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  • Writer's pictureNick C. Goins Jr.

The Pissed Take - Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE -or- DUSTBUSTERS: A MORE EXCITING MOVIE AKA An unfunny, unfocused, freeze-dried turdlet of a flick.

Release Date 22Mar2024

This movie was boring AF.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is the fourth movie in the GB franchise started in 1984, continued with GB2 in 1989, a horrid reboot in 2016, a direct third entry in 2021, and finally this one.

Beginning as an original pitch vehicle by DAN ACKROYD for himself and JIM BELUSHI, GB was originally THE GHOST SMASHERS, a much darker movie set in the future. The premise had several groups of interstellar/interdimensional ghost exterminators competing against each other until coming into contact with a vastly superior supernatural force. Ackroyd contacted the movie's eventual director IVAN REITMAN, where he was told the concept was un-filmable and cost prohibitive. He suggested writer HAROLD RAMIS take a crack at it to pare down and ground much of the more outrageous elements of the screenplay into what was released in '84.

This movie continues the story of GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE's characters - the family of OG Ghostbuster EGON SPENGLER... and a few other characters lazily justified being in this movie.

GB:FE is set back in NYC, and has the Spengler family somehow living in the firehouse, and busting ghosts full time. Paul Rudd's seismologist/teacher is here because the script says so, FINN WOLFHARD is just as useless as he was to the last movie, CARRIE COON as Egon's daughter has only a little more to do, and MCKENNA GRACE has her charming Phoebe character hamstrung by an underwritten teen subplot. Most of the OG players show up (with the noticeable absence of RICK MORANIS and SIGOURNEY WEAVER) in glorified cameos, though extra time is given to Ackroyd and ERNIE HUDSON.

An ancient pre-Sumerian frost god is stuck in a ball, he wants to get out and freeze shit. Completely unqualified people are tasked with wielding nuclear powered light rods while not being told key things by their benefactor who has been developing advanced technology. KUMAIL NANJIANI is in the movie as himself playing a fire-bender, and the mini marshmallow men from Afterlife are still around after Gozer's defeat because of the marketing dept.

Frozen Empire bored the nips right off of me. The charm, energy, earnest weirdness, and humor of the first two entries does not exist AT ALL in this movie. The scant few funny or clever moments are owned completely by Nanjiani, Ackroyd, and a cameo by PATTON OSWALT. Most of them (especially Murray) don't look like they want to be there. The movie fails at justifying in any way anything that occurs in it.

The fundamental concept of GB is ludicrous, but the original film sells all of it by saying from the jump "this is stupid", and wisely laying the weight of legitimizing it's intriguing premise on the shoulders of skilled improvisational comedians surrounded by capable actors.

This movie is like when your mom or dad pushed you on whatever prepubescent wheeled vehicle you were on, you coasted a while, and the momentum ended. This movie is the end part. Like the antagonist's goals, GB's thermodynamic state has reached minimum value. Shame.


I liked seeing Ernie Hudson's Winston not being underused as the straight man, he has a bit more agency, but not a lot of screen time. Ackroyd was fine in it, though Kumail Nanjiani is the movie's highlight. There are some interesting thematic elements introduced in this movie that could have moved the needle for me if they'd been developed.


The characters from Afterlife are simply not interesting, and don't belong. Sorry. The shoehorning of secondary characters who had no reason for being in NYC from Oklahoma "just 'cause" reeks of lazy writing. The antagonist and associated lore is uninteresting (something they should have consulted Ackroyd on) and the ghost friend/love interest seems slapped on and silly. The nostalgia-berries are tiring, and the tonal shifts - momentum wrecking.


Fuck it, see it. It's like sharting your pants - if you're going to do it, your gonna.


If you don't care to see good things diluted into cheap commodities by a lack of imagination, scruples, taste, and good sense. Some things should end.

Some characters from Ghostbusters Frozen Empire standing around and looking at something. This is the movie poster.
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Poster

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