Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

The Ghostbusters are back!  This time, though, they are being directed by Monster House’s  Gil Kenan in a script he co-wrote with Jason Reitman, who directed the previous film in the franchise.  The new Ghostbusters film feels like it belongs in the canon without being overly nostalgic - even if we get a few familiar faces and haunts from the previous films - and it is not nearly as emotional as Afterlife was, which is a bit of a letdown for some, but, hey, we had damn good reasons to be weepy over Afterlife.

Which is probably why this film feels a bit . . . hollow.  Now, I’m not about to dump on this sequel.  Sure, it has problems that aren’t worth anyone’s time to nitpick over.  Plus, I had a good time with some of the new adventures and ghosts, to be sure.  The paranormal comedy is full of big ideas which is great and fresh and certainly makes it feel a bit similar to The Real Ghostbusters, but it also has enough fun and callbacks to the original film and Ghostbusters 2 to make it feel like we are yukking it up with old friends.  The main issues with Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is, unfortunately, that it is stuffed with a lot of characters and a lot of plot threads . . . and, really, the ones we want to see more of, well, we just don’t get to see enough.

"feels like it belongs in the canon without being overly nostalgic"

Or maybe I am just old and not willing to give up the classic ghostbusting era of ‘84 - ‘91, with the cancellation of The Real Ghostbusters (which, as I suggested, seems to be the inspiration for a lot of the ideas here).  So many memories.  So much stupid cereal eaten, cartoons watched, movies purchased, and obsessed over.  I mean, almost all of that is referenced in this new movie, too, which is fun to relive . . . yeah, I am old.   

Still, there’s really nothing literally to hate about Frozen Empire, especially if you are a fan of the series.  It’s fun - and sometimes really funny - and the main baddie of a ghost is truly disturbing; even my son was a tad afraid of the design and the way the nefarious entity Garraka moved on the screen.  It’s scary stuff.  And the tone he brings to the story also carries a weight.

Starring (deep breath) Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O'Connor, and Logan Kim reprising their roles from Ghostbusters: Afterlife (except now everyone has moved from Oklahoma to NYC) alongside the original crew of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and William “Dickless” Atherton reprising their characters from the earlier films, plus newbies Kumail Nanjiani and Patton Oswalt joining in on the fun.  (And that’s not even the entire cast either because we also have James Acaster as Lars Pinfield and Emily Alyn Lind as Melody, a ghost Phoebe Spengler befriends). Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Like I said, there’s a lot of ideas going into this one, including an ancient evil which sorta dampens the mood of the comedy, but there are also plenty of ghostbusting offshoots which should feed the imaginations for the screenwriters for quite some time. It seems Zeddemore has been a busy, busy guy!  And a good thing, too, because the iconic New York City firehouse can’t hold many more ghosts, nor can it save the planet from a supernatural ice age!

But, really, by the end of the film, everyone feels like they are in a good place so it may be time to just let everyone hang up their proton packs for a while.  After all, we did get two more films from the gang and with Jason Reitman dedicating this film to his father and letting Kenan direct this one, it seems the time has come . . .

. . . but I have a feeling we are in for at least one more with the old crew supporting The Spenglers in their new ghostbusting roles.  And why not? Bustin’ still makes us feel good.  This is now a 40-year-old franchise.  Can it last another 40 years?  It seems Reitman, Ackroyd, and Kenan think so.  They probably aren’t wrong either.  They have my back and my money. 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is now in theaters.

3/5 stars

Film Details

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
115 mins
: Gil Kenan
Gil Kenan; Jason Reitman; Ivan Reitman
Paul Rudd; Carrie Coon; Finn Wolfhard
: Comedy | Horror | Fantasy
Frozen Empire.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 22, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: When the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second ice age.


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire