“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” an Unnecessary Continuation

Those seeking truth in advertising will find very few ghosts here of note, but this sequel is quite definitely a bust. Director Jason Reitman continues the film series of two groundbreaking ‘80s special effects centric comedies helmed by his dad Ivan in the tonally muddled Ghostbusters: Afterlife (C), and this next generation entry is a spectral slog. Only the committed performances of young protagonists Mckenna Grace as Phoebe (the late Egon Spengler’s precocious granddaughter) and Logan Kim as her witty classmate Podcast plus a brief fantasia of animated mini-marshmallow men enliven the lethargic story. The film’s action moves from Manhattan to Middle America with teens who plug and play with the old wraith-warring artifacts in a momentum-free plot. Reitman builds very little atmosphere specifics, introduces few compelling apparitions and simply never finds his comedic stride despite game attempts by Paul Rudd and others. It doesn’t help that a good third of the film is a complete retread of the “Gozer” narrative from the original film. There is neither enough of a nostalgia trip nor an entertaining adventure in its own right to warrant a recommendation. 

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