Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire movie review: An underwhelming follow-up

There is something strange in the neighborhood, we all know who to call. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is hitting theaters on March 22, and we share our review and whether or not it's worth checking out in theaters.
Director Jason Reitman with Mckenna Grace in the new Ecto-1 jumpseat on the set of GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.
Director Jason Reitman with Mckenna Grace in the new Ecto-1 jumpseat on the set of GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. /

Audiences all fell in love with the Spengler family in the 2021 movieGhostbuster: AfterlifeWell, they have returned and are more than ready to chase down ghosts in the latest film in the franchise, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, but is it everything we hoped for? The 2021 film sparked a new wave of ghost-busting that was filmed with nostalgia. Does the sequel capture the same magic? I share my thoughts to let you know if it's worth checking out. 

The Spengler family has moved into the iconic New York City firehouse where the original Ghostbusters would take down the ghosts. Upon discovering an ancient artifact, an evil force brings together the new and old Ghostbusters to save the world from the attack. The film sees the return of Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Paul Rudd, along with original members Bill Murray, Dany Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson.

Our new Ghostbusters are in rare form, hunting down ghosts from the infamous halls of New York City. However, one day after a mission causes much ruckus, costing the city a lot of money. The Mayor brings them in for questioning, and he discovers that Phoebe Spengler is only 15. Because of what went wrong, she finds herself benched from the team. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a surprise hit of 2021, bringing the perfect balance of action, comedy, and paying homage to the original. Heading into Frozen Empire, I had moderate expectations because I wasn't sure what to expect or how they would be able to replicate the same beats from the 2021 film. Unfortunately, I am sad to report that the film didn't capture any of it. 

Let me start by talking about the elements that did work for me. Mckenna Grace was a true bright spot in the 2021 film, delivered here again. Although I felt her story was slightly undercooked, she did her best to be the emotional weight of the film they were trying to deliver. The relationship formed between Phoebe and Melody (Emily Alyn Lind) needs more development, but the two share strong chemistry, leading to some good scenes. 

Another thing that worked for me was the comedy. Paul Rudd is a national treasure and brings exactly what you want from him to this film. Although he has a brief time in the movie, Bill Murray is good for his solid laughs as Dr. Venkman. The addition of Kumail Nanjiani was fantastic. This film would've been far worse if it wasn't for his Nadeem Razmaadi character. 

Here's why Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire fails

On the other hand, this film was severely underwritten. You have a strong story with Phoebe, but the entire storyline felt rushed, resulting in no emotional attachment. The villain was also undercooked, leading to never feeling like it was a prominent threat. The CGI is quite spotty at times, which was frustrating. The entire film felt like it was put together quickly to capitalize on the first film's success. 

Ultimately, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire reminds us that sometimes a movie doesn't need a sequel. I didn't hate the movie, but I was hoping for the film to connect the dots like the first film did. It is fun at times, and the film will have the diehard fans enjoying themselves with some nostalgia, and I give it a slight recommendation. 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire hits theaters on March 22, 2024. Will you be watching the movie in theaters or wait for the streaming release?