Fascinating movie

Afterlife ‘- Knox County VillageSoup

Director Jason Reitman takes over the reins of his father Ivan’s “Ghostbusters” franchise, and the results are mixed. On the one hand, the new movie is more faithful to the spirit of the original “Ghostbusters” than the misguided 2016 reboot (silly set-aside controversy). On the other hand, it’s not that funny or exciting.

The film follows the family of Dr. Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis, described as alive at the start of the film). His daughter Callie (Carrie Coon) moves into her old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma with her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). Trevor is a sarcastic gear, otherwise known as a typical teenager, with an uninspiring subplot where he tries to woo a local waitress (Celeste O’Connor, even more devoid of personality).

More interesting is Phoebe, who goes to school purely for fun. She begins to try to find out why the small town has so many earthquakes, helped by her friend Podcast (Logan Kim, whose personality is annoying, but at least he has one) and seismologist professor Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd). Gradually, she discovers that ghosts are responsible and that her grandfather was trying to save the world from them, which is why he fell out with the other Ghostbusters and broke up with his family.

I can’t say much for the humor of the film. There’s a running gag of Phoebe telling terrible jokes, but they’re not much worse than what the movie tries to pass off as legitimate jokes, especially when Podcast is involved. It’s so weird that Reitman, who brought us two of the funniest movies of the 2000s in ‘Thank You for Smoking’ and ‘Juno,’ doesn’t have more in the tank than the hacky ‘Nothing Happens. never in this city ”which we come here.

Much has been written about the relentless fan service in the movie, and yes, it’s quite painful. Almost every corner of the film references “Ghostbusters” or an 80s movie that Reitman adores. I was particularly unimpressed with the return of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, or the men in this case, as it’s a bunch of little ones for some reason. They are constantly distracted from their mission, and why would you choose them for a mission anyway? There was a reason to incorporate a huge Marshmallow Man into the original film – Ray was trying to think of the most harmless warning sign possible – but there’s no reason to use them here except that fans are supposed to encourage them.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” isn’t good at humor, fan service, or direct action (I know I haven’t mentioned it yet, but it’s all CGI garbage). So what does it feel good? In short, heart. Grace, Coon, and Rudd (kudos to Rudd for being named “the sexiest man in the world”) are all effortlessly charming, and you want to laugh heartily at them even if what they’re saying isn’t so. funny. I have been drawn into the dynamics of the Spengler family, as the various members struggle to understand and forgive Egon. And the film has a lot of love for Harold Ramis. At first I hated his likeness being incorporated into the story, the same way I hated the way the “Fast and Furious” movies insist on keeping Paul Walker’s character alive, but it made sense. at the end. It’s not a fun trip, but the film’s ending, the inevitable cameos and all, redeems much of what came before it.

Rating: C

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is rated PG-13 for its supernatural action and some suggestive references. Its operating time is 124 minutes.

Contact Bob Garver at r[email protected]

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