Rhinebeck’s Sexiest Man Alive Shines in Ghostbuster’s Sequel
DISCLAIMER: THIS WILL BE A ***SPOILER-FREE*** ARTICLE REACTING TO THE MOVIE GHOSTBUSTER'S: AFTERLIFE
Two things that have been consistent in my life have been watching Ghostbusters and Paul Rudd. My dad raised me on a lot of iconic 80's movies, including the Ghostbusters movies. I even own a deluxe edition box set of the original movies. They were wacky and zany and perfect for this impressionable child growing up. One year for Halloween, I was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Bill Murray in particular was a favorite, with the likes of Caddyshack, and Stripes, as well. When it comes to Paul Rudd, that man has been in everything! From starring in the classic coming-of-age story Clueless to having a recurring role on Friends, to then joining the ranks of the Apatow Crew with movies like 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman, and This Is Forty, to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ant-Man. Not to mention, this man simply does not age! But now, Paul Rudd, immortal Rhinebeck resident and co-owner of Samuel's Sweet Shop, adds another franchise to his resume with Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
As any good Hyde Park-er (Hyde Park-ian? Hyde Park-ite?), I went to see this movie at the Roosevelt Cinemas off Route 9. And of course, I paid extra for the heated, reclining seats. This new installment is a sequel to the original 80s movies and is directed by Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman. Rudd plays summer school teacher/seismologist Gary Grooberson, who is investigating the odd earthquakes that have been happening in the town of Summerville, Oklahoma. Unlike the original films, this sequel tends to have a slightly darker tone at times. Even some of the scenes with the children tend to be more serious and mysterious compared to the original.
One constant bright light in this film; however, was Paul Rudd. Every scene this man was in was filled with humor. His down-to-earth, quirky charm stole every scene that he was in. Whether interacting with the child actors, speaking with the other adults of the town, or running away from ghosts. The full scene of him in Wal-Mart with the miniature Stay Puft Marshmallows, which you can see some of in the trailer, is hilarious. There is even a nod to his Marvel character as he buys Baskin Robins ice cream (Baskin Robins being a day job for Scott Lang/Ant-Man in the first Ant-Man movie). Paul Rudd is simply that "everyman" that we can all relate with and always cheer on. In many ways, he captured much of the zany humor from the first two movies which we have come to know and love.
As for the movie overall, I see it as a beautiful homage- a love letter, if you will- to the original films. Besides little easter eggs and nods through props, music, and visual effects, they even manage to tie in some of the lore from the originals thoughtfully, and not just a rehash of old ideas. It continues the story in a heartfelt way, and you could tell that the creative team treated this latest film in the series with care. Another thing that the creative team wanted to make prevalent was to honor one of the original members who we have lost. In 2014, Harold Ramis, who played original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, passed away due to complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. In many ways, this movie is a tribute to him, his life, and his character as much as it is a tribute to the original films. I won't spoil anything for anyone about how they do that, but as a fan of the originals, I think you'll be quite touched.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife released November 19th, and is available to watch in theatres.