Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review: An underwhelming nostalgia bait

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Movie Review: An underwhelming nostalgia bait

The biggest shortcoming of the film is that it tries too hard to capture the audience's attention, and in that pursuit, it meanders through a loosely packed screenplay
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire(2 / 5)

It is often said that the primary objective of franchise films is to evoke nostalgia in the viewers. These films serve as a reminder of the time when we first met the characters, a time when we had fun and didn't have the adult perspective to overanalyse filmmaking style. An ideal scenario in such cases, is a sequel that takes a new approach while still retaining the warmth of the original film, thereby providing you with a refreshing yet nostalgic experience. However, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the latest addition to the Ghostbusters franchise, fails to deliver in terms of novelty, instead relying solely on nostalgia.

Director: Gil Kenan

Cast: Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Kumail Nanjiani

This fifth addition to the supernatural comedy franchise takes place three years after the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The Spenglers, including Egon Spengler's daughter Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), her boyfriend, Gary Grooberson(Paul Rudd), her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe( Mckenna Grace), and their close friends Lucky Domingo and Podcast, move to New York City to assist Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd ) in reestablishing the paranormal investigation group known as Ghostbusters. 

The most exciting factor about Ghostbusters are the wacky, thrilling supernatural adventures. However, Frozen Empire is mired down by indulgent dialogues and hardly has any entertaining action scenes. The writing is often repetitive and lacks originality, exposing the evident shortcomings. The attempts at humour and performances also fall short and are just relegated to referencing moments from the previous films. The humour might have worked on paper but due to the poor execution, the jokes don't land as well as they should have. The only line that gets a chuckle out of you is when Kumail Nanjiani's Nadeem Razmaadi wrings a joke out of a tense situation towards the end.

The biggest shortcoming of Frozen Empire is that it tries too hard to capture the audience's attention and in that pursuit, it meanders through a loosely packed screenplay. The film tries to do too much at once and fails at all of them. While the Ghostbusters are busy with a mission, we are treated to a subplot involving Phoebe, who meets a ghost named Melody and builds an intimate relationship with her. In another instance, when Trevor asks for help from his mother, she replies, "Aren't you an adult boy?", essentially pushing him to become more mature. While these subplots had interesting potential, the film never truly fleshes them out. All of these different plot threads are crammed together, causing the story to lose its focus and diluting the impact of the story. Towards the end of the final act, struggling to make sense of the many plot threads it opened, Frozen Empire falls flat and fails to establish the antagonist satisfactorily. Since we do not understand or connect with the motivations of the antagonist, the finale becomes forced. 

Unfortunately, even with all the quirkiness, thrills, and adventures inherent in the franchise, Frozen Empire never truly leverages any of its strengths. It fails to capture the unique charm and appeal that made the original a classic. Nostalgia can be a powerful tool if combined with fresh ideas, but in this case, it's a missed opportunity. Just like the ghosts in the Ghostbusters' firehouse headquarters, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire fades away and fails to leave a lasting impression.

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