First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It's easily the second best Ghostbusters film we've seen to date. But no work of art is without its flaws, and I wanted to discuss some that I thought of while digesting what I saw at the cinemas.
This is your last warning.
Okay, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is clearly built on a foundation of the original Ghostbusters film. There are some references to Ghostbusters II, but they are easily missed, or dismissed.
There are obviously some issues with filming ending in late 2019, but it not being released until late 2021. But hopefully what I have to say can take that into consideration.
Gary Grooberson says that there have been no ghost sightings in 30 years, which either lines up perfectly with Ghostbusters II, or there's bit of extra padding for 2021. So that's good.
But when you get to Callie, Trevor, and Phoebe, we run into some uncomfortable issues. Phoebe and Trevor are stated to be 12 and 15, respectively, in the film. Phoebe's actress turned 13 during filming. So that's reasonable.
But if we are to take them at face value, then the suggestion would be that Callie's age is in the vicinity of 38, which is how old her actress was during filming.
That places her character's birth in 1981 or 83 (again, filmed and released two years apart).
She claims to have no memory of him, which would suggest that Egon Spengler was divorced, or had fathered her out of wedlock prior to the original film, and if it is in continuity, Ghostbusters II as well.
As the movie depicts, he clearly loved her, and took an interest in her from afar. Her mother, or someone else close to her growing up, provided him with photos and updates, unless of course we're to believe he was doing some incredibly early drone stalking.
I'm thinking that the best case scenario here for our beloved Egon, is that he and her mother came to some kind of understanding, largely at her behest, that he have no part in raising her, but that he would be provided with regular updates.
Someone has to be the baddie here, and the film goes out of its way to show that Egon wasn't it.
There's also the issue of Ray saying that he received a letter (phone call or post card, I forget exactly) 10 years later. It wasn't explicity stated what that interval was based on. Was it ten years after the Manhattan Crossrip (so 1994) or 10 years after her cleaned them out and went to Okalhoma?
At a bare minimum, it means 1994, and with Callie presumably being born between 1981 and 1983, they both lived in the Tri-State Area for over a decade, yet he never met her.
I can understand him not having any involvement once he took up post in Okalhoma, but it saddens me to think that he, for whatever reason, played no part in her upbringing while he was at Columbia University, with the Ghostbusters, experimenting with human emotions in a laboratory, Ghostbusting again... actually, he was conducting human emotion experiments. Perhaps that explains why the unnamed mother barred him from seeing his daughter.
I didn't get a good enough look at the board, but I believe there was at least a photo of Trevor (or Phoebe) with Callie that appeared to be shortly after their birth in the hospital. So whomever was supplying the photos, continued for some time.
I know we're not supposed to dwell on these things, it's a fun movie, it was wonderful, and a tribute to Egon. I'm just a little sad that Callie blamed Egon, when it seems that her mother had been at best, a mixed bag.
But these are my thoughts, what are yours?