'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' movie review- Frozen beyond the Afterlife

26 April,2024 10:56 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Johnson Thomas

`Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire` movie review: The plot is random, the storyline is wafer thin and the performances though likeable, don’t hit any memorable notes

Still from Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

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Film: Ghostbusters : Frozen Empire
Cast: Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, James Acaster, Dan Aykroyd, McKenna Grace, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani
Director: Gil Kenan
Rating: 2.5/5
Runtime: 115 min.

‘Afterlife' though a downer on many counts, may have given a new lease to the franchise, and this one ‘Frozen Empire' is better in almost all aspects. Even so, it leaves you cold because of its overwhelming blandness. There's really no attachment or excitement to be had here. The film is decently put-together, has good effects, some comedic moments and graphic-novel suited action set pieces. It's a generic family action movie with the original cast lending weight to the proceedings.

Nadeem (Kumail Nanjani) sells off his late grandmother's heirlooms to Ray (Dan Aykroyd) who has his youtube channel and runs a shop of antiques. Unknown to both of them is that one of the artefacts, an orb, contains a tyrannical spectre that had almost destroyed the Earth and promises to do so again. So Ghostbusters both new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second ice age.

Director Gil Kenan who took over directing duties from Jason Reitman film, does a fairly acceptable job of balancing the old and the new. The dialogue is breezier and the story goes off into a different direction altogether.

Kenan and Reitman have co-written the script but the laughs are short on coming and it's left to the agile and mobile actors to lift up your spirits. Which Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt do very well. The other stars of the 1984 original return too. Bill Murray has an all-too-brief appearance, Dan Aykroyd as Stantz has the meatier role and Ernie Hudson as Zeddemore shows up as the owner of a high-tech paranormal investigation lab. Annie Potts also comes back as Janine. They in fact have to give more screen-time to the descendants of Spengler: Carrie Coon's Callie, her science-whiz daughter, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), and her perpetually annoyed son, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard).

The plot is random, the storyline is wafer thin and the performances though likeable, don't hit any memorable notes. They could have done so much more with this movie. This fan service is far more organised when compared to ‘Afterlife,' but its also lightweight.

Frozen Empire feels more like a horror movie (with ghosts but minus the gore or the scares) than a comedy. With way too many characters and lots of confusion in the telling, it feels scatterbrained and unbalanced. Returning characters don't have much to do and the newer ones also get left by the wayside.

The opening car chase scene is quite interesting but after that there's so much mumbo-jumbo being passed off as science that it all begins to go over your head. Gil Kenan's direction is steady. He manages to raise some atmospheric effects and minimal suspense.

The mythology of an ancient, evil monster, who is accidentally freed from the metal orb in which it had been imprisoned is effective because the visual effects make the paranormal being look fearsome. While the threat of a permanent ice age in which decades of captured ghosts would burst free and wreak havoc upon Manhattan feels way too flaky to pass muster. Kumail Nanjiani's character might be pivotal to the story but his comedy does not come through as laughable. The plot gets a little too convoluted trying to fit in numerous cameos of people who don't have much to do here other than lend their face and name. ‘Frozen Empire' fails to get the audience going even though it's a step closer to the original than ‘Afterlife.'

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