Just when you thought it would never happen, it finally did, and it was better than expected as this third official entry of the hit franchise moves from the big city to small town USA.
After the death of the father she never knew, single mother Callie learns of an inheritance, and she heads to the town of Summerville with her son Travis and daughter Phoebe. They learn that part of the inheritance is a decrepit farmhouse in the middle of a dirt road. People know of the so-called “dirt farmer” and are shocked to learn the farmer even had a family. Due to their financial situation, Callie decides to stay in Summerville. Trevor gets a job at a local hangout while Phoebe attends summer school.
As Phoebe’s curiosity grows, she begins to discover some strange things in the house. When she is able to solve a floor puzzle, she finds something. Her teacher, Mr. Grooberson, learns that the object Phoebe found is a ghost trap that once belonged to the Ghostbusters, who saved New York City twice. After messing with the trap, Grooberson and Phoebe accidentally unleash an apparition said to be part of a prophecy. They soon learn a shocking connection and Phoebe soon realizes her destiny as she brings in Trevor, her new friend Podcast, and Trevor’s crush Lucky to help her stop the monster she accidentally unleashed.
A whopping three decades later after we saw the original Ghostsbusters save New York City, we finally have the third official film of the franchise. That isn’t to say this is knocking on the 2016 all-female reboot of the hit film. This reviewer for one, liked that film but saw it more of a potential spin-off that should we get more of what we have with this particular one, maybe an idea would be to crossover the two. Who knows?
Co-writer and director Jason Reitman, whose father Ivan directed the first two films, did a great job in terms of building the story up while meshing both his father’s classic style of comic filmmaking with something more modern. It is obvious that we know the eventual connection between this film and the two originals, but it does leave one question to be answered: Why a small town like Summerville?
The cast is great in this film. Carrie Coon spends a lot of time grimacing over her late father not being there for her and having to drop some bombs in the role of Callie. Finn Wolfhard at first is shocked and complains but soon grows to love the new area as Trevor. Sure, he has that teen angst but when it comes to Celeste O’Connor’s Lucky, he finds himself at a comfortable place inside and out. However, the film’s real breakout is McKenna Grace, whose Phoebe is the heart of the film. She is the one who gets involved in the most involving the film’s central plot and connection. She even sports a look similar to both an animated form and a 2016 look worn by one Kate McKinnon. And just wait because there are some very surprising cameos that are guaranteed to make the viewers jump for joy.
In the end, Ghostbusters: Afterlife makes its intentions known and rolls with it in such a major way that not only does it pay homage to the original film, but adds an amazing new generational modern twist with some great performances and superb cameos. One can only hope a follow-up will occur.
WFG RATING: A
Columbia Pictures presents a BRON Studios/Ghost Corps production in association with the Montecito Pictures Company. Director: Jason Reitman. Producer: Ivan Reitman. Writers: Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman; based on the characters created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Cinematography: Eric Steelberg. Editing: Dana E. Glauberman and Nathan Orloff.
Cast: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Logan S. Kim, Celeste O’Connor, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, J.K. Simmons.