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Film Review: GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE (2024): New Sequel Treads on Familiar Ground While Keeping Audiences Entertained Throughout

Heroes Ghostbusters Frozen Empire

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) Film Review, a movie directed by Gil Kenan, written by Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman and Gil Kenan and starring Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Celeste O’Connor, Logan Kim, Emily Alyn Lind, James Acaster, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Shelley Williams, Chris Tummings and John Rothman.

New York City is about to be covered in 3 feet of ice unless the Ghostbusters can save the day in yet another entry in an immensely popular franchise. This one is called Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Gil Kenan has directed this new sequel which has something for everybody. The big surprise is that Kumail Nanjiani steals the movie in his scenes here as Nadeem, a New Yorker from the outer boroughs looking to score some quick cash for the oddities his grandmother has left behind–some of which could be mistaken for sex toys, according to a character in the picture. Nanjiani has a great time in the film, particularly in a scene where he is wearing a wired up helmet and is interrogated by a key Ghostbuster but, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Towards the end, huge projected icicles threaten to cut into the skin of members of the group of heroes the movie presents, including the young Lucky (the always intriguing Celeste O’Connor). This movie certainly delivers on its promise of a potentially “Frozen Empire,”  even if more could have been done with the ideas at the movie’s core. Then, there’s the matter of the cast which, in addition to Nanjiani, brings back stars of both the old and new Ghostbusters movies successfully. There’s something grand and nostalgic about a movie that gives Dan Aykroyd more screen time than Patton Oswalt. At least, it feels Aykroyd has more time in the picture devoted to him despite his role being credited as a “special appearance.”

Paul Rudd is, once again, the film’s star. Rudd reprises his role as Gary Grooberson, the teacher who is helping out his significant other, Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) with her kids. Rudd is also having a ball in this role and uses the film as an opportunity to be Mr. Cool as he takes on ghosts with the crew of both young and old Ghostbusters.

Oddly enough, the most intriguing thing about the new film is the introduction of a young, “good” ghost, Melody (Emily Alyn Lind). Melody helps Phoebe Spengler (the splendid Mckenna Grace, reminding viewers of Harold Ramis who is gone but not forgotten) out considerably in the picture, especially towards the end. The “stay puft” marshmallow men are here in miniature form, too, even going so far as to steal a mid-end credits scene driving a big truck together. It’s all in fun and you’ll have a good time watching this picture.

The movie opens with the Mayor (William Atherton) scolding the Ghostbusters and threatening to close down their operation for breaking child labor laws among other things such as putting the city in danger. The plot really gets under way when Nanjiani’s character shows up with a peculiar item that the ghostbusting team deciphers as potentially evil.

Bill Murray is back on board again as Peter Venkman. Murray, too, has a blast digging into his role as he declares the big ghost who pops up towards the end as “tall, dark and horny.” Aykroyd gets more screen time, though, and is just as good as Murray as the pair help prove why the first film from 1984 was so successful.

This new film even takes us back to the library that was haunted in the first movie. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire doesn’t take itself too seriously but is still a good introduction to the material for someone who has never seen one of these movies before. This latest picture in the franchise could work as a stand-alone film, no problem.

What’s not great about Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is that the iciness referred to in the film’s title doesn’t get to have as major an impact as it could have. More could have gone wrong in terms of creating more intense  icy situations and the film could have gone full “Elsa” by freezing everything in view, instead of just a few select locations. Though the movie lives up to its title, it could have been even more entertaining than it is with a few more ghosts sprinkled throughout other than the ones it presents and the green Slimer who is a major staple in this series.

It would be a lie to say that the movie doesn’t work, though, because it most definitely does, despite its flaws. Oswalt could have had a bigger role in the action as he comes on full force only to eventually evaporate from the action. Kumail Nanjiani eats his role up, however, ultimately saving the day. The actor relishes in playing a goofball who can’t even flicker his lighter when he needs to help his friends out when going against a ghost leader and trying to set it on fire. Audiences will love Nanjiani in this part and Rudd is the icing on the cake. Both actors are well-cast.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is a new entry in a series that probably has a lot of life left in it, if this movie is any indication of what’s to come. The aforementioned “good ghost” is a clever way to make the movie’s basic premise feel a bit more complex and both Grace and Lind have a good on-screen rapport. This new sequel is far from a great movie but knows what it’s doing in terms of keeping devoted fans of the franchise satisfied. It’s worth seeing.

Rating: 7/10

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