Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres from director Gil Kenan and Sony Pictures is the next chapter in the adventures of the infamous GHOSTBUSTERS: Frozen Empire.

The Spengler family, along with Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), are now living in New York in the original Ghostbusters firehouse. Callie (Carrie Coon), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) are together going after the ghosts that are running rampant through New York City. The is only one problem in the form of now Mayor Walter Peck (William Atherton). He has made is clear that he still is aiming to stop the Ghostbusters and close down the containment that holds ghosts!

When Peck discovers that Phoebe is under age, he puts a stop to her being part of the group as well. Upset, she walks to the park where she meets ghost Melody (Emily Alyn Lind) and feels like there is finally someone who understands. At his store, Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) meets Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani) who wants to pawn off grandma’s weird collection. Stantz is interested in a brass shaped ball with writing that only Dr. Hubert Wartzki (Patton Oswalt) can talk about.

In the meantime, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) shows Grooberson and Callie that their overcrowded containment area is about to be expanded with Lars (James Acaster) running things. His money has built another lab where they are finding a smarter way to do it all. But, while all this is going on, something weird is shaking the ground and trying to get out. When the group gathers to fight, some old friends show up like Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) to put on the suit and make a stand.

The evil spirit Garraka is about to freeze out New York City but there are a few people that aren’t going to let that happen because, after all, who you gonna call?

I have to start with Murray as it is a moral imperative! Returning as Venkman just filled me with so much joy and laughter. There isn’t much that has changed about his portrayal other than he didn’t get enough screen time as far as I’m concerned. Aykroyd as Stantz gives us full on Ray-mode with his insatiable curiosity for all odd things and putting the suit on because nothing says ‘oh yea’ more than having the pack back on ones back. Hudson as Zeddemore may have gotten rich but that didn’t stop him from suiting up and I was all for it.

Rudd as Grooberson is with the Spengler family ghostbusting and having a family life. Making the transition in his life from teacher to parental figure is complicated by ghosts. Rudd gives his trademark performance as the guy who doesn’t ruffle feathers in between ghost captures. Coon as Callie is being a bit of a ghost parent running through the city catching specters but not really addressing family issues other than collecting laundry.

Grace as Phoebe is going through her Spengler-mode upset that the world doesn’t see her more grown up than she really is. Making friends with Lind’s spirit Melody seems like a nature progression for them both, but is it? Potts returns as Melnitz and she brings with her the attitude and the only thing I would LOVE to have seen is when the phone rang, SHE was the one who picked it up and said, “Ghostbusters what do you want!”.

Wolfhard as Trevor decides to take matters into his own hands to go after a green that seems to plague the upstairs. Hudson as Zeddemore returns with a pocket full of money and a way to make containment easier but there is an entity out there that has other plans. Acaster as Lars runs his lab but isn’t immune from what is out there. Oswalt as Wartzki is well versed in what is inside the cute little brass sphere currently in the lab shaking things up.

Shout out to Nanjiani as the new “Keymaster” Nadeem. He gets the chance to wear the iconic metal strainer and go through the weirdness of discovering his family underestimated his potential.

Other cast include John Rothman as the Library Administrator, Chris Tummings as the Police Chief, Logan Kim as Podcast and Celeste O’Connor as Lucky Domingo.

GHOSTBUSTER: Frozen Empire is a trip down nostalgia lane from beginning to end. It seems writers Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman and Ivan Reitman reached into the iconic grab bag to pull out everything but the kitchen sink. Anyone who remembers clearly the 1984 script can quickly see that there are a lot of similarities into the storyline. It is lovely, however, to see that keeping the spirit of Spengler alive runs through the story as well.

This is a full-on special effects film with everything from freezing, electricity, spooks, colanders, mysterious moving objects, talking ghosts, a bit of sliming, a lot of things in the air and destruction of all kinds but that is what happens when ancient entities get a little grumpy. The cast is a big which can test an 8-year-olds ability to keep up. My granddaughter would point and say, “who’s that” followed by “and that person?” until she caught up. She did say, when the film was over that GHOSTBUSTERS: Frozen Empire is now her favorite film so there’s that!

I could not get enough of Murry, Aykroyd and Hudson with Potts coming in from moment to moment because those are the characters I still hold dear. My laughter came from seeing memorable ghosts and small Stay Puft’s (and I would love it if they made those for sale because there would be several on my desk!) that brought me back to 1984 with ease. Talk about joy in this ole heart, these four, along with their misty friends, gave good.

Now, the rest, (insert heavy sigh), I get it, GHOSTBUSTERS has become a generational thing but, to be honest, I think it is time to graciously close the book. Clearly, I am not a fan of remaking iconic and beloved films of the past and trying to resuscitate them with a Thor-like hammer to the chest of an audience who has no other choice when going to the theatres. Go out on a good note and let this be the ending we all deserve.

That being said, take grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins and all kids to have a family time at the movies. Laugh, love and remember why we loved them all in the first place! Cheer for the hero’s, cheer for the spirits we love and sing the song that always brings a smile because we know who we are going to call.

In the end – there is only one call you can make!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.