Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been one of those movies that fans have been waiting for, potentially for decades. It's the closest thing to a Ghostbusters 3 that people will likely ever see, and just when we all thought we'd finally get a chance, a global pandemic pushed the movie off even longer. Is it worth the wait? The movie screened last night in Las Vegas at CinemaCon so the first people have now seen it, and for the most part they're in agreement that Ghostbusters fans are going to love it.
CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell was among those in attendance at the CinemaCon screening and he says the movie is good. He calls out Paul Rudd and the young McKenna Grace as particular high points, but says the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a solid addition to the original two films, and says fans will love the movie.
A movie like Ghostbusters: Afterlife is, even more so than other films that take place decades later, clearly making nostalgia a big part of its themes. From the responses online, it seems like that nostalgia is mostly working. That's not to say that the entire movie is a look backward. Afterlife still has to bring something new to the table while also fondly remembering the past, and in many cases it seems the movie succeeds in doing that.
Of course, if you are a serious fan of classic Ghostbusters, it seems quite likely that the movie is really made for you. Prior to the screening director Jason Reitman called the movie an "easter egg hunt" as apparently the movie is just packed to the ceiling with easter eggs and references. It's also got the sorts of twists and ending that those in attendance were specifically warned not to spoil, which means that there's something there to be spoiled.
We know that Ghostbusters: Afterlife focuses on the grandchildren of Harold Ramis' Egon Spengler, and with any story where young people play the leads, there's a possibility for heightened emotions. I'm not sure anybody would call the first two Ghostbusters movies "emotional," but the third one apparently is. When you play with nostalgia that much, you're very likely to hit people in the feels.
If you look at these reactions at a surface level only, they seem to be quite good news for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but you can also see a thread of something under the surface. The movie is being called good, but not great. It's something that fans will certainly love, but it's less clear how much it will work for those not steeped in the lore. While the eventual reviews from these critics might put the movie on the positive side of the scale, you can tell there will be some things that will ultimately keep the movie from being something great. A few of the critics are talking about what that might be.
Still, even if Ghostbusters: Afterlife has issues, it does seem to be, on the whole, a good time, and that's good news. The rest of us still have a couple months to wait to see the movie, but if you're a Ghostbusters fan, it seems likely that the wait will be worth it.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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