Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Jason Reitman. This film stars McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, and Carrie Coon. The movie follows a single mother and her children when they arrive in a small town in Oklahoma to close her late father’s estate. A series supernatural events lead her children to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters.
What follows are excerpts from The Final Take podcast, where Nelson and Tim provide their review and final thoughts on the film:
First Impressions/What worked
Tim: What were your first impressions of this film?
Nelson: Go watch this movie, that’s the podcast, thanks for listening. It was very good. When I say “What’s old is new again” I mean it […] there’s an entire generation of kids that don’t really know who the Ghostbusters are. And, of course, in the movie world they’ve forgotten who they are as well. When you have these nostalgia pieces, it’s so easy to get wrong. You have the [prequel] trilogy from Star Wars where they leaned way too into the CG. Or you have these stories of the original characters that are not true to the original character. It’s so easy to get these things wrong. And yet this film gets everything bit right. All the emotional beats are there. There are special effects but they don’t lean into it too much. […] It’s Ghostbusters for a new generation but also has a lot of nods to the original in so many clever, funny, little ways. So, I love this movie.
T: I have to agree with you there. It really just had that element of, it paid homage to the original Ghostbusters film. And I don’t even want to say the second one. It really pays homage to the first one. Because I know that Bill Murray wasn’t happy with the second film because they felt they had to get it out. It was rushed. And after that film, he had actually said that he would only come back if the script was good […] and this was so, so well done. Paying tribute to Harold Ramis […] this film truly, truly respected what Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd set out to do with Ghostbusters and executed it perfectly.
Nelson: The next generation, the younger cast members in the film…excellent! McKenna Grace who plays Phoebe, she plays the daughter in this, there’s another movie she’s in called Troop Zero on Amazon. She plays a very similar, quirky character. She’s really, really good. And then Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things, if there’s anyone that knows anything about nostalgia (it’s him).
Tim: You know what surprised me the most was actually Paul Rudd doing this film. Coming from Ant Man, coming from being now an A-list actor, he took a smaller, quirky little role. He was kind of the Rick Moranis of this film when you think about it […] he played that very left-of-center character in this film that was the antithesis of everything that this little town stands for. This little town in Oklahoma.
N: The best part is that he, seemingly, is one of the heroes. And he plays this seismologist who definitely thinks that he’s the hero. I just love that, where he’s the champion for science. And I think that’s great. As a father, in trying to teach my son where learning is cool, I feel that. When he’s talking about science, in the movie there’s a couple lines where he’s describing his love for science. And there’s so many times I can totally relate when I was trying to relate to my son about how awesome science is.
T: That’s true. I gotta say that probably the best parts of this film, despite the ghostbusting and all that fun action, is actually Paul Rudd and McKenna Grace’s scenes together. Those are the best scenes in this entire film. They’re just so weird and quirky. And they’re so entertaining at the same time.
N: And I definitely love how he’s definitely the hero of his own story in this. He just plays it fantastic.
Tim: I have to say, at the very end, I got emotional.
Nelson: I turned to you, and I pointed at my arm and I said “Goosebumps!” It’s so good, this movie is really good. I know we’re trampling all over ‘What Worked’ because we both enjoyed this movie. Another thing is they didn’t over do the CG, they didn’t over do the effects. I think it’s like the first 40-50 minutes until you see what seems like a special effect […] they really, really waited before they started getting into, throwing in the CG ghosts and using the proton packs all that stuff.
T: They didn’t over do those scenes either, they made them quick and they moved past them to keep the story going […] They also did what kids can do, they did what they discovered […] Jason Reitman, I have to say, truly honored my childhood by making this film. It was very much for the fans and that’s what I appreciated the most.
The Final Take
Tim: Alright, Final Take: would you Watch, Stream, or Skip?
Nelson: Yeah, that’s not even a discussion, I said as the very beginning of this topic, it’s a Watch. You’ve gotta watch it. Go watch it on the biggest screen possible. And go watch it multiple times so we get more of it.
T: That’s right, I agree with that. That is definitely a Watch. I would watch it again.
The Final Take: Watch for both Nelson and Tim.
Listen to the entire episode below: