Familiar, yet distant : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Familiar, yet distant

Familiar, yet distant

The film is inundated with familiar faces from the past franchises.

Film: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Director: Gil Kenan

Cast: Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O'Connor, Logan Kim, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Emily Alyn Lind and James Acaster


As the American supernatural comedy franchise returns with its fifth part, it is nostalgia packed in the right proportions. At the same time, it’s definitely in sync with the much-loved modern-day idea of sci-fi storytelling set against the backdrop of the end of the world. And like several films in the past few years, this one involves another dimension too and talks of many verses.

After the success of ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ (2021), central characters Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and the Spengler family of three — Phoebe, Callie and Trevor (portrayed by Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon and Finn Wolfhard) — make a re-entry. The makers seem to have taken audience feedback from the last sequel (‘Afterlife’) seriously as the film starts off with a fresh story. However, it is also easy to understand why it is inundated with familiar faces from the past and refers to previous parts of the franchise. That doesn’t stop you from wondering that even as the franchise has come a long way from the first ‘Ghostbusters’ film dated 1984, why do filmmakers need to go in for this overreach to milk its fandom?

There’s so much that the writers don’t answer and this needs to be addressed in case another film in the franchise is in the offing. For instance, how the artefacts of ancient ghostbusters ended up in a house. There’s no backstory to why Nadeem Razmaadi (Kumail Nanjiani) is a Fire Starter. Also, his name seems like a joke as he always has to light a fire from a matchstick or a candle to save the day against the villain Garraka, voiced by Ian Whyte, who freezes everything and possesses the power to control ghosts.

The teen actors deliver average performances while Paul Rudd adds fun to the not-so-funny script as the likeable Garry. Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz, Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore and Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz show why they are called the original Ghostbusters. It’s a one-time-watch with something to offer to every generation in the family. See this for old times’ sake.