What is there to say about Ghostbusters that already hasn’t been said? There’s the loser section of the internet that seems to whine and complain that people actually enjoy the movie and the sequels. “Stop mythologizing the Ghostbusters!” they scream out, but guess what, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire ACTUALLY mythologizes the Ghostbusters. The forces of good and evil in the history of humanity get named and famed here. There’s an ancient evil that is set out to enslave humanity under a three-foot sheet of ice and a keeper of the flame known as the Firemaster.

It turns out that the Firemasters were basically the ancient version of the Ghostbusters. That connects to the modern-day version of the Ghostbusters that includes Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace), Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard), and Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd). After the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, where the torch was seemingly passed to a new generation of Ghostbusters, that’s basically the case here. The Spengler (and a Grooberson) family live in the old firehouse taking on the ghosts of a new generation. That doesn’t mean that the old Ghostbusters are left by the wayside though. They still get advice from Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and work with Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and his tech. That’s really the best part of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. The old Ghostbusters do nothing and something all at the same time.

This feels less like the nostalgia bait of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which tugged at your heartstrings, and more like Extreme Ghostbusters or The Real Ghostbusters. The pace of the movie is much better, and while it’s not much shorter than that film, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire sure feels like it.

Some Of The Bad Of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Are there things in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire that bog it down a bit? Does it still delve into the melodramatic? Sure. But this is a much lighter, brisker-paced film and still leaves room for some good old scientific, mythological, supernatural, and whatever else jargon. For fans of Ray Stantz spouting about the occult, there’s a couple of scenes like that. You also get some more mundane scenes where Trevor is trying to fix something around the firehouse.

If there’s really one thing I can complain about in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, it’s that Trevor feels like a B-plot character. He’s trying to clean up the mess that Slimer has left in the firehouse for the majority of the film. Outside of that, his slight love interest feels tacked on and doesn’t get resolved or even really mentioned after a slight passing moment near the beginning of the film. He’s left on the sidelines, even though in the film, his sister, Phoebe is the one fighting to get off the sidelines.

She’s 15 and trying to work as a Ghostbuster, which leads to problems with the family. Outside of Trevor, the film really does a great job of balancing characters, their motivations, and all the juggling subplots that cascade into the third act of the film. For the newcomers, both Kumail Nanjiani and Patton Oswalt do a magnificent job with a much snappier and funnier film than Afterlife was. Nanjiani is a much bigger part of the plot than Oswalt, but for the short time he’s in the film, Oswalt is hilarious.

Bill Murray, William Atherton, and Annie Potts show up, with Atherton channeling that classic scummy guy he’s so known for as the Mayor of New York, standing in the Ghostbusters way every step. Emily Alyn Lind plays a new character that’s pretty central to the plot. She gives an ethereal performance that only aids Mckenna Grace’s performance.

A Fantastic Sequel With Actual Puppets For The Ghosts

Mckenna Grace’s turn as Phoebe is what drives the film, though. Her character gets the most to work with, and she turns in a fantastic performance that’s incredibly relatable. We’ve all been in a place where we feel like we’re ready to head out into the world, but the people around us still underestimate us.

The effects and puppets for the ghosts look stunning. The VFX and CGI look fluid, and I was really trying to find the seams, but I couldn’t. The main ghost villain is actually terrifying at points and the design is frightening. All the other ghosts, including Slimer are top notch, rivaling the effects from the original film.

if Ghostbusters: Afterlife was all about moving on from the past, hitting us with a nostalgia bomb, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire takes that premise and really moves past it. The old favorites are still here, and they aid the quest, but the real story and stars of the show are the new crew. The direction and script from Gil Kenan and co-writer Jason Reitman is just what the series needed. If we get more Ghostbusters films like this, I won’t be complaining.

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