Ghostbusters Afterlife: For Old-School Fans and Anemic at Best
Ghostbusters 2016 was a perfectly good reboot of the franchise which desperately needed new blood. But then there were the loyal fans who wouldn't pump the hate brakes until they got a movie with the original cast, and so they did, with Ghostbusters Afterlife.
Such blind loyalty to a movie franchise means that the quality of the movie itself is of no consequence until the actual cast of the original star in the reboot.
The plot is pretty standard, even for Ghostbusters - there's a forgotten town in the middle of nowhere, and now there are ghosts that need busting. This pre-teen girl moves in with her mom and brother and tries to fit in with the local crowd. To keep from being bored, said girl gets into hijinx and discovers that the town is hiding a supernatural secret. Enter the charming stranger in the form of Paul Rudd who hits on her mom and tries to get things back in order. But the graphics in this movie are enjoyable as expected and are fun to watch.
When you compare this iteration to the 2016 all-female reboot, it falls flat on its face. Paul Feig's version had a substantial plot, young comedic heavyweights in Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, and Chris Hemsworth as the eye candy for all the women. But it stood on its own merit while using cameos as the cherry and not the cake itself!
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I compared the Rotten Tomatoes rating for both reboots and found that the audience rating was high for the 2021 version, and the critic ratings were just so-so. When you look at the ratings for the 2016 version, it was the opposite, being certified fresh by the movie critics and poor rating from the audience.
The Cast of Ghostbusters Afterlife
This is basically what the fuss is all about. There are cameos and references to the original Ghostbusters team themselves which panders to a loyal fanbase. While the cameos are not completely gratuitous, they are not used to enrich the plot, but rather ARE the plot.
There's Paul Rudd's comedic talents which could not move the needle in terms of entertainment on his own. Carrie Coon looks foxy as the pre-teen Mckenna Grace's mom, and Logan Kim plays Mckenna's friend in this adventure.
Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things and IT fame has a completely forgettable performance here. Tracy Letts whom you would remember as Ford II in Ford v Ferrari has a small role in this movie as well.
Should You Watch It? - Maybe.
The 2016 reboot was far better than this version I feel, but if you are one of those hyper-loyal, purist fans of the original Ghostbusters franchise and cast then go for it. Otherwise, I suggest you wait for this to be available on one of your streaming services to watch at your leisure.
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