[Courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

Movie Review: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

07:00 March 25, 2024
By: Fritz Esker

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024)

2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a moderate success at the box office and with fans. It was a reasonably fun installment in the series (and, in this writer's opinion, superior to both 1989's Ghostbusters II and 2016's Ghostbusters). Director Gil Kenan's new installment, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, is of similar quality. It breaks no new ground but makes for an enjoyable outing at the movies.

15-year-old Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), the grandchildren of Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis in earlier installments), have moved to New York City with their mother (Carrie Coon) and sort-of stepfather (Paul Rudd). They are fighting ghosts and a new threat emerges, related to a ghost trapped in an heirloom that a local slacker (Kumail Nanjiani) brings to the attention of original Ghostbuster Ray (Dan Aykroyd).

The film sometimes feels a bit overstuffed as it tries to bring back characters from the original film and the most recent installment, but it zips along nicely. Grace remains an asset to the series as the nerdy but tough Phoebe. There might be too many characters for there to be a true main character. But if there is one, it's Phoebe, and Grace handles the load well.

Nanjiani is also funnier in this than anything he has been in since his excellent 2017 film The Big Sick. He has a great deadpan delivery that is reminiscent of vintage Bill Murray, who does return in the new film for a couple of scenes as original lead Peter Venkman and gets a few laughs in the process.

Of the films in the last decade that have revisited old favorites, Top Gun: Maverick, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Blade Runner 2049 are the best. Ghostbusters: Fallen Empire isn't on the same level as those three, but it's fun enough to justify its existence.

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