‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ review: A new spin on a franchise already on its way out

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Spin-off “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” takes the 1984 original’s premise and adds a bit of wistfulness to it, rather than nostalgia.

For those who loved the original, “Afterlife” gives them an opportunity to see a new team of Ghostbusters, but for the uninitiated, it serves as an introduction to the group.

Their first Halloween, headed by a strong yet sentimental Patty (Leslie Jones), just may be the most unpredictable of all the movie’s events.

The team realizes their next task is to save a women-only planet, located in a ghostly cathedral on the way to destroy a planet that already is blown up. They also have to protect a team of survivors in the midst of their own escape.

The director Paul Feig finds his way into the franchise by telling the story of a normal woman who comes to town and then becomes the lead, filling the shoes of Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Melissa McCarthy returns in an interesting role — to a “B.S. Queen” role — as a few lives are thrown off course by her every moment.

Why is the audience so much more sympathetic to McCarthy’s character compared to Wiig?

The story is effective and fun. But it has enough laughs to make it worthwhile for the die-hard fans.

This is a 21st century re-imagining with a feminist bent, something that the original franchise was great at paying off but fell short of in some cases.

Female lead supporting characters were sacrificed for the sake of the narrative and creators felt obligated to change up names, making the audience assume New York’s Ghostbusters were no longer the New York Ghostbusters.

Feig embraces the franchise’s history and incorporates the same beats while also making his own mark. He successfully acknowledges both concepts while creating a story that doesn’t rely on that foundation.

This isn’t “Ghostbusters II” but a new tale told through a new set of eyes.

Female Ghostbusters, too, are celebrated and respected while fans can still see the jokes that made the original franchise so great.

The ghosts themselves have been re-imagined as anthropomorphic, experiencing different emotions like joy, sadness, hate and fear. They call the apartments where these characters live home, with secret rooms and a party at Christmas. It makes for a well-rounded setting.

Following the loss of an actor famous for having a certain quality of facial hair, an unrecognizable Chris Hemsworth plays the ghost secretary.

In a convenient turn of events, the “Ghostbusters” franchise has become one long joke and turns a spin-off into a reboot.

In the end, a spin-off that adds a lot of new content to a classic is better than a sequel that regurgitates old material.

In the end, a spin-off that adds a lot of new content to a classic is better than a sequel that regurgitates old material.

The film successfully plays off of popular themes that were present in the original to make the story more relatable. This is a brilliant re-imagining that provides a fresh take on one of the longest running franchises in Hollywood history.

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