of the aforementioned Gary Grooberson played by Paul Rudd returns alongside Carrie Coon as Callie Spengler, Finn Wolfhard’s Trevor Spengler, Celeste O’Connor’s Lucky and Logan Kim as Podcast. I adore Kim as Podcast. In this film, I love how he even says a bit of Korean. Unfortunately, his character’s bestie relationship with McKenna Grace’s Phoebe seems to be remembered in some moments of the film and are as quickly forgotten for the sake of Frozen Empire’s new plot, mostly following Grace’s Phoebe coming-of-age journey with her developing as a teenager and her struggles with her family.

I really missed Logan Kim homing in the spotlight as much as he did in the 2021 film, as well as his on-screen chemistry with McKenna Grace. However, his newfound buddy-cop bond with Dan Akroyd is so damn good, the lack of screen-time with Grace is somewhat forgivable. Akroyd and Kim are so deliciously great together, I actually want to see the pair go on more adventures.

2024 newcomers Lars Pinfield, Emily Alyn Lind and Kumail Najiani also make their presence known as a lab tech, a mysterious chess player and a weird guy offloading his late grandmother’s belongings, all prominent characters important to Frozen Empire’s story. I’m already a fan of Kumail Nanjiani as an actor, loved his character Nadeem Razmaadi and hope we see more of him too in the film franchise.

The mood of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire isn’t as heartwarming and nostalgic as Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Focusing more on growth and threats, I found Frozen Empire more serious compared to its predecessor but in a good way. It’s exciting and you really don’t know what’s going to happen next until all the pieces conveniently fall into place at the last second.

Without giving too much away, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is good. It has a large amount of references and Easter eggs for long-time fans to enjoy. For fresh eyes, even if you haven’t seen the original films, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is easy to follow and is a damn good time regardless.

The Ghostbusters film franchise is stronger than ever. Although this new movie is far from the perfect Ghostbusters film that we already know exists and has been around for 40 years. The ghosts in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire are just as intimidating, scary and unpredictable, the new crew fit so well with the original gang, and witnessing the Ghostbusters all bond and bust ghosts together actually makes you feel good.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is in cinemas now.

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