Review of 'Ghostbusters II'

2nd film in the 'Ghostbusters' series

ghostbusters2.jpg This sequel to the original 1984 Ghostbusters sees the Ghostbusters team disbanded having been publicly shamed after the events of the first film, sued for their destruction of property and barred from investigating the supernatural. Ray (Dan Aykroyd) now owns an occult bookstore and works as a (unsuccessful) child entertainer with Winston wearing their Ghostbusters uniforms. Egon (Harold Ramis) is a scientist performing experiments into human emotion. Peter (Bill Murray) hosts a pseudo-psychic television show with his typically cynical approach. When Dana Berrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her young baby Oscar have some odd…supernatural…experiences the team is forced get back together and save the day. The team discover rivers of “evil slime” are flowing beneath New York which are giving the evil sixteenth-century tyrant, Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg) the energy needed to come back to life and wreck havoc…Will the team be able to pull it together and save New York…again?

Not as outright funny as the original film it is good to see the original team back in action again on the big screen. The banality of life that the original team have found themselves in really threatens to pull the film down but eventually the story pulls things back together with a silly finale that grates with it's sheer syrupy-ness. The insanity and gritty reality of the first film is unfortunately missing here so the enjoyment really comes from seeing the group back together and the occasional brilliant line coming from the cast. The story is simple in the extreme (bad guy vs good guys) and so really provides little to the film, it is all about the characters but they are also woefully served by the trite script leading me to believe that this was perhaps “milking a cash-cow” rather than attempting to anything as exciting or interesting. The original film was written over the course of a short period by a group of comedians in a brain-storming session, this film feels like it was written by a committee to simply make money.

I wanted to love it, but sadly this sequel ultimately fails to live up to the promise of the original. There are a few good bits but “Ghostbusters II” mostly underwhelms. Having said that it, it is still entertaining…just underwhelming.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2020-01-19

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Year: 1989

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Ghostbusters' series:

Other reviewed films by Ivan Reitman: