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The Spengler family returns to New York City for sequel to 2021 movie

THE Ghostbusters franchise has held a cherished place in the hearts of fans since its iconic 1984 debut. With each new instalment, audiences eagerly anticipate the return of the beloved characters, thrill of encountering supernatural foes and the trademark humour that defines the movies.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire enters this storied lineage, promising both nostalgia and fresh adventures. However, does it succeed in capturing the essence of its predecessors? Let us delve into the spectral streets of Manhattan and find out.

A familiar landscape

Undoubtedly, Ghostbusters films are known for their signature elements – bold characters in jumpsuits equipped with proton packs facing off against unique spectres, all while injecting humour into the mix.

The 1984 original film set the bar high, and subsequent films have been measured against its success. In the case of Frozen Empire, it seems to at least echo the essence of the debut film, with some added similarities.

Directed by Gil Kenan, this sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife echoes its predecessors, in which the plot follows a familiar trajectory involving a formidable evil entity that threatens civilisation. This time, an ancient horned ghost-god wreaks havoc and a dimension-crossing poses a danger to humanity.

The chain of events is set in motion when Nadeem, a mischievous individual portrayed by Kumail Nanjiani, tries to sell an ancient orb to Ray. This orb, inherited from his late grandmother, holds significant occult power and serves as humanity’s only defence against the tyrannical reign of the ice-powered phantom.

$!The film is great family-friendly fun.

A new generation rises

In Frozen Empire, Phoebe Spengler (played by McKenna Grace) and her family have officially joined the Ghostbusters team, operating out of the iconic fire station headquarters and continuing the legacy of paranormal investigation and elimination. This setting is a departure from Afterlife, which was set in a small town in Oklahoma.

Phoebe takes on a leading role, representing the scientific curiosity and bravery of her grandfather Egon. She is accompanied by her mother Callie (played by Carrie Coon), brother Trevor (played by Finn Wolfhard) and their quirky ally Gary (played by Paul Rudd), as they face both supernatural threats and bureaucratic obstacles.

Aside from that, Kenan offers fans more time with beloved characters. The older generation of Ghostbusters is still present, with Winston (played by Ernie Hudson) now owning the fire station building, Ray (played by Dan Aykroyd) running a supernaturalist YouTube channel, Janine (played by Annie Potts) making an appearance and the legendary Dr Venkman (played by Bill Murray) also featured, albeit with a demeanour that suggests he may be preoccupied with other thoughts.

New lead emerges

With a mix of seasoned actors and fresh talent, Frozen Empire promise a new generation of Ghostbusters, hinting at the potential that these younger characters could take the lead in future instalments.

Grace delivers a standout performance as the teenage outsider, honouring her grandfather’s legacy with subtlety and depth. Her portrayal of Phoebe perfectly blends social awkwardness with scientific confidence, embodying the spirit of the original Ghostbusters while charting a course for the future.

On the other hand, the movie’s reliance on a creepy subplot involving Phoebe and an older ghost feels unnecessary and needs to be revised in its overall impact. Meanwhile, Wolfhard’s character Trevor feels somewhat underdeveloped, leaving him seemingly adrift.

$!Murray (right) and Hudson make a legendary return in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

Verdict

In conclusion, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire weaves a tapestry of nostalgia, innovation and supernatural thrills, continuing the legacy of the beloved franchise. With a blend of old favourites and new faces, the film captures the essence of its predecessors while charting a course for exciting new adventures.

As Phoebe and her allies face down spectral and bureaucratic foes alike, they embody the spirit of camaraderie and courage that defines the Ghostbusters ethos. Whether battling ghosts or grappling with personal demons, the team’s journey resonates with audiences old and new, ensuring that the legacy of Ghostbusters will endure for generations to come.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is now screening in cinemas nationwide.