Courtesy Sony Pictures

Thirty-seven years after the original etched its way into our psyche and made Ray Parker Jr. a radio star, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Jason Reitman and produced by dad and original director Ivan Reitman, relaunches the franchise with a mostly funny and solid offering. Hearkening to the great movies of the 80s, this film follows a group of very capable and hilarious kids who save the world from destruction. Callie (Carrie Coon), a single mom, and her kids Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), the requisite horny teen, and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), a brilliant, nerdy young scientist-to-be, inherit a big, scary old house in the middle of nowhere from Callie’s recently deceased father, Egon Spengler. Yes, that Egon Spengler. The first two-thirds of the film are fresh, creative, and often hilarious, with solid writing and delightful Easter eggs for all the lifelong Ghostbusters fans. Logan Kim as Podcast, a fellow outcast kid who joins the fray, is drop-dead hilarious, and Paul Rudd provides his usual charm and humor. But it’s Grace’s preternaturally capable lead character who carries the film, picking locks, deciphering clues, and assembling all the ghost-busting gear we know and love to fight the baddies. The other female characters, sadly, are one-dimensional, including mom Callie and Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), the target of Trevor’s horndoggedness. Sadly, the last third of the film follows the exact plot, more or less, of the original film (Gozer, Keymaster, Gatekeeper), ending with a scene that, to avoid spoilers, will likely run chills up audiences’ spines for all the wrong reasons. PG-13, 124 min.

Davis Theater, Cinemark, AMC Theatres