Just like all movie franchises, its all about the money and not screwing up what made the original movies as good as they were. Ghostbusters was released in 1984, Ghostbusters 2 was released in 1989. One of the best things about these two movies was their humor, mostly from the deadpan comments and subtle comedy of Bill Murray. Unfortunately, the new “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is almost bereft of all humor, once again in favor of special effects, mostly at the end. I was surprised at how slow and boring this movie was in too many areas, aside from missing the most important comedy ingredient. In 2016 a new idea in the Ghostbusters franchise was attempted with an all female cast starring Kate McKinnon and Melissa McCarthy. At least this movie did not forget to at least try to continue the comedy tradition, but was only at best an average film.
This story starts in the present day, with Callie, the daughter of Dr. Egon Spengler, played by the late Harold Ramis, broke and evicted from her home with her 2 kids, Phoebe and Trevor. Spengler’s daughter Callie then inherits the about to-fall down-farm of her late father, starting the story of a scientist who for over 30 years was still trying to trap ghosts rather than being a farmer.
One possible source of humor that was missed in this story was Paul Rudd, who plays the science teacher of Phoebe played by Mckenna Grace. Rudd has no funny scenes in this movie, none. Considering Rudd has always been funny in just about all his movies, it must have taken some doing to squelch out any sign of humor in all of his scenes. We all know that the science behind this Ghostbusters idea is ridiculous, so in order to make this all work, the audience needs comedy to make fun of the whole insane idea of trapping dangerous ghosts into tiny boxes using laser guns.
The other idea here was to use young kids to continue this franchise, with one of the actors from the Netflix “Stranger Things” series, Finn Wolfhard along with Mckenna Grace and newcomer
Logan Kim – who calls himself podcast, for reasons that make no sense and not really funny. This idea of this new young cast, might save this franchise but only if the next one in the series is much better than this installment. The original Ghostbuster cast, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Ernie Hudson does make an appearance at the end of this movie, along with a visage of Harold Ramis – but this is not nearly enough to save what is a below average film.
The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Ghostbusters: Afterlife are a low 61% and this time around I agree with the critics and cannot recommend this movie.