Monday, June 25, 2012

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
The ghost fighting crew battle some goo.

Five years on from the events in Ghostbusters, the team have disbanded after being handed a restraining order from investigating the supernatural.

Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) work as children's entertainers, keeping their Ghostbusters costumes. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) works investigating whether human emotions physically affect the environment and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) presents a little known TV show called "World of Psychic".

Meanwhile, Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) appears to be at the centre of another ghost invasion, this time the origin is the appearance of some mysterious pink goo.

Somewhat controversially, I was not a huge fan of the original Ghostbusters film. Ghostbusters II is popularly known to follow the 'usual' sequel problem - where it never quite reaches the height of the original - so this review can only end badly, right?

Well, yes. The one saviour for the original film was that Bill Murray was on excellent form delivering hilarious one liners as the socially inept Venkman. The sequel does keep this to a point, but attempts to try and humanise Venkman by giving him a more normal life - the scenes where he coos over Barrett's baby are a little uncomfortable.

The speed of the film is also the same as its predecessor (i.e. it feels rushed). The five year break between the two is summed up by Dana brushing over her marriage as the reason for falling out with Venkman, immediately followed by the mention of her break up.

In fact, the intervening years are frequently mentioned, and this is just a clear attempt to try to reset the character stories back to where they were before the events in Ghostbusters. Rather than thinking of a new storyline and developing the characters, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd chose to attempt to recreate the cult classic status and just finished with lazy scriptwriting.

The result of the film is something that you can sit down and watch without thinking about, but don't expect the magic of Ghostbusters (if you were a fan). The humour is there, but just.

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