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Review Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2021: Better than the 2016 version but also a misfire!

genre: adventure, comedy, fantasy

Another Ghostbusters sequel no one asked for. This time people were a lot more optimistic since this part was going to be the sequel to the original franchise and it seemed to embrace the nostalgia. Unfortunately, there are quite a few flaws to address. 

First the film takes too long for events to kick in. Now there is nothing wrong with lack of action and adventure but you do need something to make it worth your while. Like building up the main characters, building up tension or simply having scary or funny moments in the film to get you invested. There is an opening sequence that starts with the death of a prominent figure in the franchise. Only you don't really feel the impact or tragedy that has occurred. In large part because you aren't outright told who the figure is. Although I had a suspicion once Janine Melnitz appeared on the screen. However she hardly shows any emotion or sense of loss. She even downplays what the character meant for her. Perhaps this should have been seen as a red herring. Still, the supposed mystery wasn't that mysterious or compelling in the first place. In hindsight I think they should have shown her crying or worse. And if not in serious manner than exaggerated, at least we could have had some laughs.

Second, there is nothing original about this film. Almost every event in this film is lifted from the first part. Once a certain name is mentioned, you already know how things are going to play out. I really wished they would have done something new or at least attempted to bring in a new element or something more threatening. Instead it's a rehash of the same elements from the original without the humour and spirit Ok, there are some jokes but they are so flat and unfunny I couldn't laugh. Better get used to this because Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not even trying to be a comedy.

Third, there is no real adventure or spectacle to behold. There are like three big action / adventure sequences and only one of them came close to being grand. I said close because I had hoped it would lead to bigger and better events. But none of the events after this sequence were spectacular. At least not visually. On an emotional level a little. There is an ultimate meta moment where tribute is paid to that one figure I mentioned. One of the original team members who isn't with us any more. I liked it and thought it was endearing. Apparently, this was the biggest moment of the film and in all honestly felt incredibly underwhelming. Because none of it was earned. 

I really hate to say this since I was hoping for this film to at least be fun. But I don't think it's possible to recreate the magic that once was. Sometimes you have these films that should not have worked in the first place but did because of the time, place and people involved. Even with some people returning, there are so many other factors that are absent. So after two failed films it's pretty obvious that they should stop. 

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