“Who you gonna call?” “Who will you call?” You know the answer to this question. There Ghostbusters: Legacy review, the film that opened the nineteenth edition of Alice Nella Città, the autonomous and parallel section of the Rome Film Fest 2021, which will be released in our cinemas on November 18, will be littered with clues and references to the past, such as Jason’s film Reitman. The legacy mentioned in the Italian title (the original one is equally significant Ghostbusters: Afterlife) is double. It is that of the protagonists of the story, who move into the old house in Oklahoma that their grandfather left them. But it is also that of Jason Reitman, the director of the film, who is the son of that Ivan Reitman who directed the first two Ghostbusters. Jason as a child ran around on the set of the historic 1984 film, and in the second film he also had a cameo. His new film is also a tribute to his father. But not only. Watch the prologue of the film, all played on first and very close-ups, on iconic objects and more, all played on waiting. There’s an Eighties movie vibe, not just Ghostbusters, but those old Steven Spielberg Amblin movies too. Ghostbusters: Legacy manages to renew the legend of the Ghostbusters by transporting it to today’s world, creating a gift for the new audience and that of the past. It’s fun, heartwarming, full of memories and action. It is a spectacular film, in the true sense of the word.
That town in Oklahoma
Callie (Carrie Coon) is a single mother. She has two children, 12-year-old Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and 15-year-old Trevor (Finn Wolfhard). When she is evicted from her home, she decides to move, with her whole family, to a small rural Oklahoma town. As the boys begin to attend school, where there is a curious science professor who is more nerdy than them (Paul Rudd), strange phenomena begin to take place in the city. They look like earthquakes, but there is something wrong. Meanwhile, Phoebe and Trevor discover the story of their grandfather. And their connection with the Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters: Legacy, the first reviews of the film: “will make the nostalgic cry”
Ghostbuster and Stranger Things, a circle that closes
A long time has passed since 1984. In the meantime, many things have changed. The eighties passed quickly and, after a few years, they are also back in vogue. In the meantime, the passion for TV series and the streaming platforms that broadcast them has exploded. In the meantime, above all, there has been a phenomenon like Stranger Things, a resounding success, a series that feeds on that eighties cinema of which Ghostbusters – Ghostbusters is one of the standard-bearers. And it is perfectly natural, then, that the new film in the saga, Ghostbusters: Legacy, feeds on the same atmosphere of that series that paid homage to it. It’s something that, on an artistic level, makes perfect sense. Stranger Things he continued to draw stories along the line drawn by Ghostbusters and the new Ghostbusters: Legacy it brings that line forward and makes it come back on itself, to the starting point. It is a circle that closes. But the reason, of course, is also commercial: because there is an audience out there that adores, and devours, Stranger Things. So why not address that audience, introducing them to one of the dads from the Duffer Brothers series?
Finn Wolfhard a confirmation, Mckenna Grace a revelation
Also because, as you will have understood, the operation is not forced at all, but natural, because the strings to be touched are the same. Just play a little bit on the setting and characters. Here, in fact, we are in a rural Oklahoma town that is very reminiscent of Hawkins in Indiana Stranger Things. And at the center of the story is a family with a single mother, like Winona Ryder’s Joyce Byers. And then there are the protagonists. One is a teenager, Trevor, and is played, not surprisingly, by Finn Wolfhard, the Mike Wheeler of Stranger Things. And then there is the absolute revelation of the film, the younger sister, Phoebe, played by an amazing Mckenna Grace. Her curls and stunning face might make you think of another Stranger Things character, Eleven, or Eleven. But it is only a suggestion. Phoebe, a very well written character, has her own well-defined personality: she is a little nerd all science and puns, she is fearless. He has no superpowers but an out of the ordinary intelligence. Mckenna Grace is destined to become a star, and we will be staring at all the sequences she is staged in this film.
Ghostbusters: Legacy, Finn Wolfhard didn’t know which movie he was auditioning for
You call it, if you want, fanservice
These are many elements capable of conquering a young audience and transporting it, together with the adult one who does not need them, into the world of Ghostbusters. Which, after the prologue, gradually enters the story through a series of cleverly dosed clues and sent to the stage by screenwriter Gil Kenan and director Jason Reitman. Like that car in the garage, covered in a tarp, and with a coat of arms on the side, which we see for a moment before Trevor’s torch goes out. And then the ghost trap, the ghost trap, the proton backpack, the old Ghostbusters TV commercials, which the kids find on YouTube. And those gray suits with the names of our heroes. In one, that of Egon Spengler, we also find a pair of round glasses … We don’t want to tell you more, you will know something by now, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise. The legacy of Ghostbustersin short, it is in good hands. And in Ghostbusters: Legacy there is everything there needs to be, sometimes staged in a more classical way, other times in a surprising way. You call it, if you want, fanservice. We call it love for a film that that love deserves it all.
A script that is a small masterpiece
The script of Ghosbusters: Legacy is a small masterpiece that goes from the new contextualization of the story to the connections with the original one, passing through the relationships between the characters, and the puns that were written for Phoebe. And also for the character of Paul Rudd, perfect for the role a nerdy professor, who has faith in science and loves horror like The Killer Doll and Cujo (“imagine Beethoven falling ill with rage and starting to tear the children to pieces“, he presents it to his pupils in this way).”Science is punk rock, a safety pin in the nipple of academics“is one of his best lines. Inside this film there is a lot of love, not only for the original film, but for a whole certain cinema of the eighties. That cinema that, as children, took us to other worlds and made us dream .
Ivan Reitman’s legacy
Ghostbusters: Legacy, the Italian title, is spot on for once. Because of inheritance, the one that a grandfather leaves to his grandchildren, is spoken of in the film. But the inheritance is also the one that passes from father to son. Jason Reitman, in his career, immediately found his way to comedy, a little bitter, a little sour, certainly adult and savvy. Certainly far from the style of the father. Now that he is an established director, he can dedicate himself to paying homage to his father Ivan Reitman’s cinema, to taking care of his much loved jewel, to letting him know that he is in good hands. Jason Reitman carefully studied the lesson, the shots, the technologies (some are those of the time, such as animatronics), the tone of that cinema. And now he’s ready to show Dad what he’s capable of. Jason Reitman told us that at Comicon he and his father saw the film together, side by side. And dad was moved. At times you might be moved too. Ghostbusters: Legacy it is also a tribute to the late Harold Ramis, the inventor of the Ghostbusters (along with Dan Aykroyd) who died prematurely. Ghostbusters: Legacy it’s as good as the early Ghostbusters. It’s nice like Stranger Things. And it’s as good as an old Amblin movie. It is nostalgic. It is modern. It’s spectacular.
In the review of Ghostbusters: Legacy we told you how the film manages to renew the legend of the Ghostbusters by transporting it to the world of today, creating a gift for the new audience and for that of then. It’s fun, heartwarming, full of memories and action. It is a spectacular film, in the true sense of the word.
Because we like it
- The desire to pay a heartfelt tribute to the first Ghostbusters, to Harold Ramis and to Ivan Retiman’s cinema.
- The script, perfect in combining past and present and full of lightning-fast jokes.
- The idea of approaching the style of Stranger Things to reach a new audience.
- The many clues taken from the original film and wisely scattered throughout the film.
- If you don’t care about Ghostbusters or Stranger Things, then maybe it’s not for you …