Movie Review – Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

The firehouse freezes over in New York City in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE.

Unless you are new to pop culture or came across this site by accident after a massive Wikipedia rabbit hole looking up the , you might be familiar with a little 1984 film called Ghostbusters. The supernatural meets science fiction comedy from the writing team of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis, while directed by Ivan Reitman was for the time the equivalent of a film James Gunn directing Ryan Reynolds and Robert Downey Jr for the star power. Now after a nearly 30 year break and 4 films now in the can the Ghostbusters are back like they never left, so… does busting still feel good?

If you are not familiar with the first two films then really you should just watch them because they are easily one of the pinnacle films of their unique genre, but if you need a brief memory jog to get you up to speed in time for the latest film we will do our best (spoilers ahead, duh).

In 1984 Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler and Peter Venkman mortgaged Ray’s family home to buy a firehouse and start a business as paranormal exterminators. Using portable unlicensed nuclear accelerators worn on their backs and setting up shop in a firehouse in New York they were able to thrive in somewhat ghost boom even being able to extend the business to hire a 4th Ghostbuster Winston Zeddmore. During the height of their success they gained the attention of Walter Peck of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) who was convinced the Ghostbusters were con-men and shut down their equipment resulting in their containment unit failing and all the ghosts being released.

The Ghostbusters were  able to eventually save the day and be heroes to the city to the level that on a subsequent breakup and reunion for yet another ghost plague in New York they were able to animate the Statue of Liberty and walk it through the city. Originally the end of the Ghostbusters story (if you do not count the spin off movie and skip over the completely excellent unofficial 3rd film in the way of the Ghostbusters PS3 game with the original cast voicing and writers) the story picks up in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

In Afterlife we learnt that Egon having learnt the source of the disruption from the first film chased it down to the middle of Oklahoma and packed up all the Ghostbusters gear and left town without a word (even to his partners). With Egon’s quest almost successful unknown to everyone, including his own family & daughter who now has a family of her own, Egon died in the attempt. Egon’s daughter and her two kids learnt about their heritage, found the old Ghostbusting equipment and ECTO-1 and did what makes you feel good + some mushy sentimental stuff happened too (I’m not crying you are).

This brings us up to speed with the latest film Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire which is set 3 years after the previous film. The Spengler’s + Egon’s daughter’s boyfriend and step-science teacher Ant-Man moving to New York City and setting up shop in the old Firehouse to resume the family business. Still considered a heroic service by New Yorkers the new Ghostbusters are well funded by the now millionaire Winston Zeddmore.

While that sounds like a lot (and it is) the Ghostbuster’s films have never felt like a massive undertaking to be up to speed on and not quite as lore heavy as say the MCU. The first film is the first film that introduced everything, then there was a sequel that did all the things a sequel should do. And that was it for nearly 20 years where we did not know what happened to the Ghostbusters until Ghostbusters: Afterlife told us what happened afterwards. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, while effectively an Afterlife sequel is the first Ghostbusters film to really feel like a franchise film.

Written by the same combination of Jason Reitman (Iven Reitman’s son, Ivan also being on set during some of Afterlife’s filming) and Gil Kenan, without Ivan this time, directing duty this time went to Gil Kenan with Afterlife being directed by Jason Reitman. More focused on the supernatural threat than the first film that had a lot more nostalgia to it we could not help but notice a few pieces from the trailers that did not make it into the final film which may have possibly been a bit too dark or less ‘family friendly’ – but clearly did not reduce the quality of the final film.

As a film Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has everything you could want from a big action/sci-fi comedy film but just so happens to also be a Ghostbusters film. The Ghostbusters now having their own Q-branch opens up all sort of new ghost gadgets and expands the cast/capacity of the Ghostbusters roster without it feeling like the entire cast of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World hiding from a T-Rex behind a single jeep, even when there were the entire old and new cast on screen.

So, should you go see it? If you are a Ghostbusters fan then absolutely you probably already have your ticket. While this will not have the same emotional hits that Afterlife did after the long break this is definitely a film to make you feel like the Ghostbusters are back. While the film leaves room to go in the future it does not do anything major in terms of building out some form of trilogy arc, it doesn’t need to with that never being part of the Ghostbusters franchise because you know who you are going to call.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is in cinemas across Australia from March 21st

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-ghostbusters-frozen-empireGhostbusters: Frozen Empire is the first real film of the franchise that makes it feel like the Ghostbusters are a franchise with previous films being so rare that they felt so very special in their rarity. A source of so much of pop culture from crossing the streams to multiple one liners spread across the series the Ghostbusters fandom may not be as big as Star Wars but it definitely is undeniable and Frozen Empire gives us something we did not have before, a future with more Ghostbusters films which we can only hope maintain the bar set in these last two as the torch is passed. P.S. You do not need to stay right until the end of the credits but you may want to hang around for jus ta little bit for something mid-credits.