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If the latest Ghostbusters film could have sustained the nostalgic eighties momentum of its excellent first hour, it might have lingered in the mind a bit longer.

Many movies have tried to tap into franchise nostalgia while still bringing something new to the table, but few have straddled that line so well as Ghostbusters: Afterlife does in its first 70-odd minutes.

From a wonderful opening scene that might as well have been directed by an eighties Spielberg, via the introduction of a new generation of ghoul hunters to an exciting chase sequence with the Ecto-1 through a sleepy town, there is a lot that co-writer and director Jason Reitman does right. Apart from a curiously off-key Paul Rudd the cast is a great selection of engaging leads, while the soundtrack and visuals are pleasingly on-brand.

Unfortunately Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn't sustain that momentum to the end, courtesy of a third act that feels more like glorified fan-fiction than a fitting conclusion to this particular story, with a villain that isn't nearly menacing enough and young heroes who acquit themselves a bit too well to be genuinely believable.

Still, the appearance of some old favourites slightly sugar-coats the disappointment about the narrative denouement, even if they cannot completely erase the movie's final-hurdle flaws.

release: 2021

director: Jason Reitman

starring: Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace


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