Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Frozen in the Past: ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ is Hollywood’s Latest Cash Grab


“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” is the latest movie in Hollywood’s new, seemingly desperate attempt to recreate Generation X’s childhood. In other words, the film is another needless sequel designed to make money off of audience nostalgia instead of making good art.

The movie picks up where “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” left off, following the next generation of the Spengler family as they grow accustomed to Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) being the new father figure of the family. The film mainly focuses on Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace) and her struggle with coming of age amid pressure to continue her family’s legacy. The new Ghostbusters run into a magical orb that holds the spirit of an ancient frost monster, and they accidentally let it loose. Once again, the busters have to save the city once from another army of ghosts. Sound familiar?

Before dissecting the faults of the film, humor me as I give “Frozen Empire” the flowers for its few achievements.

The best thing I can say about this movie is that it is a self-contained bad, not undermining the legacy of the film. Unfortunately, we live in an era where every movie is not only an uninspired remake, reboot or sequel, but viewers have to worry about filmmakers seeking to disrespect everything that made the franchise so great to begin with — looking at you, “The Last Jedi.” While this movie is yet another soulless sequel with no narrative point, it doesn’t try to destroy the beloved originals.

Additionally, the acting department is adequate — don’t expect to be blown away, but everyone turned in a convincing and believable performance. Grace has the best showing, which plays as one of the film’s main strengths, as she is at the core of the story.

Now, for the bad.

Without getting into deep spoilers, the entire plot of the movie hinges on key characters acting extremely stupid and out-of-character to get the plot of the film in motion.  

The pacing of the film is also a problem. There is one action set piece at the beginning and one at the end. In between those two scenes is a substanceless slog that feels way longer than its runtime. 

The film is filled with hollow key-dangling moments calling back to the first movie. Slimer, the Marshmallow Man, the concrete lions and most of the original cast all make appearances. These moments hold no narrative purpose and don’t further the film’s themes in any meaningful way. Ultimately, these attempts come across as pandering to audiences, hoping to evoke nostalgia for an earlier, better film.

What made the original “Ghostbusters” a classic is its potent blend of sci-fi, horror and witty comedy. Unfortunately, the few times I laughed at “Frozen Empire” had more to do with the unintentional amount of cringe oozing like Slimer off the screen rather than actual humor. The movie is filled to the brim with lowbrow innuendos, including Rudd at one point quipping, “busting makes me feel good.” 

Despite all this, arguably this movie’s biggest issue is that it doesn’t justify its existence. Why do I, as a fan of the original, need to see this story of Spengler’s granddaughter and her maturation process? The answer is: I don’t. 

In this way, “Frozen Empire” summarizes my biggest issue with the current Hollywood machine. We don’t need yet another sequel to a classic franchise. Instead of filmmakers attempting to create new exciting adventures, Hollywood is so focused on making the most generic and uninspired content infused with just the right amount of key-dangling nostalgia to make money.

While ghostbusting may make Rudd feel good, good movies are what make me feel good. And unfortunately, this movie is not that.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *