With a more convoluted cast than story, there's still some power left in the proton packs after 40 years. Made for the franchise's most forgiving fans who still find some way to love each entry and families looking for a spooky night out.

Rated PG-13 for supernatural action/violence, language and suggestive references.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot is the one that gets sequels. However, toxic fanboys got their wish and Jason Reitman stepped in to drown the series in nostalgia, barely giving the direct sequel to his father’s (Ivan) first two films, any room to be its own thing. While the nostalgia continues to drown the franchise in Frozen Empire, at least it now feels more organic. With Reitman only co-writing/producing this time, alongside co-writer/director Gil Kenan (who also co-wrote Afterlife), they at least try to give the film its own reason for existing. Even if barely.

After having defeated Gozer, again, the Spenglers—Callie (Carrie Coon), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace)— and Gary (Paul Rudd), have moved to New York, where we find them busting ghosts and feeling good. But after Mayor Walter Peck (William Atherton) puts Phoebe on the bench, trouble comes brewing when Nadeem Razmaadi (Kumail Nanjiani) sells off an ancient artifact to Ray (Dan Aykroyd). Come to find out, Nadeem is from a long line of “Firemasters,” and may be their last line of defense when the “tall, dark, and horny” Garraka, seeks revenge to unleash a frozen empire worldwide—which may or may not include all the ghosts contained at the firehouse over the last 40 years.

For a proper review, we’ll be discussing Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire on the next Big Movie Mouth Off. For all intents and purposes, I will say that if Ghostbusters II didn’t exist, this would be my favorite sequel yet. Compared to Afterlife, the jokes are funnier, the character arcs more deserved, far better score, superior action, and plenty of ghosts. This is the sequel we’ve been waiting for. But the only reason this works as well as it does is because Afterlife walked, so Frozen Empire could run. So stay tuned for the new BMMO episode where we’ll dive deeper into what works, what doesn’t, and decide if Ghostbusters is worthy of continuing, so long as they can finally make one that doesn’t completely depend on nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake.

4 out of 5

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