We’re all getting a bit tired of the 30-year late continued saga films. Nostalgia is hot and everyone wants to cash in, most without a real love or understanding of the source material. 2016’s “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call” is a perfect example of this. It was kinda fun and had nods to things fans remember from the originals, but it never felt like a Ghostbusters movie. (And don’t get me started on the terrible ending.) But, every so often, one of these movies gets it right.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who understood “Ghostbusters” and would care for it more than writer/director Jason Reitman, son of the original director, Ivan Reitman. His respect for the source material is felt throughout the film, making it one of the few late sequels that feels like it’s actually part of the franchise. What’s even more endearing is he’s managed to make the movie feel like an 80’s film, not just a nostalgic homage. It’s scored, shot, and edited like any one of our favorite movies from that decade.
The characters also fill the standard 80’s archetypes. There’s a couple of well-meaning but ultimately absent when needed adults. Paul Rudd plays a smart, yet bumbling semiologist, Mr. Grooberson, and Carrie Coon plays the loving, yet cynical single mother Callie. Callie is evicted from her home just as she learns that her estranged father has passed away and left her a farmhouse. With no other options, she and her two children, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe(Mckenna Grace) move to the tiny town of Summerville and try to make the best of it. Both kids are very resourceful but delightfully awkward in their own ways. Despite their social deficiencies, they soon gain a couple of friends and their adventure begins. Like any good 80’s film aimed at kids, the adventure involves a surprising amount of life-threatening danger with virtually no adult supervision. (Twelve-year-olds shouldn’t tinker with particle accelerators, no matter how well they’ve done in Science Fairs.) Imagine the “Goonies” finding a proton pack instead of a treasure map and you’ll have a good understanding of what to expect.
For a movie that leans almost too heavily on the original movie, it still provides a lot of enjoyment. The cast is perfect, the humor hits almost every beat, including Phoebe’s groaner Dad-Jokes, and the mix of CGI and practical effects is perfect. While there are certainly a few prominent plot holes, the movie is such an overall joy, it’s easy to ignore them.