Ghostbusters II begins several years after the end of the first film. The ghost busting business has been shut down due to lawsuits, and the four Ghostbusters have different jobs. After an increase in unexplained phenomena, the team gets back together to try to figure out what is happening this time.
All of the original main cast returned in this film. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson reprise their roles as the Ghostbusters. Their lines were mostly good, but fell flat in many cases. It almost felt like they were often just going through the motions rather than really trying to nail it. Sigourney Weaver is back as Dana, and Rick Moranis and Annie Potts are back as Louis and Janine (who are now an item, it seems).
New cast members in Ghostbusters II include Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha and Wilhelm von Homburg as the evil Carpathian, Vigo. MacNicol was funny, but got tiresome after only a short time. Von Homburg did a good job of looking and acting evil, but his acting was about as good as Schwarzenegger’s earliest efforts.
The story this time around seemed much more contrived than the first one. Perhaps it was the editing of Ghostbusters II, but the flow felt a little choppy. Perhaps it was because the first film worked so well. The lightning didn’t come into the bottle this time.
The special effects were similar to the first film, but did improve a bit. The river of pink slime was a fun touch, though I kept thinking “Pepto-Bismol snot” every time I saw it. It was fun to see Slimer again, too.
Overall, I found Ghostbusters II to lack the magic that infused the first film. It was still enjoyable, but not quite as enjoyable as I had hoped. I am looking forward to seeing the reboot in a couple weeks, though, so we shall see how that one measures up. This film, however, is good to watch with the first one, but has wobbly legs when viewed on its own.
Release Date: June 16, 1989 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (social drinking)
Language: 1 (mild)
Sexuality: 1 (makeout scene)
Violence: 1 (fighting ghosts, some scary imagery, possession)