Ghostbusters II (1989)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy, Action Comedy  |   Release Date - Jun 16, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

Despite returning the entire principal cast and crew of the original, Ghostbusters 2 suffers from a worse than average case of "sequelitis." The film recreates the same tone and camaraderie among the characters, so watching them inhabit their familiar roles is like rediscovering an old pair of slippers. But where the original plot was propelled by a zany yet eerie sense of gothic apocalypse, Ghostbusters 2 tries to cough up dread in the form of two smaller-than-life perturbances: a 16th-century evil mastermind trying to reincarnate himself from a painting and a river of slime charged by bad vibes. The allegedly climactic meeting of these ideas has something to do with Peter MacNicol lisping an Eastern European accent and the Statue of Liberty walking the streets of Manhattan, the latter in a failed attempt to revive the spirit of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. But screenwriters Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd err in ways more serious than these glaring plot deficiencies. Missing from this script is the crackling edge to the Bill Murray-Sigourney Weaver relationship, as well as a narrative purpose for the secondary characters played by Rick Moranis and Annie Potts, who are romantically linked this time around, with no explanation given for Potts' split with Ramis' Egon Spengler. The way Murray's character is softened is symbolic of the overall dulling of the enterprise, from prankish irreverence to the type of dewy sentimentality that focuses way too much attention on Weaver's infant baby. One might say there is too much Dana, and not enough Zool.