It was around this time last year that I was still trying my hardest to create a video style review show. Granted, I’m having a bit more success with that now one year down the line but that is neither here nor there. (WATCH NERDIEST TALK SHOW ON EARTH!) But a year ago I said that in the spirit of Halloween, I would review Ghostbusters 2. Now, I intend to keep to that promise… Even though it is the Halloween the year after that I made the promise, I still intend to keep it! So Ghostbusters 2… I do not have the love for this film that many people surprisingly do. It just feels like another great classic movie that got bitten by the Hollywood sequel bug, nothing really more to that than that. But apparently several people do like the film, usually citing their extreme love for the original that carries on to the sequel.
Ghostbusters 2 is the continued story of the men in gray who hunt ghosts in the night. Several years have passed since the original film and things haven’t gone well them as the city sued them for just about all damages done during the first film and the majority of the Ghostbusters leaving the organization with only Ray Stantz (Dan Akroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) to perform at kids birthday parties for spare cash. However the group is quickly reunited by their old friend Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) whose child Oscar has an accident involving a pink ooze that comes out of the sewers of New York. With the help of both Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) the group find a river of pink slime flowing under the city that feeds off the bad emotions of New Yorkers. The movie not only revolves around this mysterious slime, but also its connection to a painting of Vigo the Scourge of Carpathian Moldovia in the art gallery where Dana works.
It Has the Cast From the Original and Their Chemistry
Let’s face it… All you really have to do is get the ensemble cast from the first film back on stage and have them act in character and you will have a decent film. Ghostbusters features some of the best cast around in the likes of Murray, Akroyd, Hudson, Ramis, Moranis, Weaver, and Potts. It really is a wonderful thing when you have a group of people who can just work off of each other so well and so fluidly that the worst you can possibly do is break even. This is the type of chemistry that many movies today wish they had in their franchises.
Love the Soundtrack
Anyone who knows me know I am a huge fan of Jackie Wilson and his hit song (Higher, Higher) Your Love. So naturally when I hear it in a movie like this it always gets a chuckle out of me. I know it isn’t actually Wilson singing in the big scene with the Statue of Liberty but I still enjoy it… And while I’m at it I do love the fact that they made the Statue of Liberty walk all the way into New York City with positively charged mood slime, Jackie Wilson, and the good vibes of New Yorkers everywhere.
It Just Can’t Capture The Lightning in a Bottle the Original Had
Films like this really are doomed from the start. In order to explain this, I feel I need to go back to one of my first reviews that was the Boondock Saints. Once more we find ourselves with the perfect scenario where everything just goes right with the first film. It was a smash hit and easily a timeless classic. Even the idea of a sequel to this cannot capture the magic that the original had except for the feeling of pure nostalgia that fans would get from seeing the characters they love in a new and different adventure.
I understand the desire to make sequels and the desire people have to want to watch them. But sometimes when you get that one perfect storm, there is just nothing you can do to recreate that and the end result will always be a disappointment.
Vigo is No “Gozer”
The villain in my mind is a huge downgrade from the original. As a matter of fact the whole finale of Ghostbusters 2 is a downgrade from the original. The whole premise of the first movie was the slow build to the reveal of the big bad. You knew something was wrong with Dana Barrett and Louis Tully’s apartment building but you just weren’t quite sure what it was. From the beginning of the second film, you know not only who the villain is in this huge painting that is never really explained how he got in the painting to begin with. But also he is using the strange foreign guy to get Dana Barrett’s baby so that he can be reborn. There is less shock value and less fright by knowing everything ahead of time. Not to mention, the whole scene with the apartment complex effecting the entire town and the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man destroying the town directly affects the people of New York. While in this film, they are mainly left with an ambiguous slime dome over the museum and a few scares from ghosts.
I understand completely that the second film could not compete with the classic that is the first film. But if anything the film just feels like a huge cash in that benefited from a stellar cast and a fervent fan base.
I do understand that people could be upset with me since the cons of the film are really no more than just a statement of ‘the original was better’. But in a way I find that justified. These points on top of the fact that even on a cinematic level, the second Ghostbusters is just a downgrade from the original.
There are several things that go unexplained such as Vigo’s possession of the painting in general, how the slime even manifested in the first place, and the mere concept of bringing the Ghostbusters into financial shambles after the original which should have lifted them up to near hero status all with a hand wave of exposition. It suffers from the same ‘sequel’ problems that most films face such as too much of a small thing that people liked from the original (namely Slimer) and doing more of a job at pandering than continuing the narrative.
It isn’t the worst sequel ever made, but it certainly stands as a testament to letting the classics stand on their own.
Final Score 2.5/5
Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this review than please like and subscribe for more from me. Since this is the month of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to look at some more horror themed movies and video games so look forward to seeing them through the month.