Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review | An Empty Shell

There was a time when Sony was a leading production company in Hollywood. From The Karate Kid and Spider-Man, to Bad Boys, and Men in Black, Sony and Columbia Pictures seemed to be firing on all cylinders. These days you’d be hard-pressed to get excited for a new film from Sony, and while Ghostbusters: Afterlife managed to buck the trend, it’s clear Sony is back to mediocracy with its latest release, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

Ghostbusters: Aftermath offered a quality sequel to the classic Ghostbusters films. The story was new, but familiar, featuring just enough fan service to appease diehard fans, while still introducing the franchise to a new generation. Frozen Empire drops the ball in almost every aspect of filmmaking.

Right from the get-go, Frozen Empire is all about fan service. There’s so much fan service in this movie that it almost feels as though the creative team prioritized fan service over a cohesive story. Very little happens in the first 90 minutes of the movie that actually has any kind of significant impact on the plot, but you get a ton of fan service harkening back to the first two movies.

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire, Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, paul rudd

Almost every character from Afterlife was brought back, despite the story shifting from Oklahoma to New York. This causes most of the characters to feel out of place, with nothing to do. Podcast (Logan Kim) and Lucky (Celeste O’Connor) are dropped into the film with no purpose at all. They could be removed from the movie and nothing would change. Newcomers, Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani) and Dr. Hubert Wartzki (Patton Oswalt) are equally useless. While Nadeem is connected to the big bad in the film, the story does nothing to cement that connection, and instead uses Nadeem as a means to introduce the MacGuffin, and occasionally for lackluster comic relief.

Even within the confines of the story, there were a number of clear ways to give all of these characters meaning, but it simply doesn’t happen. As an example, fan-favorite Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace), a highlight of Afterlife, shifts from a witty Egon stand-in to a lost and lonely teenager. It was a complete waste of her character.

The visual effects in Frozen Empire are top notch, just like Afterlife before it, but good visuals aren’t enough to make a quality film. There’s no substance to Frozen Empire, but you get fan service moments every 10 minutes. It’s almost as if the writers asked a fanatic of the first two films what their favorite parts were, then just squeezed them into this film at random points and attempted to build a plot around them.

It was nice to see the old crew back together again, but Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is an empty shell of a film. It’s still arguably better than Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, but Afterlife was far superior, and Frozen Empire doesn’t hold a candle to the first two Ghostbusters films. Even the big bad has no real motivation or build up throughout the movie. Remove the final fight and audiences would find it difficult to discern who the main antagonist was, and what their motivations were. Save your money this weekend, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire isn’t even worth watching on Netflix in six months.

About Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

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.

Director: Gil Kenan

Writers: Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman

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

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire, Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman, paul rudd

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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