HOLLYWOOD— “Ghostbusters” was the flick as a kid that I absolutely adored. I loved the foursome and the notion of capturing ghosts and so did my siblings. It was just something not seen on the big screen before, and it was something the entire family could enjoy. Yes, you had the two movies in the 80s, and then after that it was a long dry spell before we got another entry.

The 2021 requel, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” was an absolute treat with a perfect mesh of old with new and a narrative that was just enthralling and full of heart and characters that audiences loved. Truly, loved that movie, so when I learned a sequel to that flick was soon hitting the theaters I was geek. Hell, I was excited, as it was apparent fans of the 80s flick would get to see the return of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson don those infamous suits and those ectoplasm guns.

I mean, Winstone, Peter and Ray all back again, sign me up, I’m ready to be in the theater. Not to mention we have the return of our new characters, Phoebe (McKenna Grace), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Gary (Paul Rudd) and Callie (Carrie Coon). Yes, the writers did a terrific job taking family from Egon Spangler, the late great Harold Ramis and placing them into the focal point. It just works.

So, several years have passed since the events of the first movie, and Gary, Callie, Trevor and Phoebe are the new Ghostbusters, but they are causing a bit of a muck in New York City. In particular damage to the city that the mayor, Walter Peck (William Atherton), lets it be known Phoebe can no longer be part of the team because of child labor laws. That decision causes a bit of a rift with Phoebe and the rest of her family as she feels a bit on the outs.

I will argue out of all the old cast, Aykroyd has the meatier role as he gets way more screen time as he continues to investigate strange happenings in town with the help of Podcast (Logan Kim). Yes, Winston has his scenes and so does Murray, but I would have loved to see them a bit more. With that said, a bulk of the tale involves an ancient enemy/ghost hell bent on vengeance utilizing cold weather and ice to prove his point. Yes, we have a clever opening giving an idea of the past and what could be headed in the direction of our heroes for the future.

When Ray purchases an ancient relic from stranger Nadeem (Kumail Nanjiani), the strange occurrences start to pick up. Slimer makes a hilarious return to the mix, but it is apparent that the firehouse which has been the storing point for the ghosts for nearly 40 years is starting to structurally fail, which prompts Winston to reveal new tech that is being developed to contain those creatures, as our villain plans to unleash not only a new ice age, but all the ghosts that have been captured by the Ghostbusters over the years.

A bulk of the narrative really builds up to the big bad making his presence known, but that doesn’t unfold until the third act of the movie where the ‘Frozen Empire’ actually takes effect. It is fun, its visually stunning to watch thanks to director Gil Kenan, who takes over directorial duties from Jason Reitman who helmed ‘Afterlife.’ As a fan of the franchise do I miss some of those fingerprints from Jason and his father Ivan, yes, but the film still works for old and new audiences.

There is plenty of humor that absolutely will have the little ones and older ones cracking up in the theater. Also did I forget to mention we also have the return of Janine (Annie Potts)? Without a doubt Grace carries a vast majority of the movie as she bonds with the ghost of a teen girl, Melody (Emily Alyn Lind). There is more to Melody than meets the eye, as audiences will soon discover.

Slight improvements on having a bit more chaos unfold with the villain before his presence is made known before the big battle would have turned a good movie into a great one. I like what was given to the audience, but I just wanted more, I mean this is “Ghostbusters” I wanted to see more actual ghosts wreaking havoc. With that said, “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” gets the job done, because it balances nostalgia with fun for the entire family.