108 min., 1989
Written by Harold Ramis/Dan Aykroyd
Directed by Ivan Reitman
My rating: ★★
Lightning does only strike once.
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So it’s been five years since Ghostbusters and this one starts with a crack in the sidewalk and a puddle of pink slime pools out. Once again the trouble begins with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). She is walking with her baby buggy when it goes through the puddle, then the buggy starts to “drive” around the street, Dana catches up and takes out her baby, and then we see the title. It turns out that even though the Ghostbusters helped all of New York City, they still got sued and pretty much their business is now nonexistent. We see the Ecto-1 driving down the street with a cloud of smoke coming from the back. It pulls up to a house; Ray (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) get out and enter. They aren’t there to bust ghosts; they are there for a kid’s birthday party who is more interested in He-Man than them. The rest aren’t that much better off. Peter (Bill Murray) is now the host of a show about psychics and Egon (Harold Ramis) is back doing strange research. Dana goes to the Ghostbusters to help with her new ghost problems. While looking under the street where the buggy went crazy, Ray finds a huge river of that pink goo. After a short court case the Ghostbusters are back in business, but are they ready to take on Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm Von Homburg, voiced by Max Von Sydow) and his helper Janosz (Peter MacNicol)?
Everyone is back (for the most part) from the first movie. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts are all there, but this time around all of the acting just seems very tired and no one really seems like they want to be there. All of the characters are really just being recycled from the first movie, and I don’t just mean that Ray is being Ray and Egon is being Egon. It’s more like they didn’t know how to advance the characters in any way so they just didn’t try and left them exactly how they were before. People grow up and age, but this movie seems to want to be the same age as Ghostbusters and not even try to…well, try. The only real standout is Peter MacNicol as the slightly crazy Janosz. His performance is very memorable and the only real entertaining one (on a side note, he also does the voice of X The Eliminator on Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, how fucking cool is that?). I also did enjoy Annie Potts’ new version of Janine. I’ve been a fan of Annie and this is one of my favorite roles that she has played, plus she actually seems to have gotten younger since Ghostbusters and she is actually really hot this time around.
The effects of the movie were complete shit and that surprised me. The effects of Ghostbusters actually stand the test of time really well, and this time around they are just pathetic. End of story.
So the first movie was a comedy with bits of horror tossed in. This time around it seems that it was supposed to be a satire, but instead it turned into just a boring retread. Probably the worst part about the movie (other than the effects) was the pop culture signs of the time that showed up. For one, when Ray and Winston go to the party and all the kids are shouting for He-Man, it really made me wonder when the script for this movie was written. The movie came out in 1989, and He-Man came out in 1983. Now I do understand that He-Man was in syndication for a while, but still it was only two seasons and the movie came out in 1987. It really makes me wonder if they had been tossing this thing around for a while before everyone finally agreed to make it. The other thing that showed up and shows its age is the NES Advantage that they use to control the Statue of Liberty (yep, you heard me right). Being a kid that loved the NES and used the Advantage a whole lot, when I saw it at first I thought it was really cool, but then I actually thought about it and realized that seeing that really puts a shelf life stamp on the movie. This movie is nowhere close to the original and I would suggest everyone stay away.Have You Read...?