"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" Film Review

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) - IMDb

"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" Film Review

Rating: 1/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    After watching the annoying "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" back in 2021, I went into its direct sequel, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" with no expectations. I borderline hated almost everything they did in the 2021 film, and was curious to see if they could somehow change that in this 2024 sequel. However, it is pretty damn impressive for a film to disappoint so much, especially when you go in with no expectations whatsoever. This is just another major misfire on numerous levels, and just another reason to support the claim that the Ghostbusters franchise should just stay dead. 

    The film picks up a couple of years later after the events from this film's predecessor, with the descendants of Egon Spengler, Callie (Carrie Coon) and her kids, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), having moved into the iconic Ghostbusters firehouse with Callie's boyfriend, Gary (Paul Rudd). They have been busting ghosts and trapping them for a couple years, even though the mayor, Walter Peck (William Atherton), wants to shut them down. While he is still fishing for reasons that the Ghostbusters shouldn't exist, he is able to bench Phoebe for being too young, even though she serves as the leader of sorts. 

    Now banned from going on chases, Phoebe is trying to find things to occupy her time. She meets ghost girl Melody (Emily Alyn Lind), while also helping former Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) to create new technology for the band of ghost chasers. However, when Ray (Dan Aykroyd) obtains a weird sphere relic from a man named Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani), who claims his grandmother had a bunch of weird artifacts, they learn that it houses a dark God that could destroy the whole world. When the God eventually gets out (shock of all shocks), the Ghostbusters, old and new, must band together to bring him down for good. 

    Like I mentioned, I was not a fan at all of "Afterlife". I thought it was dull, annoying, poorly written, and just downright a disappointing requel to a great classic years prior. "Frozen Empire" is the same way. The story is all over the place, with the characters being separated throughout the film and doing their own little "side quests". At the same time, throughout the course of the almost two hour film, there is no character development, or even a real cohesive story that has a satisfying beginning, middle, or end. 

    Let's start with Grace's character. I hate to be this cruel to a young actress, but her character is absolutely awful. There are truly no redeeming qualities about her, and she is simply a despicable character. She sort of reminds me of Sheldon in the "Young Sheldon" series - so annoying you want to bang your head against a wall. I'm not sure what the filmmakers were thinking when making her the lead in this new franchise because she is easily one of the most annoying and frustrating characters in the entire Ghostbusters series. 

    At the same time, I think Wolfhard and Coon are not great at all either. They are both annoying, and the mom is a downright despicable character at times. She is genuinely awful and cruel to her children, but it is conveyed as her being a good mom that tries to parent her kids correctly. It just doesn't work, and it's truly disheartening that these are the characters leading the Ghostbusters series right now. The stars from the original are here somewhat, but they are even written very poorly and not satisfying at all. 

    I must say though, I do like Rudd here. But, to be fair, I genuinely like Rudd in everything he is in. He is just so likable and fun that it is hard not to like him. The same can be said for Nanjiani, who is just a lovable goofball from beginning to end and is incredibly fun to watch on the screen. However, it's sad that the next best character(s) in this film after these two are the tiny Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men. Even though they are incredibly minor, and are only on the screen for maybe a minute or two, they are much better than most of the main characters here. 

    Now, here's the major problem with the movie - it is so uneven and very poorly written. The entire movie moves so slowly and just has a bunch of random events happening, and then Bam! They introduce the main antagonist in the last thirty minutes of the film. They set him up as one of the biggest monsters the crew has ever faced in cinematic history, and yet they defeat him so easily and stupidly. It's such a waste of an antagonist and they do a horrible job of introducing this character, with the final battle being so damn underwhelming. It's honestly incredibly depressing.

    The first "Ghostbusters" is a comedy classic, and they have tried to follow it up with not-great sequels. With the release of the bad "Afterlife", they should have never made this movie. It's an abomination, and can't even be fun bad with how seriously they take it. Even though I came in with such low expectations, the filmmakers somehow manage to disappoint me even further, cementing my point that this franchise should just die out and stay dead.