Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife a reboot of the franchise? Or a fanboy tribute stretched to 2 hours?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Synopsis
Broke and evicted from her apartment, Callie is forced to relocate with her two teenage children to her late, estranged father’s farm. Unexpectedly, her children adapt well to this change. Even her socially awkward daughter, Phoebe, finds new joy after discovering her grandfather’s many weird inventions. All that’s left to complete the family reunion are thus an ancient evil god and an army of miniature Stay Puft Marshmallow Men.
Going by the trailers, I expected Ghostbusters: Afterlife to be a nostalgic road trip of sorts, perfected à la the Stranger Things / Stephen-King-intrepid-kids way.
The movie was indeed that. But this reboot, or should I say, sequel, was also drenched head to toe in ultra-sweet fan service. To the extent, I could predict the lines in the final third.
Are you a god?!? Yeah, yeah …
Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a huge Ghostbusters fan; the endless tributes truly didn’t sit well with me. While I enjoyed the 80s movies and cartoons, hearing or seeing references every five minutes got tired so quickly. Doesn’t help that for most parts, this sequel never shrugs off the sleepy feel it began with. The story never soars.
Yeah, there were some exhilarating Ecto-1 chases and proton particles fights. There were splendid panoramic shots too. But from start to end, everyone and everything just sinks into their predictable roles. Even an ancient god, and his/her pets, were not spared this.
In a nutshell, nostalgic, but over an hour too long. It was like sitting through an expensive fanboy tribute.
At this point, I’d also like to highlight the previous “reboot,” i.e., the trashed-from-canon Ghostbusters (2016). Or as it’s now called, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.
That remake has a long list of flaws but to me, it at least exhibited an earnest effort to rethink the franchise. And to update.
Quite honestly, I find some of the comedic moments in that remake way more hilarious too.
To conclude, no, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not the way I like reboots/remakes to be.
I don’t mind fan service, but please, moderate it. Not dish it out like cheap sundae.
Super hardcore fans will be thrilled. But the rest of us, well …
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