Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Comes in With a Different Story but a Familiar Formula

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Ghostbusters Ice

The Ghostbusters are back in another adventure and an original story this weekend in Frozen Empire. But while the story and the bad guy is original for the franchise, it seems to have a familiar feeling, and we’re not just talking about the original cast playing a larger role in this story.

In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the original cast members are mostly kept to the movie’s end. But in Frozen Empire, they join the Spengler family, who have now assumed the positions of New York City’s Ghostbusters, throughout the movie and not just to save the day. They do address the fact that they are aging and should slow down, but when the fate of the world and the city are at odds, that can wait until later.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire brings in a new ancient force as a threat to the city, and while the team works to battle the current ghosts plaguing the streets and sewers, Walter Peck is back ready to shut them down. It is of course brought to his attention that the last time he did, the world’s fate was in peril. And as if it was written that way, only a few minutes later the world is in danger again. The team must assemble with new technology and try to battle an ancient being that is threatening them with the hopes of taking back his power and the world.

The movie has quite a few flaws and blunders throughout the way. From Pheobe not old enough to work, but being left alone or able to sneak out in New York City late at night, to just some chopping bits of storytelling. To how Podcast and Lucky even got to New York (or managed to stay that long). And even how long Slimer has been in that attic – has he been floating around up there since the 90’s cartoon versions? But probably one of the biggest issues may be when the bad guy gets to the fire station – the clouds and ice take over all over New York City but slowly envelop the firehouse. We won’t even discuss what would happen to all of the characters if they were actually frozen and rethawed – pretty sure they wouldn’t continue the fight or to breath after that. But who needs logic and physics in a movie about ghosts anyhow?

There are some highlights along the way too. When Patton Oswald’s character tells the story of the orb that they have found and the icy eldritch god, the animation told to depict the story may be one of the most interesting parts of the movie. The visual depiction of the parchment turning to a stone carving that moves to tell the story doesn’t seem to match the rest of the film but is a more visual and interesting take on telling the history. It’s better than just explaining things away like often the characters do if it’s a more complex problem at hand. But just a clean effect that wasn’t bogged down with extras to make it flashy.

Something to note about Frozen Empire, there are a few parts of the movie that lean a lot more towards the darker and even horror side. No, you won’t have jump scares as you watch the movie. But the 2000s-style bad guy with creepy long nails and fingers clawing at the characters and the screen may cross the line for some viewers. But should we be surprised? This is a movie about ghosts after all and even since the 1984 Ghostbusters film, in between the laughs and jokes were ghosts and gloom.

Even with all of that said, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is still an enjoyable movie to watch. It will have you laughing and will bring back fans who weren’t a huge fan of Afterlife. It’s not quite a remake, but it still follows the same format that every other Ghostbuster movie has had so far.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will be in theaters everywhere this weekend and is banking hard on the nostalgia and fan dedication to the brand. It brings back most of the original cast and even some of the ghosts we grew up loving. But is this enough to make it successful at the box office? Chances are that coupled with the fact there really aren’t any other big family films opening at the theater means Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will do well and have a longer staying power at the screen than most of the other releases we’ve seen this year.

Overall Rating:

Four Star Review

About Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an army of ghosts that casts a death chill upon the city, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age. Rated PG-13

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