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Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife good enough to give the series some new life

Photo: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters Afterlife has a smooth and mysterious beginning which gave me high hopes of watching a first-rate film when I saw it at Bengies Drive-In this past weekend. But that smooth beginning seemed to drag on for an hour or so before the good guys began to seriously take on the movies creepy ghost villains. That’s too long to make this film with a simple plot four stars, but it might approach being a three star movie (good but not great.)

There were a couple things that make Ghostbusters: Afterlife begin to glow though. There was some good acting--a fun performance from Paul Rudd. And the weather-beaten single mom, Callie, who somehow remains sexy, played by Carrie Coon is engaging.

some of the cast, Photo: Sony Pictures

The kids are the heart of the show in this rendition of the Ghostbusters franchise. Among them Logan Kim, offers a funny take on the character Podcast, and Finn Wolfhard comes in strong as a mop-headed teenaged boy.

The jewel of this movie though is that its end-scene includes appearances by the original cast of the Ghostbusters. I won’t create a spoiler, but this movie is worth watching perhaps mostly for the reason. And the two teaser scenes in the credits at the end of the movie that hint there might be more to come...

The plot of Afterlife is simple enough. Callie and her kids inherit her father’s run down mansion in rural Oklahoma after being almost destitute. The locals call it the “dirt farm.” Turns out the farm was owned by an original Ghostbuster. Unraveling the mystery of how a New York City Ghostbuster ended up in the backwaters of the Midwest takes much of the film’s plot.

Turns out the small town has a spooky connection to the Big Apple...

When it finally happens, much of the film is taken up by battling ghosts and demons. Writers were somewhat creative in coming up with this films spectral villains, which include some familiar names from the original Ghostbusters, but a bit of newness too, with the appearance of a ghost with an eating disorder. The obese ghost “Muncher” eats metal and spits bullets like a machine gun.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is worth a watch. The child actors playing the new Ghostbusters do a workman’s job as the new heroes. But the icing on the cake for the film is the appearance of the original cast, who seem to have retained their charisma and chemistry in the scenes they appear in. The possibility of a sequel, really did leave me wanting to more, hopefully in a movie with a bit of a deeper plot and better paced scenes that would follow.

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