If you see a ghost, the correct thing to do is poke it. The next thing to do is get out the HD camera you carry on you at all times and document said poking in great detail in preparation for your Nobel Prize. It is not, repeat not, to scream, run away, trip over, split up, flee crowded areas, devise a super-clever anagram and scrawl it into a manhole cover using your own tooth enamel, etc.
All the kids in Ghostbusters: Afterlife get this. They find ghosts; they’re curious about the ghosts; they investigate the ghosts; they handle the damn ghosts. I do not have kids, but if I did I would swap them for these ones. They get a lot of good jokes, and the cool action scenes. They’re good kids, Brent.
The adults try pretty hard too. They’ve mostly got their own boring adult issues like rent and paying for property damage and making sure your kids don’t die, but they’re interesting and not annoying and also resist the impulse to run away from stuff they don’t understand.
But it’s the kids who carry the story, which is decent enough and gets more nostalia-y as it goes on. No doubt this annoyed some people. Sure, it’s super-poignant if you’re like me and watched Ghostbusters as a kid, and sure, if you’re not like me and didn’t it may lack the same punch, and sure, it could have not done this and still been a decent film. But it didn’t and that is that.
What it *did* do is warm and funny and inventive. There’s a Spielbergian touch to it all, from the kids all being bright, excitable, and likeable, to the deft intelligence of the action scenes. Childlike but not childish. It’s properly these-characters-are-your-friends-now *fun* and I enjoyed every second of it. The only real weirdness was the third act was surely missing like 10 minutes of footage and maybe a subplot?! But it still worked and that aside I highly recommend doing yourself the favour of sitting in the dark for a couple of hours, smiling.