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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Ghostbusters II (1989) - The Spirits Return, But Does the Magic?

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 Stars)

Released 06-16-1989

Watched 01-01-2024

Reviewed 01-10-2024

Watched on Hulu

"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's god-given right."

"Ghostbusters II," the sequel to the 1984 classic, sees the team of quirky spirit exterminators reuniting for another ghostly adventure in New York City. The film opens with the Ghostbusters disbanded following the collateral damage caused during their previous ghost-fighting escapades. However, the plot thickens as Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) discovers that spirits are showing an unusual interest in the son of his ex-lover, Dana (played by Sigourney Weaver). This revelation jumpstarts a rogue mission, reigniting the Ghostbusters' old spark.

The film's premise is intriguing and holds promise, especially with the introduction of a personal stake for Venkman. However, as the story unfolds, "Ghostbusters II" seems to stumble in recapturing the unique blend of humor, horror, and heart that made the original a standout. The returning cast, including Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, bring back their chemistry, but the magic feels somewhat diluted. Their performances are commendable, but the dialog lacks the punchy wit and originality that defined their earlier interactions.

A significant moment in the film is the courtroom scene, which serves as a turning point for the Ghostbusters. This scene encapsulates the movie's struggle to balance comedy with supernatural elements, resulting in a spectacle that is entertaining but not particularly impactful.

The visual effects and ghostly encounters maintain a standard of quality, but they don't push the envelope as the first film did. The sequel treads a safe path, rehashing familiar themes and scenarios, which contributes to the feeling that something essential is missing.

In summary, "Ghostbusters II" is a decent sequel that provides a dose of nostalgia for fans of the original. While the film delivers laughs and some entertaining moments, it falls short of the high benchmark set by its predecessor. It's a fun watch for those looking to revisit the Ghostbusters universe, but it doesn't offer the freshness or the groundbreaking comedy that might have been expected. The film, ultimately, is a reminder of how challenging it can be to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle success of a beloved original.


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