ghostbusters | ghostbusters ii | sequel | ivan reitman | harold ramis | dan aykroyd | bill murray | sigourney weaver | ghost | ghosts | demon | action | comedy | fantasy | sci-fi | united states | rick moranis | ernie hudson | annie potts | peter macnicol | harris yulin
Film: Ghostbusters II
Director: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver
This is a sequel that I’ve seen probably more than the original, at least growing up. This one was on the movie channels all the time. Jaime and I decided to watch this movie as she had never seen it and I had never with a critical eye.
Synopsis: the discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.
For this movie, we start off as the synopsis states that the Ghostbusters are no longer able to work. They’ve sued and it also appears there is a federal junction stopping them. Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) is working as a talk show host about psychics. Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) has a bookstore and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) at a university.
Things have also changed for Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). She has a child, Oscar (William T. Deutschendorf and Henry J. Deutschendorf II). She also isn’t with the father anymore. Something supernatural happens where the stroller moves away from her like it has a mind of its own. This causes her to seek out the aid of Egon. He promises to include Ray, but not Venkman. He does find out though and goes over to check out the apartment. We saw there was this weird goo that came out from the ground.
Dana had to give up her career as a musician for the time being. Currently she is working at a museum. Her boss is Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol). He is interested in her and doesn’t pick up the social norms that she isn’t. He goes under the control of a painting of Vigo (Wilhelm von Homburg). The history of this guy is a dark one as he massacred a lot of people before being killed himself.
The trio of guys are led to the area where the stroller stopped. They break through the road and find a river of slime running underneath the city. It is using an old train track. They get busted for what they’re doing which lands them before a judge, Harris Yulin. During their hearing, they learn the slime reacts to negative energy. It is to the point that it causes two ghosts of criminals to create havoc in the courtroom. This incident allows the order to be removed for the Ghostbusters to go back in operation.
Janosz is told by Vigo that a child is needed. He agrees to kidnap Oscar and bring him to this entity as long as he can have Dana. The guys realize the slime is flowing to the museum. New York City is known for how mean people can be, so this is a great breeding ground. The Ghostbusters are faced with another disaster of world ending proportions.
That is where I’m going to leave my recap and introduction to the characters. What I want to say is that it is interesting to watch this with a critical eye. It is also to watch this with someone for their first time and without any sort of nostalgia for it like I have. With that out of the way, this movie lacks the same charm and spark that we had with the original one.
Before I get into my issues with it, I will start with the positives. I love the idea of Vigo. While watching this, I noticed there were aspects of Grigory Rasputin. Looking up trivia, I also figured out that they are combining that with Vlad the Impaler. I like the idea that he had a curse and it is through the painting that he can come back. The slime that seems to be associated with him is good.
My first issue pops up here. Having this slime that gains power from people being angry being in New York City is great. What I think we need here is why is it here? How did it start? I think this is something that needs to be given to us. Has it been under here for years? Is this something new? There doesn’t seem to be a correlation between the two outside of the painting reflecting this river. I don’t need everything, but this is a leap of logic that doesn’t work for me.
To circle back to something I was saying, this movie lacks charm like the original had. I did see trivia that people involved with the project working in the effects took over. Something that I noticed was they weren’t as good. The Scolereri brothers look monstrous and I think they should look more human. To be honest, I always think of Muppets. They aren’t horrible; I do want to say that. They just aren’t as good. The cinematography is fine. I did want to give credit there.
From there, I’ll take this to the acting. Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis are all good here. They don’t have as much as it feels like this time around, but when we get their banter, it is fun. Weaver is also solid so I’m glad she is back. I did like what they did with Rick Moranis and his character, Louis Tully. He's now part of the crew, but I could also use more of him and Ernie Hudson. I liked MacNicol, von Homburg, Yulin and Kurt Fuller. They’re all fine. The performances fit for what was needed all around.
In conclusion, this movie is a step back from the original. There are good things with this like Vigo and even the slime that is powered by anger in NYC. My problem though is there are jumps in logic that you need to fill in here. The acting is good, but it feels like they didn’t focus on it. The effects are fine. They aren’t as good as the original though. Other than that, I thought the soundtrack worked. This movie just seems to be lacking that glue to work like the original one did for me. It isn’t due to it being a sequel; I do want to confirm that. If this was the first, I don’t think it would be a hit.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10