Who You Gonna Call?

I just saw the 2021 Oklahoma¬†Ghostbusters (a.k.a. Ghostbusters: Afterlife). It’s about the grandkids of one of the original Ghostbusters who move to the farm their gramps owned. They never met old Egon Spengler, but he happened to die right when they were getting evicted from their New York apartment, so off the family goes to live in flyover country. As far as they know, he was just a crazy old geezer, but they quickly learn there was an apocalyptic reason a hunter of the supernatural moved to the middle of nowhere.

This movie is like other modern sequels in that it retreads the ground that its forebear covered. But somehow I didn’t find the nostalgia annoying, likely because instead of just making constant references to a movie from the 80s, it was directly trying to be a movie from the 80s – in its directing choices, in the design of its sets and props, and even in its CGI that mimics the look of the special effects from the first Ghostbusters. In fact the only real indication that it’s set in the 21st century – besides the fact that the characters say that the year is 2021 – is that smartphones and Youtube exist.

Anyway, the deliberate 80s throwback is obviously why the movie cast Wolf Gunblood or whoever the hell that kid is from Stranger Things.¬†One character that did bug me was the kid who was named Podcast (ugh). Reminds me of Juno trying too hard to be with it (for example, the “honest to blog” line). Also Podcast’s actor was noticeably worse than everyone else. I know he’s just a kid but it kind of invites comparison when he’s constantly around another kid who’s a better actor than him.

Also, I didn’t realize the original cast from the first movie cameos, or as many of them that are still around (Ramis is dead, Moranis retired). Dan Aykroyd’s Canadian accent really comes out in the one long conversation he’s in.

Anyway, watching this made me think of the first movie and how in retrospect it’s clearly from when Reagan was president. I mean, small business owners save the world while the government’s representatives are either useless or actively harmful. I don’t think anyone involved in the movie was a Reaganite but it just goes to show how you can’t escape the times you live in.

As for the Ghostbusters of our current age, it’s decently entertaining. I’d say put it on if you’ve got a lot of laundry to fold.

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