Before about 15 years ago, it was hard to accept any sequel as serious–give or take a select few. And I’m sure there were many who didn’t take the Ghostbusters sequel too seriously either. But who could blame them back in 1989.
Sure it has its issues. The villain’s modus operandi has devastating effects, but his method of using a baby’s body as a vessel to come back from the dead is played off as silly. Although it doesn’t intend to be, it can’t help it. The levity of the film is that strong.
In this one, all the guys are back and they have to stop the evil Vigo the Carpathian–who is trapped in a painting–from coming back from the dead and ruling the earth. Weird things start happening all over town, as the ghostbusters discover that all of New York City’s negative energy has been compiled into slime in the sewer system and is acting as a portal to bring back evil spirits.
It isn’t easy for them, as they are faced with adversity that doesn’t make much sense. They go from being the popular saviors of the city, to all of a sudden no one believing in ghosts anymore.
Ultimately, the film lacks any real depth. Character issues are heavily introduced but never resolved in the end. It gets a little lost in that department, sure.
But there is a charm that carries over from the original. In fact, I find this one just as funny. The talents are far better utilized here, other than Bill Murray, who is just as good as he is in the last. Peter MacNicol is an especially great addition as the oft-confused foreigner, Dr. Janosz Poha, who curates the art museum where the evil painting is being kept.
The first Ghostbusters movie is fantastic. It’s legendary. But it shows its age quite a bit. Ghostbusters II may not be as iconic, but it holds up a little better. And although we don’t feel as threatened by our villain, the threat is still very much there.