Ghostbusters in a car looking surprised while looking out the windshield

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

April 11, 2024
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This franchise is going in the wrong direction, and after such a stellar legacy sequel in 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, that’s a big disappointment.

Continuing the paranormal adventures of the Spengler family as they bust as many ghosts as they can aim a proton pack at, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire sees Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace), her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), her mom Callie (Carrie Coon), and her boyfriend Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), as they face an ancient evil that could take out all of New York City in a freezing flash of sub-zero temperature, something they are woefully underprepared to do. Also wrapped up a political maelstrom that could see the Ghostbusters dissolved for good, and it isn’t long before the team begins to fray at the edges as they realize that they may not have the ghostly forces swirling around the city as under control as they might like to think.

I enjoy pretty much every piece of Ghostbusters content I come across in my nerd travels, with my opinion on the divisive 2016 reboot even being a bit more positive than most. But outside of the main cast, some fun special effects, an interesting B-plot dealing with “cursed” objects, and a story hook that should have been aces, what with the team returning to their old stomping (and now frozen) grounds of NYC, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire instead ends up being a blunder of a movie that isn’t what fans are looking for, despite me trying my hardest to think otherwise.

Apparently, busting makes you feel good, but you wouldn’t know it between all the weird world-building directions (we’re fire bending now?), awkward ghostly romance (it didn’t work), shoved-in nostalgia cameos (Afterlife made them matter), slow plot progression (where’s the main villain?), thinly scripted characters (where’s everyone’s development?), and an overall feel that wasn’t in line with the satisfying movie that came before it. To make matters worse, I’m still not clear on why it took until the third act to get to the part of the story that I thought the entire movie was going to be about (or at least according to what the marketing would lead you to believe), effectively tanking a perfectly good Ghostbusters idea in ways that I couldn’t get behind.

To be blunt, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is hands down my least favorite Ghostbusters film in the entire franchise — including the rebooted movie that people gave a bad but not totally undeserved wrap to. That being said, there’s infinite potential in the idea of a familial Ghostbusters team taking out ghouls and spirits across NYC and beyond, but that would mean there would have to be actual ghost-busting involved, something Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire can’t say much about, ensuring that this one feels inconsequential, rushed, and most of all, kinda boring.

This franchise is going in the wrong direction, and after such a stellar legacy sequel in 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, that’s a big disappointment. Continuing the paranormal adventures of the Spengler family as they bust as many ghosts as they can aim a proton pack at, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire sees Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace), her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), her mom Callie (Carrie Coon), and her boyfriend Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), as they face an ancient evil that could take out all of New York City in a freezing flash of sub-zero temperature, something they are woefully underprepared to do. Also wrapped up a political maelstrom that could see the Ghostbusters dissolved for good, and it isn’t long before the team begins to fray at the edges as they realize that they may not have the ghostly forces swirling around the city as under control as they might like to think. I enjoy pretty much every piece of Ghostbusters content I come across in my nerd travels, with my opinion on the divisive 2016 reboot even being a bit more positive than most. But outside of the main cast, some fun special effects, an interesting B-plot dealing with “cursed” objects, and a story hook that should have been aces, what with the team returning to their old stomping (and now frozen) grounds of NYC, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire instead ends up being a blunder of a movie that isn’t what fans are looking for, despite me trying my hardest to think otherwise. Apparently, busting makes you feel good, but you wouldn’t know it between all the weird world-building directions (we’re fire bending now?), awkward ghostly romance (it didn’t work), shoved-in nostalgia cameos (Afterlife made them matter), slow plot progression (where’s the main villain?), thinly scripted characters (where’s everyone's development?), and an overall feel that wasn’t in line with the satisfying movie that came before it. To make matters worse, I’m still not clear on why it took until the third act to get to the part of the story that I thought the entire movie was going to be about (or at least according to what the marketing would lead you to believe), effectively tanking a perfectly good Ghostbusters idea in ways that I couldn’t get behind. To be blunt, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is hands down my least favorite Ghostbusters film in the entire franchise -- including the rebooted movie that people gave a bad but not totally undeserved wrap to. That being said, there’s infinite potential in the idea of a familial Ghostbusters team taking out ghouls and spirits across NYC and beyond, but that would mean there would have to be actual ghost-busting involved, something Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire can’t say much about, ensuring that this one feels inconsequential, rushed, and most of all, kinda boring.

5.8

A Frozen Failure

The Verdict

5.8

6

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

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