The Reel Review
When a financially-strapped single mom and her two kids move from New York to a tiny town in rural Oklahoma, they discover they are connected to the original Ghostbusters, in this action/comedy sequel to the original 1984 film that introduces new characters to the story while also reuniting the original cast.
After 1984’s iconic, male-driven original and a 2016 reboot with female ghostbusters, this time it is the kids’ turn, and they carry it off perfectly. Despite a somewhat clunky start, director Jason Reitman (son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and director of 2007’s Juno and 2018’s Tully) gives us a clever, sweet and absolutely hysterical story. Paul Rudd’s scene inside Walmart is going to be an instant classic, with raucous belly laughs galore. Logan Kim, as Phoebe’s sidekick Podcast, is also hilarious.
But centered among all the nostalgia and fun, fan-pleasing Easter eggs and humor is Mckenna Grace (Troop Zero, Gifted) as Phoebe, the nerdy, brilliant granddaughter of the departed original Ghostbuster, Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Blending comedy, earnestness and a touching poignancy as her family learns to communicate and reconcile their past, both Grace and Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, The Sinner) as her mom give this sequel a huge amount of heart and a moving, tear-jerker finale. Stay for the closing credits – there are two final scenes you won’t want to miss.
• Harold Ramis died in 2014 of complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease that had made him lose the ability to walk just four years before. His film credits include writing and directing 1980’s Caddyshack and 1993’s Groundhog Day and writing National Lampoon’s Animal House and the original Ghostbusters.
• Paul Rudd was named People Magazine’s 2021 Sexiest Man Alive
• Although set in Oklahoma, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was filmed in Alberta, Canada.