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Ghost Busters: Frozen Empire


Stars: Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Dan Aykroyd, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, William Atherton, Patton Oswalt, Emile Alyn Lind, James Acaster, Celeste O'Connor, Logan Kim, Kumail Nanjiani

Director: Gil Kenan

Perhaps the last gasp of the famous old franchise, this unevenly-paced action comedy opens in 1904, where, at the firehouse building now occupied by the new Ghost Busters, the guests at a riotous dinner are found frozen to death.

The icy tableau is the work of a bronze orb, which can release one of those ancient gods, Garacca (or some such), a 12-foor tall, ice-breathing skeletal being with horns and long, bony claws, who, now trapped inside it, would jump at the chance to create his own frozen world.

Present day, and the orb comes into the possession of Ray Stanz (Aykroyd), who becomes involved with the new Ghost Busters in attempting to unravel its power.

Once again the focus is on now 15-year-old Phoebe (Grace), who is befriended by a girl ghost (Lind) who, unfortunately, has her own, or rather Garacca's agenda, to open the gateway to...well, somewhere nasty, and raise an army of the dead.

The subsequent scenario drags at times, and all too often fluffs its chances, notably with too much mumbo-jumbo and too little action, and relying on old successful tropes, rather than venturing into any new territory.

Still, the last 10 minutes are good, as Phoebe battles valiantly against Garacca, much as Harry Potter did battle with Voldemort. Grace, who deserves better stuff, scores here with another thoughtful portrayal in a film where the title is once again, as in the 1984 original, restored to two words.

David Quinlan

USA/UK 2024. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by Company 3.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Mar 2024