Cert: PG Runtime: 108 mins Director: Ivan Reitman Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Raimis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts and Peter McNicol
I spent an hour in my room last night talking to Fiorella LaGuardia, and he’s been dead for forty years. Now where are the Ghost Busters?
The other day I came back from my travels, I was rather tired and couldn’t be bothered doing much. So I watched both Ghostbusters back to back. The movies and animated series was a big part of my early life, so it always brings back fond memories of then. What is Ghostbusters II all about? Five years after the events of the first film, the Ghostbusters have been plagued by lawsuits and court orders, and their once-lucrative business is bankrupt. However, when Dana (Sigourney Weaver) begins to have ghost problems again, the boys come out of retirement only to be promptly arrested. The Ghostbusters discover that New York is once again headed for supernatural doom, with a river of ectoplasmic slime bubbling beneath the city and an ancient sorcerer attempting to possess Dana’s baby and be born anew. Can the Ghostbusters quell the negative emotions feeding the otherworldly threat and stop the world from being slimed? I could lie and say I think “Ghostbusters II” is an inferior sequel to the original 1984 “Ghostbusters,” but “Ghostbusters II” is an entertaining film in its own right. Nothing can come close to the gleaming perfection of the first film but damn it, the sequel works in most places.
It’s chiefly because the movie is just so damn entertaining! It’s still mostly watchable despite its flaws and misjudgments about what the filmmakers may have seen as an apparent mean-spiritedness in a lot of people during the late ’80s. True, comedian and star Bill Murray still steals the show whenever he gets the chance and he also gets some of the best lines, and he’s just so gosh-darn funny as a leading man. Screenwriter team/co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis are also in top form, and it shows in their wily and hilarious script. Unlike the first picture, though, it seems like they took the family-friendly route and didn’t feel like building up to the oh-so-apocalyptic tone of the first film (even though “Ghostbusters” was still pretty funny aside from the occasional dark tone).And also, director Ivan Reitman knows their material and it looks like the filmmakers made the wise decision of bringing back everybody from the original film, including Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis. It’s been five years since the first film (a title card confirms it), and it seems that most of New York City doesn’t even remember who the Ghostbusters are and what they did for the city. Everyone in the city is miserable and the opening moments confirm that as well. After being almost bankrupted by countless lawsuits and being unable to practice their trade because of a judicial restraining order, the boys are reduced to moonlighting in other fields, such as catering to the needs of spoiled yuppie children at their birthday parties, a task that neither Ray Stanz (Aykroyd) or Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) take pride in.
One thing “Ghostbusters II” provides for the viewer is solid entertainment, which is what any good sequel should do. It would be impossible for this movie to any way live up to the original, so you can’t blame the filmmakers for at least trying (trying is italicized). It would be pointless to say that the acting is good from our players, but my God, they’re good and again in top form. The special effects are still pretty impressive, even from their early ghost-busting capers, to a finale where the boys are actually able to walk down the streets of the city in an animated – yes, animated! – Statue of Liberty (yes, Lady Liberty has sprung to life, and good thing she’s on our side!). And even the R.M.S. Titanic (don’t ask, just watch) pops up too.”Ghostbusters II” hasn’t been particularly well-received, even despite its more family-friendly tone and message about the folly of mean-spiritedness. But it’s just a good sequel, nonetheless, not bad, not superior to the original, maybe on par with the original, but it’s just really good fun.