TOO MANY OLD GHOSTS MAR ‘GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE'
AppleMagazine|November 26, 2021
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” — the direct cinematic follow-up to 1984 classic — is haunted, of course. But not in a good way.

Director and co-writer Jason Reitman’s sequel leans so hard into his dad’s original that it sometimes seems like a checklist of the megahit’s touchstones, from the Ecto-1 tricked-out Cadillac, to Stay-Puft marshmallows, appearances from the surviving Ghostbusters and even the same Ray Parker Jr. theme song.

It has taken Ivan Reitman’s original — which had the feel of an anarchic “Saturday Night Live” skit taken as far as it could go — too seriously. It fetishizes the ghost-trapping equipment and limps along until the original actors arrive — one cynically resurrected — to wring some sort of emotion it hasn’t earned.

The film is set several decades after the events in “Ghostbusters,” trading in the urban for the rural and ignoring any other sequels. It focuses on a struggling single mother Callie (Carrie Coon, treading water) and her two kids, the very, very teenage son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and her precocious science whiz daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace, also on the soundtrack with the appropriately titled “Haunted House”).

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