There are two things I can cross off of my bucket list: attending a film premiere and watching a film in the most beautiful cinema in the world. And I never thought I would actually achieve those so soon. Okay, I had visited a film premiere before but I don’t see any rules about crossing things off of your bucket list twice. So I went to Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam to go see Ghostbusters: Afterlife with director Jason Reitman in attendance. The ambiance around the screening was great with people dressed up as Ghostbusters, a whole lot of photographers around the red carpet and free food. But what was the film like?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is kind of the sequel to Ghostbusters (1986) and Ghostbusters 2 (1989). Those films were directed by Ivar Reitman, father of Jason Reitman who directed this film.
It’s 2021 and the original Ghostbusters haven’t been active in quite some years. When one of the original Ghostbusters passes away, his estranged daughter and her two children move to his house in a small town to see what he left behind. The town isn’t much and his house is in an awful state. The entire town thought he was nothing but a weird, old man. But he really was onto something. Little by little, his grandchildren find out what’s going on in a town that seems to suffer from peculiar earthquakes.
Let’s start off by saying that I am not part of the Ghostbusters fandom, but I have seen the original films. So I know the background of the story and I think that’s useful to understand what’s going on in this film. So if you’re planning on seeing Ghostbusters: Afterlife in cinema, it’s good to read up on what happened in the 80’s. Could be useful.
As a film fanatic but not necessarily a Ghostbusters fan, I can wholeheartedly say that this movie is a great watch. It’s never slow, it’s full of fun jokes and all of the actors are doing absolutely exceptional jobs. The story is captivating, you really want to find out what’s happening in the town yourself, and you’ll laugh a lot.
I think it’s completely obvious that this is an ode to the original films. Jason Reitman himself said that he used to be on set with his dad when he was six so he knows everything about the films. A feat that probably not a lot of people can say about themselves. Exactly that makes the film an exceptional throwback to the original films, characters and creators. He knows what he’s talking about and that makes the film a whole lot better than the reboot from 2016.
The thing I was a bit afraid of beforehand was that the movie would be a bit childish. The original film had lead characters that were adults, and here it were children. But I was swept away by the talent of McKenna Grace, who’s playing Phoebe. The way Phoebe handles everything from the ghosts, to school, to family troubles, makes her feel much more like an adult. And the fact that Phoebe is really smart and not afraid of anything, disproves my thoughts that it would be too childish. It’s still a great family film but I think even a better film for those nerdy adults out there. (No shade, I consider myself a bit of a nerdy adult as well ;))
Moreover, the humor in this film is over the top. And that’s absolutely not in a bad way. Jokes, character lines and visual humor is exactly what makes this film stand out. Normally, whenever I’m in a film theater, I try to keep as quiet as possible because I don’t want to upset people. But when the entire theater laughs out loud – not one, not two, not three but a whole lot more times – I can’t not laugh myself. The humor is absolutely the best thing about the film, no doubt about it. Especially sexiest man alive Paul Rudd and his character Mr. Grooberson, who delivers the best lines throughout the entire film.
So all I’ve talked about good things regarding this film. Are there no bad things to say about Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Not really, no. This film is a fun watch, although not Oscar material. I think that’s why critics tend to be a bit negative towards it. Their job is to find films of good quality, not necessarily fun films. But if it’s a film that makes fans happy, why not?
All in all, I think it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The story was good, the actors did a great job and it was full of little easter eggs to the original Ghostbusters. It really was an ode and I know that Jason Reitman, as a director and co-writer, and Ivar Reitman, as a producer, did all they could to make the fans happy. And I honestly think it worked out great.
A fun film, great for every age and every nostalgic nerd out there. I promise you’ll laugh, scream and applaud.