Anthony's Film Review
Ghostbusters II (1989)
The Ghostbusters sequel continues the familiar fun of the original...
Ghostbusters in 1984 was so original and clever that it's no surprise that this was followed by Ghostbusters II five years later. Now, is this an example of a sequel that is better than its predecessor? Far from it. It really doesn't add a whole lot of new material not seen in the first movie. But is it a terrible movie that should be skipped? Far from it. If the first movie was good and this follow-up movie does a lot of the same, then it can't be all that bad. Believe me. It isn't.
The familiar four Ghostbusters are back: Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson). So are Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), who has a new baby; Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), who has apparently become a lawyer from a night school; and Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), the quirky secretary. And don't forget a brief appearance by Slimer, the pet green ghost. So yeah, the characters really haven't changed all that much.
Even the overall story hasn't changed all that much, because the events in Ghostbusters II are essentially similar to those of the original Ghostbusters. First, the four main characters, whose Ghostbusters business is going bankrupt, are doing what they can to get by. Then there are signs of a supernatural presence, which in this case involves a pink slime that is psychoactive, meaning it responds to certain emotions. The Ghostbusters then investigate the matter before getting into trouble with government of New York City, after which they are imprisoned for some time. Finally, when things get really bad in the city, the Ghostbusters are called to save the day.
But let's not forget. Ghostbusters II may be similar to the first Ghostbusters, but they're not entirely identical. For one thing, the villain is a new kind of spirit, one that inhabits a painting in a New York art museum exhibit and relies on its curator Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol) to perform a sacrifice that would give it a new body. I also like the scenes involving the pink slime, whether it's collected in small containers or flowing in a massive river in the sewer system. As for the climax, there's one thing amusing about it. In order to get through the villain's fortification, the Ghostbusters have to turn the Statue of Liberty into a mechanical walking machine, steered with (believe it or not) a Nintendo video game controller.
Ghostbusters II isn't too bad, actually. It has enough good moments here and there to keep itself entertaining and not disappoint the audience. Still, this is perhaps a good stopping point for this short Ghostbusters film series. Unless there is a really creative and original idea for a Ghostbusters III, I'm happy enough with this film and the first one. With that said, I'm giving Ghostbusters II a 7 out of 10 rating. It's not extraordinary, but it's fun.
For more information about Ghostbusters II, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of Ghostbusters.