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Review - Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

In the swirling maelstrom of expectations, nostalgia, and the looming shadow of the past, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" emerges as a conflicted entity, torn between its desire to honor its legacy and its hesitance to break new ground. Director Gil Kenan, taking the helm from Jason Reitman, offers a blend of old and new, but the result is a film that struggles to find its identity amidst a cacophony of competing forces.

Set in a 2024 New York City, the film introduces us to the Spengler clan—Callie, Phoebe, and Trevor—alongside their potential stepfather, Gary. They've taken up residence in the old Ghostbusters firehouse, continuing the family tradition of trapping ghosts. Meanwhile, Winston Zeddemore has quietly been building a paranormal research facility, and Ray Stanz's occult shop serves as a hub for supernatural artifacts.

The plot thickens when a nerdy street hustler pawns off an ancient artifact, unwittingly releasing a god of death upon the city. What follows is a mix of creepy intrigue and comedic chaos, as the Spenglers and their cohorts race to contain the threat.

"Frozen Empire" shines brightest when it embraces its darker, more fantastical elements. Scenes involving the ancient deity and the spectral dragon offer genuine thrills, reminiscent of classic horror-comedys. However, these moments are often overshadowed by the film's reluctance to fully commit to its ideas.

The cast delivers solid performances, with Carrie Coon's Callie and McKenna Grace's Phoebe standing out as the emotional anchors of the story. Unfortunately, the film struggles to give them the depth they deserve, opting instead for surface-level character arcs and missed opportunities.

Paul Rudd injects much-needed levity as Gary, while Patton Oswalt's cameo as an ancient language expert provides a welcome breath of fresh air. Yet, the film's attempts at humor often feel forced, relying too heavily on callbacks and nostalgia.

Ultimately, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" feels like a missed opportunity—a film caught between honoring the past and forging a new path. While it offers moments of humor, fright, and pathos, they are ultimately overshadowed by its lack of conviction and scattered focus. As the credits roll, one can't help but feel that this frozen empire remains trapped in the shadows of its predecessors, unable to break free and carve out its own legacy.


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