They’re back! Only this time not quite as funny…
Written By: Andrew Lowe
Date: 17th May, 2015
Ah Ghostbusters… these will always be a favourite of mine so I’m going to always be a little biased. I remember seeing this film in the cinema and loving every minute of it. But I was only 10 years old. Does it still hold up now? I would say yes, but maybe not so much when compared to the original
This sequel starts five years after the original. Ghostbusters has been relegated to doing birthday parties after being sued by just about every agency in New York after the events of the first film. Egon and Peter have moved on to other jobs, doing research on emotional environment affects and hosting a physic talk show repectively, leaving Ray and Winston to the birthday parties.
Dana Barrett is pushing the pram of her young baby, and accidently runs through some slime that has oozed through a crack in the pavement. Whilst Dana is talking to the building super, the pram suddenly start rolling down the street by itself, only just stopping in front of a bus in the middle of a busy New York. Dana takes her baby away from the pram.
Dana goes to see Egon about what has happened. Egon and Ray start researching and investigating the incident, and Peter inadvertently finds out and forces his way in as well. After detecting a high PKE reading at the site of where the pram stopped in the road, the trio decide to start digging a hole to see the source. This leads to having to send Ray down, dangling above a river of slime, and accidently leads to a citywide blackout.
Meanwhile, Dana's colleague Dr. Janosz Poha is indoctrinated by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian of Moldavia, a powerful sixteenth-century tyrant and magician trapped in a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Janosz to locate a child that Vigo can possess, allowing him to return to life on the New Year.
Again the Ghostbusters are arrested and are found guilty for disobeying a restraining order in conducting paranormal activities. As the judge starts getting angrier whilst sentencing, a sample of slime taken from the underground river bubbles out of control and two ghosts that the judge recognises appears and terrorises the courtroom. The Ghostbusters catch the ghosts and revive their business.
Later, the slime invades Dana's apartment and attacks her and Oscar. She seeks refuge with Peter, and the two begin to renew their relationship. Investigating the slime and Vigo's history, the Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts to emotions, and suspect that it has been generated by the negative attitudes of New Yorkers.
While Peter and Dana have dinner together, Egon, Ray, and Winston explore the underground river of slime. While measuring the depth, Winston gets pulled into the flowing river, and Ray and Egon jump in after him. After they escape back to the surface Ray and Winston begin arguing, but Egon realizes that they are being influenced by the slime, so they strip off their clothes. They also learn the river is flowing directly to the museum.
The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed; the mayor's assistant, Jack Hardemeyer, has them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor's interests as he runs for governor. Meanwhile, a spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter's apartment, and Dana pursues them to the museum alone. After she enters, the museum is covered with a barrier of impenetrable slime.
New Year's Eve sees a sudden increase of supernatural activity as the slime rises from the subway line and onto the city streets, causing widespread paranormal activity with ghosts attacking citizens. In response, the mayor fires Hardemeyer and has the Ghostbusters released, after Hardemeyer reveals he had them committed.
After heading to the museum, the Ghostbusters are unable to breach the power of the slime barrier with their proton packs. Determining that they need a symbol of powerful positivity to rally the citizens and weaken the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively charged mood slime to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace. As they arrive at the museum, the slime begins to recede and they use the Statue's flaming torch to break through the museum's ceiling to attack Vigo and Janosz.
Janosz is neutralized with positively charged slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts a transfer into Oscar's body. The positive feelings from the citizens outside weaken Vigo, returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, and the other Ghostbusters attack him with a combination of proton streams and positively charged mood slime.
This destroys Vigo and changes the painting to a likeness of the four Ghostbusters standing protectively around Oscar. Outside, the Ghostbusters receive a standing ovation from the crowd and, at a later ceremony to restore the Statue, the Key to the City from the mayor.
There is consensus that Ghostbusters was one of the most fun movies from the eighties. I was a massive fan and still am to this day. Due to the popularity of the film and the cartoon, Columbia Pictures insisted on making a sequel. So Ghostbusters 2 was released, and it was good… mostly. The film was very entertaining; all of the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves; unfortunately it would naturally be compared to the original, something that all sequels suffer from.
The acting is on par with the original; the jokes are just as funny. The problem is the story wasn’t as well constructed. It starts off well enough with having a river of slime being formed underground, but the story is just clumsily resolved by saying everyone needs to be happy and cheerful. There are good ideas in the final act, I certainly enjoyed seeing the use of the Statue of Liberty being used. It was fun to watch, but as I said was ruined by rushing the ending.
What made the original so good was it very focused and gave all the characters something to do and, whilst it was a comedy, there was a serious tone in what they did. With this sequel the focus was more on how we can make this more funny, some of the jokes work a lot seem to be in there just for the hell of it. Rick Moranis seems to be just jammed in for no real reason other than to encounter Slimer. His role could have been completely cut out or cut down to just being their lawyer for the court scene and nothing else would have been lost.
I still like it but I feel it is more one for true Ghostbusters fans. It’s not a bad movie; it just wasn’t as good as it could have been, especially compared to the original.