Movie Review – Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has lots of franchise enthusiasm but too little sparkle to make it a memorable adventure.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review: 6 thumbs-up and 1 thumbs-down.
Snappy Movie Review | Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Synopsis

Two years after the events of Afterlife, Gary Grooberson and the Spenglers are operating as Ghostbusters in New York, living in the iconic firehouse too. Collateral damage during an operation, however, gives long-time adversary Walter Peck the excuse to clamp down on the team, with Callie forced to bench Phoebe because the latter is underage. A depressed Phoebe then meets and befriends Melody, a seemingly friendly ghost unable to move on. The upset teenager has no idea that she is the heart of a diabolical plan concocted by an ancient evil god.

Snappy Review

I’ll get straight to the point. Did I enjoy Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire? I can’t say I didn’t. But will I remember this episode and rewatch it the moment it’s available on streaming? Nope.

Frankly, the only segment where I sat upright was the extended firemaster debut by Kumail Nanjiani, in shimmering mystic attire and all.

It’s ironic. Out of all three sequels in recent years, Answer the Call inclusive, Frozen Empire is the one that comes closest to being a real continuation of the two 80s hits. And yet, it is also the episode that inherited the least playful energy. For that matter, burdened throughout by a dragged-out story too.

What resulted in this lack of magic? Well, I think the main problem is the story focusing so much on Phoebe Spengler. To be clear, Mckenna Grace is an awesome young actress but the problem is that Phoebe is a stoic and detached character. The better Grace is, the weightier the movie becomes, the lesser opportunity for zany moments.

In comparison, you have other younger cast members like Wolfhard and Kim enthusiastically rearing to go but bizarrely underused. The talented Kumail Nanjiani is assigned many comedic interludes but his character is ultimately a one-gag laugh. The laughs are featherweight.

As for the story, or should I say, the big threat this time round, sorry, the horny dude feels uninspired and underwhelming. Unlike what was suggested in the trailer, citywide devastation/threat is barely seen or felt. The big evil himself is too much a pale copy of Gozer too.

For viewers keen on mythos development, there’s a fair amount of franchise enthusiasm; more than enough to fuel another sequel. One wonders, though, whether the shortcomings of Frozen Empire are signs that this is another beloved pop culture franchise that has been stretched too much.

Should there be more stories? Are there more stories to tell? I hope there are. But larger doses of freshness and exploration will be necessary. Nostalgia is no longer doing the trick.


Watch the trailer here.

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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
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  1. I have to agree with you about this movie. It felt underwhelming and undercooked. Like the “big freeze” over NYC happens in the beginning of the third act and was quickly dealt with after that. Like you said, nostalgia can only do so much before it loses its effect.

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