'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Total Spoiler-Free Review
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'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' currently has a very respectable rating of 7.8 out of 10 from IMDb users and an incredible audience score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, but as a writer on the paranormal and a life-long fan of 'Ghostbusters', what did I make of it?
There are plenty of glowing reviews of the Jason Reitman film out there, so I won't go into too much detail because you either don't want the spoilers, or you've seen the movie and you know how good it is.
I absolutely loved it! To the point where when I walked out of the theatre I didn't want to speak to my friends because I didn't know what they would think about it, and I don't think I could have handled a negative word about it when I was on such a high. I just wanted to silently revel in its brilliance.
The movie was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. The only minor surprises for me were that the film is all about Mckenna Grace's character Phoebe on her journey of discovery. I had assumed it would be the story of Phoebe and her brother Trevor, played by 'Stranger Things' star Finn Wolfhard, but although essential to the plot, Trevor plays a less important role.
I sat in the cinema with a smile on my face for the whole two hours. 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' was easily the most enjoyable film I've watched in a long time, it was just really good fun. I'm not saying it has the strongest plot ever or the cleverest twist, but if you want an enjoyable slice of nostalgia, you can't go wrong with this movie.
As well as being fun, it was surprisingly emotional, and that did mostly come from some events in the movie that I didn't expect at all. However, the first of these poignant moments I should have seen coming. It's no secret that the kids in the movie become a new generation of Ghostbusters, but seeing Egon Spengler's forgotten legacy being rediscovered through the eyes of his 12-year-old granddaughter was very stirring.
The first time Phoebe put on a proton pack and took hold of the neutrona wand - that's what I wanted more than anything when I was 12. That was my dream. I balled my eyes out from pretty much this point onwards... while also grinning like Vigo the Carpathian.
In fact, when I a was kid - probably around the age of 12 - my own grandfather had even humoured me by writing to Kenner Parker Toys, the maker of that famous purple kids proton pack, to ask if they knew how I could get a real one.
Phoebe has some great lines in the film, which are delivered in the same deadpan style as Egon in the original movies, but the real laughs come from Paul Rudd, who shines through as a great comic actor in this movie. He's not too goofy - he's a scientist, but he is charming, likeable and gets the biggest laughs, despite being involved in one of the biggest interdimensional crossrips since the Tunguska blast.
This is really geeky, but I did notice that they corrected a mistake made by Ray Stanz's character in this movie. The Tunguska blast was an unusual explosion that occurred in Russia, flattening 2,000 square kilometres of forest. In the original movie Ray states that the unexplained blast occurred in 1909, the event actually happened a year earlier in June 1908. In 'Afterlife' the Tunguska blast is once again referenced, this time attributed to the correct year.
As a real-life Ghostbuster myself, well a ghost hunter at least, there were some great paranormal moments, especially near the start of the film. On a paranormal investigation I sometimes get fed up of the unproven, pseudoscientific ghost hunting gadgets which seem to flash and light up every time anyone sneezes and seemingly has no bearing on the presence of supernatural entities.
In 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife', the iconic PKE meter really works... as it should. When subtle and fairly realistic activity occurs at the start of the movie, the Ghostbusters' trusty ghost detector lights up wildly to indicate a presence is there even before something seemingly unexplainable happens.
The score by composer, Rob Simonsen, is perfect. It plays homage to Elmer Bernstein's original score, but goes deeper and expands on it, surprisingly without it sounding dated or too 80s.
Despite being a big part of the build-up and marketing of the movie, the one thing that didn't really add much to the film was the mini Stay Puft Marshmallow Men. These cute sentient mallows are a miniature take on the original form of the Destructor from 1984. They did have the potential to be quite annoying, but luckily they are not overused.
I honestly can't wait to see the movie again and am already planning another trip to the cinema. If I could have walked straight back into the cinema and watched it again, I would have.
Oh, but if only I could talk about the ending... I'm welling up again!
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