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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
While probably not on par with the 1984 original, this new sequel heavily influenced by The Real Ghostbusters cartoon does a solid job of continuing the franchise for a new generation.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Release Date: March 22, 2024
Runtime: 01:55
Synopsis:
When the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second ice age.

Table of Contents

The Ghostbusters are back in New York City and face off against an icy new threat in . Having reestablished themselves at their base in New York City thanks to philanthropist, and former member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), Callie Spengler (), and her teenage kids Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe () have taken to the streets as the new Ghostbusters team. However, after Mayor Walter Peck () takes issue with Phoebe's underage status, her family is forced to halt her status as a Ghostbusters until she comes of age.

Meanwhile, Nadeem Razmaadi () sells an unusual bronze orb to Ray Stantz's () Occult Book Store. With the PKE readings going off the charts, The orb is sent to the Ghostbusters' new research lab overseen by Lars Pinfield (), who notices strange behaviours in the other ghosts in the lab, as well as the orb releasing absolute zero temperatures. Pheobe and Ray learn from library researcher Dr. Hubert Wartzki () that the orb contains an evil entity named Garraka, who can freeze people with fear and intends to raise a spectral army.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Synopsis

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is the fifth film in the Ghostbusters franchise and a direct follow-up to 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The film is directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House, Poltergeist), based on a script by Kenan and Jason Reitman. The film continues the story of the offspring of the late Egon Spegler, as they continue as the new generation of Ghostbusters. They are assisted by the original surviving Ghostbusters Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman (), along with Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Phoebe and Trevor's friends Podcast () and Lucky (Celeste O'Connor).

The story sees 15-year-old Phoebe benched as an active Ghostbuster, as her underage status makes her an easy target for Walter Peck, the Ghostbuster's old EPA nemesis, who is now the mayor of New York City. Despite her benched status, Phoebe secretly begins to investigate the influx of paranormal activity caused by the bronze orb acquired by Ray and seeks the assistance of a seemingly friendly teenage ghost named Melody (), whom she meets in the park. However, it isn't long before the powerful Garraka is unleashed and threatens to cover New York under a permanent deep freeze.

My Thoughts on Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

This year the Ghostbusters franchise celebrates its 40th anniversary and it is frankly amazing that not one, but three new films were produced over the last decade. There was a time when it seemed like there would never again be any more Ghostbusters films, mostly a result of cast holdouts, particularly from Bill Murray, and the 2014 death of Harold Ramis. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is also the first film in the franchise to be produced after the 2022 death of Ivan Reitman, who received a posthumous producing credit and a dedication.

Reportedly, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a film that takes much inspiration from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon from the late-1980s. As such, the film is possibly a little less tethered to reality than the previous films in the franchise, particularly with the addition of the new Ghostbusters Research Lab and the various ghosts on display in the various cells, including the returning Stay-Puft mini marshmallow men from Ghostbusters: Afterlife. While this cartoonish tone makes Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire a goofier film, I also ended up finding the film a lot more fun than Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

In addition, while it might be fan service, it was great seeing the original Ghostbusters integrated back into the fold after previously being featured in the climax of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Both Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore and Dan Aykroyd's Ray Stantz are featured as full supporting characters within the film, while Bill Murray's Peter Venkman and Annie Potts' Janine Melnitz have smaller roles. Both the old and new generations of Ghostbusters end up teaming together in the climax to take on the villain Garraka. I do have to applaud Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire for using practical puppetry effects to depict Garraka, as well as old favourite Slimer, who is part of a recurring gag throughout the film with Finn Wolfhard's Trevor trying to trap the green slimeball, who has been living in the attic of the firehouse.

Of the new additions to the cast, Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals) is merely fine as Nadeem Razmaadi, the man who sets the plot in motion and seemingly has a connection to an ancient society trying to prevent Garraka from being unleashed on the world. More memorable is Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) as Dr. Hubert Wartzki, though his contributions to the film are limited to a single expositional scene. Then there's Emily Alyn Lind (The Babysitter, Doctor Sleep) as Melody, arguably the first ghost character to have a major supporting role in this franchise, which likely ties back to the influence of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, which featured this on multiple occasions.

While Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire probably isn't on par with the 1984 original, it does a solid job of continuing this franchise for a new generation.

Trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

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When the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second ice age.

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.