Ghostbusters II [retro review]

“Suck in the guts, guys, we’re the Ghostbusters.”

The Scoop: 1989 PG, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

Tagline: We’re back!

Summary Capsule: The ectoplasmic team reunites to stop some weird pink ooze and a magician named Vigo.

Justin’s Rating: Beats any Barbara Walters interview, hands down.

Justin’s Review: It’s five years after the world-renowned Ghostbusters stopped a massive marshmallow man from crushing NYC. And what do they got to show for it? Ray and Winston are doing kids’ birthday parties, Venkman is the host of a cheesy psychic show, and Egon is… well, Egon. It seems that nobody needs the services of our heroes anymore, so they all get together for one final party and drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide… WAITAMINUTE!

Note to self: never write reviews with a stuffy head and slight temperature. No, of course the big, bad ghosts return, and after the obligatory fight/capture sequence, the Ghostbusters are back in business. We even reunite with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who has a baby, and Louis and Janine get together romantically.

It’s a classy movie that perhaps should never have been made. The first Ghostbusters was so large, unusual, and original that it practically carved out a genre of its own. Naturally, a sequel to this film would not reach expectations. But… I give it big points for trying.

For one thing, it’s not dull. There are more special effects, slightly better music, and a bad guy who makes a little more sense than the bad guy in the first movie. Bill Murray as Venkman is can’t-fail; his fake career, his reunion with the team, his re-romancing of Dana are all handled with typical Murray sarcasm, wisecracks, and off-the-wall observations. He comes out with the best quotes of the movie, yet again.

Happily, there are more ghost investigative scenes, with one slightly freaky underground expedition. In the final scene, at least the huge walking giant is on OUR side (although the “New Yorkers need to love” theme was kinda tired and trite).

If nothing else, Ghostbusters II will stand out because it is possibly the last film to be made with such SNL star talent as you will never see again. Murray, Ramis, Aykroyd, Moranis, Weaver — nowadays, you’re lucky to see just one of these people in a movie. Let us not condemn G2 for being substandard, but instead elate it for one last, great fling into entertainment history.

Andie’s Rating: 3 million and 1.

Andie’s Review: Originally, I liked this movie better than the original, but that was probably because I saw this one first. I realize now that the first one is better, but there are some scenes in the second that I think are more than worthy of the original and overall, it is a good sequel. Also, this one is just as quotable as the original.

I love Bill Murray’s continued antics and Peter MacNichol’s funny little art guy with a funny accent absolutely slays me every time. He is a huge addition to the sequel. Plus, I’d have to go with Vigo as the better villain. Some of the most noteworthy scenes in this one are the courtroom scene, the scene where Dana’s bathtub tries to eat her, and when the three guys come running into the fancy restaurant in their skivvies dripping with slime.

I am eagerly awaiting the third Ghostbusters that I’ve heard rumors about. I think they could really play up the fact that the Ghostbusters are getting a little old and the idea of training new Ghostbusters. This is another must-see on my contemporary comedies list.

PS: In defense of Winston, I thought he had more than one good line and I liked him. There had to be one guy who wasn’t a nerdy scientist or a funny man like Bill Murray.

I think it's one of the Fettucinis...

Intermission!

  • For Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet lovers, you must see the scene where the Titanic finally comes into New York’s harbor (complete with deboarding passengers and Cheech’s mouth expressions).
  • The kid who tells the Ghostbusters his dad said they were “full of crap” is director Ivan Reitman’s son Jason. His daughter plays the little girl whose puppy Egon takes away.
  • The scene where Ray runs a red light and Peter makes a surprised face was originally filmed for much later in the movie, when Ray gets possessed by Vigo. That scene was cut, but some of the footage was used in the “back in business” montage.
  • As any child of the ’80s knows, the joystick the Ghostbusters use to control the Statue of Liberty is an NES Advantage.
  • Slimer’s brief cameos were due to the fact that the Ghostbusters cartoon was on the air by this time, which established the notion that Slimer lived at the firehouse as kind of a pet to the Ghostbusters.
  • Vigo is loosely based on Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula) and Grigory Rasputin.

Groovy Quotes:

    Peter: Hi, Egon. How’s school? I bet those science chicks really dig that large cranium of yours, huh?
    Egon: I think they’re more interested in my epididymis. 

    Louis: Your honor, ladies and gentleman, I don’t think it’s very fair to call my clients frauds. Sure, the blackout was a big problem for everybody. I was trapped in an elevator for two hours and I had to make the whole time. But I don’t blame them, because one time, I turned into a dog and they helped me. Thank you.
    Egon: Very good, Louis. Short but pointless.

    Dana: His name is Oscar.
    Peter: Named after a hot dog, you poor man.

    Egon: I’d like to run some gynecological tests on the mother.
    Peter: Who wouldn’t?

    Dana: Okay, but after dinner, I don’t want you putting any of your old cheap moves on me.
    Peter: Ohhhh no! I’ve got all new cheap moves!

    Ray: You mean you never even had a Slinky?
    Egon: We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it.

    Ray: You think there’s a connection between this Vigo character and the slime?
    Egon: Is the atomic weight of cobalt 58.9?

    Peter: Suck in the guts, guys, we’re the Ghostbusters.

    Peter: We’ve taken our own head count. There seem to be 3 million completely miserable a-holes living in the tri-state area.
    Mayor’s assistant: Oh please.
    Peter: I beg your pardon, 3 million and 1.

    Mayor: Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.

    Mayor: I’m about to go down in history as the mayor who let New York get sucked down into the tenth level of Hell.

    Winston: I hate jello.
    Peter: C’mon. There’s always room for jello.

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