The 50th Post: Ghostbusters II

We made it folks, 50 posts. I know 50 isn’t anything to get that excited about, but I’m pulling out all the stops by reviewing one of my many favorite movies. But, before we get to that, I’d like to talk about one of the films writers Harold Ramis, he recently passed away, but he left behind a legacy of laughter and memorable characters. His most successful film (next to Caddyshack) was Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters took the world by storm when it first came out and spawned two cartoons, action figures and, a slew of video games and comic books.

Around the mid to late 80s, executives at Columbia Studios saw the popularity of the first movie and The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and persuaded (pressured) Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman to make sequel despite they’re saying that the film was conclusive. They eventually agreed but were very uncomfortable about it.

But why do I think it’s so great, well let’s find out!

PLOT

Five years after the original film, Dana was casually walking her son Oscar, when a mysterious force pushes him into a busy junction, after that Dana goes to get the Ghostbusters for help. We then learn that the Ghostbusters were (forcibly) disbanded after being sued by the state for all the property damage done in the first movie, and the team had since moved on to other things. Ray and Winston now work as (unpopular) children’s birthday party entertainers (Ray also runs an occult book store), Peter hosts his own psychic talk show, and Egon works at a laboratory studying human emotion. We also learn that Dana and Peter broke up, Dana got married to unnamed violinist, but divorced soon after when he was offered to join the London Symphonic Orchestra, Dana quit the cellist profession and now works at the Manhattan Museum of Art as a restorer.

The museum obtains a new painting which depicts our films villain: Vigo The Carpathian, Dana’s co-worker Janosz Poha later gets possessed by Vigo. Vigo orders Janosz to find a child that Vigo can possess so he can live and ruel the world again.

Ray, Peter and, Egon excavate First Ave. at the exact spot Oscar’s stroller stopped. While underground Ray finds a river of pink slime after getting a sample and being attacked by the slime, Ray accidently causes a city-wide blackout and the Ghostbusters are arrested. The next day, the Ghostbuster are sent to court and are found guilty for investigating the supernatural. During the judges sentencing the slime reacts to the judges angry outbursts and explodes, releasing two ghosts that the judge had executed who begin to tear the courtroom apart.

The Ghostbusters of course capture the ghosts in exchange for all charges being dismissed and they can re-open their ghostbusting business. Later the slime attacks Dana and Oscar in her apartment, Ray and Egon investigates her apartment and Vigo’s history, while Dana and Oscar stays with Peter. The Ghostbusters learn that the slime reacts to emotions and suspects that it’s been generated by the negative attitudes of all New Yorkers.

While Peter and Dana go out to dinner Ray, Egon and Winston explore the underground river of slime, Winston gets pulled in to the slime and Ray and Egon jump in after him. After they get back to the surface Ray and Winston argue with each other, Egon realizes that they’re being influenced by the slime, and that the slime leads directly to the museum.

The Ghostbusters go to the mayor, but the mayors aide have them dismissed and committed in a mental asylum to protect the mayor as he runs for governor. A spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar and Dana goes after them to the museum, when she gets there the entire museum is covered in slime.

On New Years Eve, there is a massive outpoor of supernatural activity as the slime rises from the subway and causing paranormal pandemonium. The mayor, after learning he had the Ghostbusters committed fires his aide. The Ghostbusters are free and try to break the barrier of slime with their proton packs to no avail. They realize they need a source of positive energy to weaken the slime.

The Ghostbusters use positively-powered slime to bring the Statue of Liberty to life and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace. The slime begins to weaken and they use the statue’s torch to beak through the ceiling to fight Vigo and Janosz.

Janosz is hosed down with the positive slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts to transfer into Oscar’s body. The crowd outside sings “Auld Lang Syne” starts to weaken Vigo returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo temporarily possesses Ray, and the others and their friend Luis attacks Vigo and the slime barrier, the combination destroys Vigo and the painting changes into a likeness of the Ghostbusters and Oscar. The Ghostbusters get a standing ovation and the next day receive the key to the city from the mayor.

So, have any of you ever heard of the trope “sequelitis”? Well if not, Ghostbusters II is one of if not the first example, most of the plot points from the first movie are reused in here:
-The public not believing in the Ghostbusters
-The big hurrah moment that begins they’re new streak
-A weird creepy guy interested in Dana
-Ancient evil affecting the city
-The smug bureaucrat getting in their way
-The huge climax at the end
It hits every note from the first movie.

So, why do I like this movie so much? Well, both Ghostbusters movies were one of the first movies I ever watched and, I was a little frightened of the first movie, but I guess I liked the sequel more cause of the toned down nature of the film. Don’t get me wrong I do like the first movie it’s just the second one is more close to my heart (next to Forrest Gump and Jason Lives). But I digress, despite the film being a cut and paste version of the first movie it does have some interesting ideas like the mood slime, All the characters were still there and the joke were legitimately funny and who doesn’t want to hear that song over and over again. plus you gotta admit it’s a much better sequel than Caddyshack II. Other than the recycled plot points from the first movie and Vigo being a pretty uninteresting villain the film isn’t half bad, give the film a watch and come up with your own conclusions.

Also if they do still go ahead with Ghostbusters 3, and it doesn’t turn out as well as anyone hopes, check out Ghostbusters The Video Game (for PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360) it’s an awesome game and both Aykroyd and Ramis helped with the script and they actually consider it the true third movie. So give the game a shot too!

RANK: 3 out of 5

In Memory Of Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

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