Ghostbusters II Review

Image for Ghostbusters II

The boy are back in town - they never went away, but were derided as frauds, despite saving the world, and handed a bill for damages. Thankfully, another threat to civilization is bubbling in the sewers, so the Ghostbusters can give up their humiliating day-jobs.


Since sending the Pilsbury Doughboy back to the land of Homepride, Venkman (Murray) and his buddies have been hit by the city for a repair bill and are generally derided as frauds. Times are hard, Stantz (Aykroyd) and Zeddemore (Hudson) now guest at children’s parties between the jelly and the conjuror, their earlier exploits largely forgotten: in response to the chant “Who yuh gonna call?”, the yuppie larvae shout “He-Man!”. Venkman hosts a risible TV show for armchair psychics and Spengler has retreated into research. But they’re reunited when Weaver’s son Oscar becomes the victim of a playful poltergeist. She goes to Spengler (Ramis) for help and the trail leads them under the city where a monstrous Stygian river of pink slime is generating enough negative energy to turn the population of New York into a bunch of complete assholes.

Ramis and Aykroyd have written a sharp script with more than a casual eye on the children. The slime is OK (it likes to listen to Jackie Wilson and, in the film’s most seditious moment, there’s a suspicion that Spengler has been sleeping with it) and the whole affair is funny in a harmless, gloopy sort of way. The cast (including Rick Moranis and Annie Potts) supply the necessary high spirits, and Peter MacNichol who pursues Weaver as the hideously accented Janosz Poha will no doubt be impersonated by kids all over the country.

But the attempts to integrate Murray into mainstream society (he’s seen cooing over baby Oscar in a way that’s not entirely ironic) is uncomfortable. The character shone in the original because he was allowed to be self-centred, immature and careless; placing him in a relationship that demands genuine warmth simply doesn’t work. In addition, too much action is carried by Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson as Murray tries to rekindle his old flame, and the climax is a pale rerun of the original’s classic confrontation: “Let’s show the Sumerian bitch how we do things downtown!”

Almost as sharp as the first film and only suffering slightly from the inevitable repetitions.