Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire Movie Review

A pleasant chapter of the Ghostbusters franchise: fun and with a not-too-obvious plot

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Forty years after the first iconic chapter of the franchise, Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire is released in theaters. In the era of reboots, remakes, and frighteningly cloying "flashbacks", the Ghostbusters also make their return to cinemas having to deal with a changed world, accustomed to these works and which clearly does not best understand a language such as that typical of the nature of Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire: no renewal

The story picks up sometime after the story of Ghostbusters – Legacy, about a year or two following the events. The action moves to New York as if a necessary stop on the New York skyline was inevitable, complete with the return of the original cast, namely Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Wenkman (Bill Murray), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). The Splenger family continues its fight to protect the community while endless tributes and quotes on the original dilogy return. The plot remains practically comparable to both films of the 80s: the Ghostbusters are harmful and the bureaucracy, Mayor Walter Peck (William Atherton) in particular already known from the very first film as the anti-hero par excellence at the time an official of the Department From the Environment, he does everything to stop the group.

Without analyzing the plot in detail, it is good to realize that the story develops on a perfectly tested plot, already seen and revised, which is based on an innumerable quantity of quotes, botched situations, and ideas from a past that will certainly not return alive thanks to the remake of the saga. In general, the production was successful, in the sense that it is not so rare to laugh at a scene or to rediscover for a few moments those situations that made an entire generation fall in love. The sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of the entire film, however, does not vanish; the writing is slippery, filled with nothing, and full of useless clichés. No character shines, no subplot presents itself as pleasant or interesting, and the environment itself is a sea of almost embarrassing superficiality, so much so that even the return of the original cast, iconic places, and typical situations make one turn up one's nose even more if associated to a perennial lack of originality, of novelty.

Generations compared

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire excels in every field, does not inspire fear, and is not continually funny, although as mentioned above, the comedy still remains the most pleasant part of the work. Eric Steelberg's photography appears flat, shapeless, and atypical for a production of this kind. What happens to the new generation? A nothing in fact, if not the resulting inability to be able to even compare with the previous one. Stereotypical masks that act by convention and never for an actual plot implication. Even the ectoplasmic villain of the film has something anonymous about him, an end in itself. Where we no longer wonder if the Ghostbusters will make it, but rather by when.

The need for these works disappears, as they have nothing to do with the real idea of the first films. Reworking "ancient" titles for the sole purpose of re-proposing them to the general public to bring people into the theater perhaps works on an economic level, but it completely flattens the artistic and ideal function of cinema itself. Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire is a recycled waste, which, although it may have the desire to continue a fruitful and rich legacy in modern times, only manages to sediment the enormous generational leap that passes between Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters (2016) and Ghostbusters – Legacy. Everyone liked the remake of the costumes, the Ecto-1, and the proton backpacks but let's say in unison that a photograph taken in 1984 and reconstructed in 2024 has the only pleasure of being a simple pleasant remake and nothing more.

Ghostbusters – Frozen Empire: evaluation and conclusion

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

For lovers of the saga, it is always a pleasure to go back to see Ghostbusters, remaining in the nostalgic category on which the Star Wars saga also pushed a lot. Finally, however, you leave the theater with an insistent sensation of nothingness, as if the two hours of film had been spent in a blackout. One's history and experience with the first films remains intact, an untouchable relic to which these latest works will certainly not be added. Is it worth finally seeing this production? The answer in our opinion is no. Both to avoid being disappointed and because no one really needs a film that is based almost exclusively on quotes, almost like a dying person inevitably clings to the memories of their existence. Of course, if you happened to see it there would be some comical setting that might leave you smiling, but more than that would be too much to ask. Released in theaters on April 11, 2024. Produced by Columbia Pictures and Ghostcorps, distributed by Eagle Pictures.