‘Ghostbusters Frozen Empire’ Review — Time to Call Someone Else


The Huge Image

  • Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
    depends closely on nostalgia, squeezing in references that do not add to the brand new story.
  • The movie struggles to stability outdated and new characters, leading to extreme cameos and callbacks.
  • Regardless of some enjoyable new additions,
    Frozen Empire
    dwells an excessive amount of prior to now as an alternative of telling a recent story.

Ever because the first Ghostbusters was launched in 1984, any try and return to this world has relied closely on nostalgia and diminishing returns, making a illusion of what was once. 1989’s Ghostbusters II couldn’t stay as much as the unique, even with the identical workforce behind it. 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife constantly requested the viewers to recollect how a lot they loved the primary movie as an alternative of caring concerning the film they had been at present watching. A minimum of 2016’s Ghostbusters tried one thing new, hitting extra on the archetypes than immediately recreating the unique an excessive amount of.

Whereas not almost as egregious as Afterlife, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire continues this pattern in exhausting style, reminding the viewers that forty years in the past, there was a film known as Ghostbusters that they loved and this isn’t it—regardless of what number of references and cameos they will shove in. Frozen Empire makes an attempt to evoke the previous with fixed callbacks, whereas making an attempt to make the viewers care a couple of extra trendy story with characters for a brand new era, and finally ends up failing on each counts.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

When the invention of an historical artifact unleashes an evil pressure, Ghostbusters new and outdated should be part of forces to guard their residence and save the world from a second ice age.

Launch Date
March 22, 2024

Gil Kenan

125 Minutes

What Is ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ About?

Frozen Empire finds the Spengler household—Callie (Carrie Coon), her son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), her daughter Phoebe (McKenna Grace), and Callie’s boyfriend/former science instructor Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd)—having moved from Oklahoma to New York Metropolis, the place they now stay within the Ghostbusters firehouse. They work collectively as the brand new Ghostbusters, however after a ghost chase leaves a multitude in NYC, the 15-year-old Phoebe will get sidelined as a part of the workforce.

It couldn’t occur at a worse time, as Phoebe begins hanging out with a ghost (Emily Alyn Lind), the containment heart for ghosts and the firehouse is about able to burst with 40 years of ghosts about to come out, and a brand new artifact bought by newcomer Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani) to Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) could possibly be the important thing to the resurgence of an historical evil. Amongst all of this, Winston (Ernie Hudson) has created a brand new ghost analysis lab, full with new ghosts and devices, Gary is struggling together with his place as a possible guardian to Callie’s children, and there’s only a complete mess of outdated and new characters doing their very own factor and sometimes popping in to remind that, hey, they’re nonetheless round!

Gil Kenan Is a First rate Option to Direct ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’

Picture by way of Sony Photos

Director Gil Kenan takes over the sequence, and regardless of a spotty filmography, he’s not a horrible alternative for a job (and positively makes extra sense as a director than Jason Reitman did). Kenan’s debut, 2006’s Monster House, had an identical tone to Ghostbusters, discovering a fantastic combination of comedy and horror that appears identical to it’s pushing the road of how creepy a movie for youths may be. Kenan does an admirable job of bringing that sensibility to Frozen Empire, particularly with creature designs that appear borderline an excessive amount of for a youthful viewers. The movie won’t have essentially the most dynamic look, however when it comes to the tenor of the movie, Kenan manages to search out the place this story must be.


Let the Ghostbusters Rest in Peace

The ghost of this franchise refuses to be busted.

Nevertheless, the screenplay, written by Kenan and Jason Reitman, appears like two tales slammed collectively. Whereas the outdated Ghostbusters and the brand new Ghostbusters do workforce up, their interactions are pretty pointless, and it’s as in the event that they’re each in their very own tales, neither of which actually wants the opposite. If something, it’s the actions of the Ghostbusters time and time once more—each OGs and The New Class—that get the world into sticky conditions to start with. After the direct references of Afterlife, Frozen Empire additionally depends on cameos and jokes that may largely solely work for individuals who have the unique movie ingrained of their minds. And even with the brand new crew, references to the earlier movie don’t really feel important. Somewhat, it is as if they’re additionally making an attempt to construct nostalgia for merely three years in the past. For instance, the miniature Keep-Puft marshmallows are again to be lovely and serve no objective, whereas characters like Fortunate (Celeste O’Connor) and Podcast (Logan Kim) are shoehorned into the story of the Spengler household.

This break up between the outdated and the brand new signifies that each side undergo. Just like the final movie, Rudd and Coon are charming collectively however are not often the focus, and whereas Wolfhard does get some enjoyable moments with Slimer, the Spengler aspect of issues is narrowed in on Grace’s Phoebe and her new ghost buddy. Alternatively, each time the older Ghostbusters seem, it’s as if they’re glorified cameos, performed like they’re ready for the viewers to start out clapping merely at their presence. Fairly actually, each time Bill Murray reveals up as Peter Venkman, it’s virtually handled like a shock look on Saturday Night Live. Not one of the unique forged is given a lot to do, aside from to exist and depend upon goodwill from the unique movie to assist elevate this one. A minimum of they left the Harold Ramis ghost within the final movie.

The New Forged Additions in ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Are Nice Surprises

Kumail Nanjiani in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Picture by way of Sony Photos

But regardless of now having a forged that’s full of characters from these first two movies and now the characters from Afterlife, Frozen Empire does introduce some enjoyable new additions. Nanjiani is a delight as a person who’s thrown into this world of ghosts and spirits, whereas James Acaster’s dry humor as a researcher in Winston’s lab is a pleasant stability to the opposite senses of humor discovered within the movie. Patton Oswalt can be a nice shock as a librarian main this forged in the suitable course, turning what might’ve been a personality solely current for exposition’s sake right into a enjoyable but important a part of the story. This is perhaps cramming an excessive amount of right into a forged already struggling to maintain issues straight, however once more, it proves that specializing in the current in these movies works higher than counting on the previous.

However ‘Ghostbusters’ Must Transfer Past Nostalgia

Bill Murray as Peter Venkman looking forlorn in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Picture by way of Sony

This isn’t to say that Frozen Empire is a catastrophe—under no circumstances. It’s for certain a step up from Afterlife shoving that unique movie down the viewers’s throat at each flip, however it’s that continued determination to continuously attempt to carry up the previous as an alternative of focusing extra on telling a brand new story that finally ends up hurting this newest movie. Merely displaying a personality, making a considerably related joke, and even recreating a scene from the primary movie isn’t serving to this one in any approach. It’s lazy and solely reminds the viewers that they’re not watching that unique movie as an alternative. Granted, any new Ghostbusters movie goes to stay within the shadows of that first movie, however Afterlife and Frozen Empire appear content material to loosen up in that shadow and let it do the heavy lifting.

Via some entertaining new characters, Kenan’s nailing of the tone, and the occasional satisfying scene between characters, Frozen Empire reveals that there’s nonetheless some life on this world, however solely when leaving the previous prior to now. Nostalgia has at all times been the curse of the Ghostbusters franchise, and that’s changing into much more obvious on this newest iteration. There’s a world stuffed with prospects on this franchise, however this sequence has some unfinished enterprise that it could actually’t appear to shake in an effort to transfer on.

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire New Film Poster

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a movie caught between honoring the previous and making an attempt to inform a brand new story on this Ghostbusters world.


  • Gil Kenan is an honest option to direct this newest installment.
  • New additions like Kumail Nanjiani and Patton Oswalt are nice surprises.

  • The unique movie’s forged is thrown in as little greater than a reminder of the unique movie.
  • The give attention to nostalgia hurts the newer forged’s story, because the movie is simply too caught honoring the previous to consider the longer term.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire involves theaters on March 21 within the U.S. Click on under for showtimes.

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