‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ review: Another Dimension, More Loads of Slime

Teenage ghosts, ghosts trapped in a slime-filled. COOL WHITE WETNESS. Those ghosts have been waiting in another dimension. And when that dimension is awoken, nothing, no single personality, human or paranormal can contain them. NO HUMAN CAN.

The original Ghostbusters is all about ghosts and explosions and bodily fluid – but it’s also a satire of political backlash of the 1960s, with the original team working in California. Ghostbusters: Afterlife picks up 10 years later, and the team is still there, though belatedly, very much in the shadows. And the derision of Donald Trump is still there.

The movie’s creators, Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd, are back, and teaming up with Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Melissa McCarthy. And yes, the movie does deal with the arrival of slime-covered ghosts who appear to break out and possess the victims in groups of two or three. But the low-energy heroine in Ghostbusters is in no danger of being bludgeoned in the head with goop; the first encounter with slime is a literal slap in the face. Ghostbusters doesn’t have to take itself seriously.

The original Ghostbusters cast is back, and they bring a surprisingly broad but welcome realism. Melissa McCarthy still seems a little out of her depth, as does, for this generation, Joan Cusack. But Melissa McCarthy is believable as a straight-shooting security guard. Kevin (Kristen Wiig) becomes the much-touted property of the new Ghostbusters as a fresh perspective; she is, in many ways, the most animated of the gang and the Ghostbusters are very excited at having her around.

Dan Aykroyd still seems neither concerned with a third movie nor quite secure with bringing the original actors back for it, but once the possessed are back to try to avert calamity, the original team takes it as a given that they will take the reins this time around. After all, it’s essentially the same girls.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife in theaters

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