For those who aren’t familiar with the premise of this film, it takes place far away from the setting of the first two, namely Oklahoma, and, aside from some cameos, has a completely different cast as well. One thing it does have in common with the originals, however—as you can see from the still for the trailer—is a car.
Me: “Ooh, it’s ECTO-1! You remember ECTO-1, right?”
Me: “Are you sure you even saw Ghostbusters?”*
Wife: “I saw Ghostbusters! There was slime. Zuul lived in the refrigerator. Bill Murray was in it. There was a marshmallow ghost climbing a building. I saw Ghostbusters, and that’s what I remember.”
These being the things she remembered, she was immediately disappointed by one aspect of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Wife: “Where’s Bill Murray? It’s not Ghostbusters until Bill Murray shows up.”
She also posited that Finn Wolfhard, the actor playing one of the main characters, might in fact be Timothee Chalamet.
Wife: “Is that the kid from the desert movie?”
Me: “What desert movie?”
Wife: “With the worms?”
Me (beat): “You mean Timothee Chalamet from Dune?”
Wife: “Yeah, him.”
Me: “No, that’s Finn Wolfhard. I always see him as the kid from Stranger Things, but I guess he does kind of look like Timothee Chalamet. It’s the hair, right?”
Wife: “And the cheekbones.”
My wife is, apparently, not the only person to make this observation.
Aside from—or more likely because of—the heavy presence of young actors such as Timothee Wolfhard and other children and teenagers, not to mention the perenially youthful Paul Rudd, it didn’t take my wife long to notice another aspect of the film, either:
Wife: “This is aimed at a way younger audience than the original.”
She continued to pay attention for a while, possibly because she was hoping Bill Murray would put in an appearance, but she became more and more disgruntled as we went along and making various unfavorable comparisons to The Source Material.
Me: “You have fond memories of the original, eh?”
Wife: “Fonder than this!”
She in fact thought she had stuck it out for a good two-thirds or maybe three-quarters of the film, at least until I pushed the button to show how much of it was left.
Wife: “They’re gonna drag this out for another hour?!”
At that point she gave up and fell asleep, and I soldiered on without her** up until the very end, when finally—finally!—the thing she had been waiting for happened, at which point I woke her up and made her watch it.
Wife: “Okay, now it’s Ghostbusters.”
So there you have it. Ghostbusters:Afterlife — fast forward to the last ten minutes or so, and it’s a perfectly acceptable sequel to the original movie. (We’ll just forget about Ghostbusters II …)
* This was the third or fourth time I had said some variation of “you remember XYZ, right?” where my wife failed to remember XYZ, but I didn’t write them down.
** Taking one for the team.