Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not necessarily a bad movie. The crew is engaging, the instruction is intense, and the script by directors Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan is fun, if not dark. But it gets distorted since the film gives so much credit to the plot references to the original Ghostbusters. It loses track of some of the characters, where a much-forgotten action is the primary source of these issues.
But a simple solution can help refocus Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s focus on the actual story and effectively reinforce two of the nominal “important” characters in the story.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife focuses on Phoebe Spangler (Grace Mckenna), Egon’s granddaughter, and the rest of her family: her mother Callie (Carrie Coon) and big brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard). Although Callie has been isolated from Egon for most of her life and has become a much deeper human being than ever, Phoebe shares her deep love of science. He discovers the remnants of his technology and activities throughout the film and draws inspiration from his legacy. The film’s emotional heart revolves around Phoebe and Callie. While Callie is busy reviving Gozer, she and Phoebe achieve satisfactory growth and eventually graduate with Egon’s spirit.
The same cannot be said of Trevor, who lacks the same depth as Phoebe. As a typical teenager, Trevor is pretty much in the movie without adding beautiful features. It’s only for the average person involved in the film’s events to repair Ecto-1 and lead the rest of the cast. This suggests his technical skills, which can be balanced and contrasted with Phoebe’s more bizarre areas of interest. Still, in the end, Trevor has nothing to do but fall in love with Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), who also has little on the subject of serious personality. Or character. Phoebe’s (Logan Kim) Sidekick podcast also grows and becomes Phoebe’s scary but enthusiastic partner in The Ghost Treatment.
Part of this can be connected to the exaggerated fan service that fills the film, takes a long time, and takes several kilos of character. But the other problem is that while Phoebe and Podcast are always involved in the story itself, Trevor and Lucky’s escalating flirtations are effectively reflected in their film and sit on the sidelines until they get into the “middle of the story.” The best decision for the directors would put Trevor and Lucky on the list right from the start, so Trevor’s efforts would be great, and Lucky’s relaxed awakening would naturally and effectively reshape Phoebe’s confidence and insane podcast sensations. They want to recreate the Ghostbusters spirit instead of referring to songs and verses.
The easiest way to do this from a script point of view was to make Lucky the podcast big sister. The podcast is in the habit of exploring the strangest and most dangerous parts of the city, so it would make sense for his big sister to watch it over the summer and give Lucky a genuine reason to be a coach. So Trevor – who is interested in Lucky – might join us instead of being hired at a burger restaurant and meeting some other teenage characters who are little creations with almost no lines or even names. It would save Trevor and Lucky time to take character development seriously and make their relationship more satisfying and engaging.
Instead of feeling like an afterthought, Trevor and Lucky may have been involved in all of this, narrowing the focus to the four main characters instead of making room for the numerous references that fill the film. This may explain why all four gather in this episode, unlike Lucky, who joins the group for no real reason. This would force the directors to focus on the dynamics of the central cast, with Phoebe in the lead role, and emotionally anchor the story, giving the film the primary purpose that the finished product lacks.