"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" - An Icy Disappointment

Movie brings the plot back to New York. The younger members of the team hunt ghosts around town, but the real threat arrives when Nadeem Razmadi sells an ancient artifact to Ray Stantz for a handful of dollars

by Sededin Dedovic
"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" - An Icy Disappointment
© Ghostbusters / Youtube channel

Precisely for the 40th anniversary of "Ghostbusters", the 3rd sequel "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" played in cinemas. It's about a family of young Ghostbusters who team up with the original team to save New York from a new ice age caused by the ancient demon Garrak.

"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" comes with a big ambition to repeat the success of "Legacy". Director Jason Reitman returns us to New York, but instead of the warmth and heart that permeated the previous film, there is an icy breath of disappointment.

The film relies on nostalgic references to the original Ghostbusters from the eighties, but uses them superficially, failing to capture the spirit of the original.

A generation gap that doesn't let the heat out

While "Legacy" successfully brought together a new generation of Ghostbusters with veterans from the original cast, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" loses that balance.

Phoebe Spengler and Callie have the potential to be interesting characters, but the script doesn't give them enough room to develop. Their interactions with veterans like Raymond Stantz and Peter Venkeman feel forced and inauthentic.

It feels like the veterans are only there for nostalgia and not to really contribute to the story.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire© Sony Pictures India / Youtube channel

And the film's story itself takes us back to where it all began - to the iconic firehouse in New York.

The Spengler family hunts ghosts around the town, but (as always) this hunt brings with it a lot of damage and thus a cost to the town. Mayor Walter Peck (William Atherton) forbids underage Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) from being part of the Chaser team because she is underage.

Disappointed, in one wandering around the city, she befriends a ghost, the girl Melody (Emily Alyn Lind), whose family perished in a fire. Soon their relationship becomes very emotional.

Humor that doesn't catch ghosts

One of the biggest flaws of the original "Ghostbusters" was precisely the humor.

The combination of supernatural and comedy worked great because it was intelligent and unexpected. The "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" fails precisely in this field. Attempts at humor are obvious, but fail. The jokes are predictable and fall into the "already seen" category.

This is an even greater shame because the humor was one of the key elements that made the original Ghostbusters so beloved. In addition, the action and events themselves, which was to be expected, contain quite a few clichés.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire© Sony Pictures India / Youtube channel

The main villain, Garraka, doesn't make any lasting impression. His motivations are unclear and his powers less than intriguing. Even the visuals of Garrak, reminiscent of the Night's King from Game of Thrones, feel like a used idea.

The film relies on overused formulas of the supernatural genre, instead of creating something new and original.

Missed opportunities and blind spots

"Frozen Empire" has several missed opportunities that could have saved the film.

The relationship between Pheobe Spengler and Melody's ghost was one of the most interesting aspects of the film. Their interaction and exploration of the connection between the living and the dead offered the potential for a deeper story and emotional resonance.

However, the film abandons this thread too quickly and does not exploit its full potential. In a similar way, the attempt to develop the theme of family relations in the Spenglers seems unconvincing and forced.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire© Sony Pictures India / Youtube channel

The movie also contains several interesting details - the visual effects are, for the most part, attractive and convincing.

The best and most interesting moments of the film concern the unusual but intriguing relationship between Pheobe Sprengler and Melody, a dead soul caught between two worlds. It's a pity that the relationship between the living and the dead didn't get more space in the film - the relationship between Pheobe and Melody is interesting on many levels and definitely represents the brightest part of the film.

Contrary to expectations, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" is perhaps the biggest cinema disappointment of the cinema of 2024. A clichéd story, a chronic lack of humor and, for the most part, an uninteresting plot are the main problems of the film, which leaves an impression of emptiness and vagueness.

This film simply fails to revive the magic of the original "Ghostbusters" and falls far behind the quality and heart of its predecessor, "Legacy", which was the biggest reason for optimism for "Frozen Empire". We recommend that fans of the franchise stay with the warm memories of the original and avoid cold disappointment, although we always say see for yourself and judge.

New York