Ghostbusters: Afterlife Film Review

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'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' is in cinemas now. 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' is in cinemas now.

When a small town hermit known only as the Dirt Farmer dies, residents are shocked to learn he had a family. And when that family arrives to clean out his home, it sets off a chain reaction with the potential to change the world.

One of the most interesting parts of the 'Ghostbusters' franchise is their willingness to evolve, and in 'Afterlife', we see the franchise move beyond the excitement of battle to explore the stories of the families impacted by those big, shiny acts of heroism.

I must admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this movie. With the tantrums around the previous effort at reviving the franchise, chances seemed high that 'Afterlife' would be little more than blatant pandering to the louder and more toxic parts of the fandom, an overwrought apology for the 'sin' of an all-female ghostbusting team.

I’ve rarely been happier to be wrong.

This is definitely not a movie, nor a franchise, interested in choosing ego soothing over storytelling, and at points, I couldn’t help but feel care had been taken to clearly define what the writers, creators, and directors want the franchise to be. They chose inclusivity.

If you are the sort to sulk at women in leadership or heroic positions, you’re not going to enjoy this movie. If you dislike characters who do not sit comfortably within traditional gender roles, you’re probably going to hate it.

Mckenna Grace is spectacular as Phoebe, a young scientist and tomboy heavily implied to be neurodivergent. And while there was infinite scope for this to be yet another narrative around fitting into the neurotypical world, 'Afterlife' makes a point of stomping over that idea. At their heart, the OG quartet were outcasts and weirdos, people whose capacity to see the world differently was instrumental to their victories. That ideal of embracing intellect and unique perspectives lives on in 'Afterlife'.

There are scenes that are a little more violent than I’d expected, and at least one rich with fridge horror. But overall, it’s the typical gore levels you’d expect from this franchise. If there was an issue, albeit the sort requiring absolute nit-picking to find, it was the lack of clarity around whether or not this is a movie for children. When the main protagonists are minors, the immediate viewer assumption is that it’s a children’s movie, and yet there are moments this felt very much like an adult movie that four plucky tweens had somehow stumbled into. Saying that, this is a film I can’t wait to bring my younger cousins to see.

If you like your movies as emotionally compelling as they are action-packed, 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' is a must-see. Just remember to stick around for the post-credit scene.

'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' is in cinemas now.



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