‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’: Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good

In the sequel, we're back to familiar territory of New York City and even better, the original cast is back with much bigger roles.

When Ghostbusters: Afterlife premiered in 2021, I had some small fears that it would be another lame attempt at rebooting the series. Even though it starred Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon and featured cameos by the original cast (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts), it was set on a small Oklahoma farm, definitely not where you’d think a Ghostbusters movie would take place. But hey, it worked. The cast was great and I really enjoyed it.

In the new Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, we’re back to familiar territory of New York City and even better, the original cast is back with much bigger roles.

Gary Grooberson (Rudd), Callie Spengler (Coon) and her kids, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) have set up shop in the Firehouse thanks to Winston Zeddemore (Hudson). They’re busy bustin’ and you know, living life. When Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani) brings a mysterious orb to Stantz’s (Aykroyd) occult shop for some quick cash, Stantz brings it to the new crew to dispose of it.

The story really is about Phoebe and her need to feel like a viable member of the team. After they get into a bit of trouble with Mayor Peck (a returning William Atherton), he demands that she be thrown out of the team because of her young age. All alone, she soon befriends a seemingly friendly ghost, no not Casper, Melody (Emily Alyn Lind) who it turns out, helps destroy the orb, unleashing a new terrifying demon that brings the bustin’ crews, both old and new, together to take it down.

Rudd is hilarious as usual, especially in one part where he and Coon talk about being an actual Ghostbuster. Both are great together. Grace is terrific as well, all emotion and teen anxiety. Wofhard doesn’t have a lot to do here except for trying to take down returning champion Slimer. In fact, he all but disappears in the middle of the film only to return for the final battle.

I really liked how the filmmakers, writer Jason Reitman (who directed Afterlife) and writer/director Gil Kenan, embraced the first Ghostbusters. Keep an eye out for the return of ghosts and other characters, callback lines and more.

One of the best parts, at least for me, was when the old team suited up. Even Annie Potts’ Janine got in on the action! I wish that they had more to do but hey, maybe they’ll return in the next one. Because as we all know, bustin’ makes everyone feel good.

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