It’s difficult reviewing a movie that was such a huge and influential part of my childhood without just gushing about it and writing a shining review which doesn’t really do the movie justice or reflect its true quality. I watched Ghostbusters 2 by accident in the first place, as something to hold my interest in the adverts of another tv show but it was the beginning of the film and I got sucked in. There aren’t many films that I’ve seen so many times that would still keep my interest but there is something magical about Ghostbusters.
From the very beginning it sucks you in, with the moving pram that steers itself through danger. It was this scene that pulled me in, followed by the great, comic-timing perfection of Dan Aykroyd’s Ray and Ernie Hudson’s Winston failing to live off their previous Ghostbuster’s fame at a kid’s party. Combine these two scenes and you are sucked in and it is much more of a fast-paced ride than you ever really remember.
This is where the film being a classic and such a big part of my childhood pays off. The movie has got so many classic, funny and cool scenes. It’s a great example of how to do a sequel, introducing each character slowly and then giving a great pay-off for the final Ghostbusters reveal. These guys aren’t still fighting ghosts and the first time we see them having to use those famous packs, its in a great courtroom scene that sees them catapulted back as the heroes.
The movie also has a great villain, the most difficult thing to do in a sequel. The villain is different enough to the first to make it original without changing anything that made the first movie so funny and exciting. When the Ghostbusters are back, we get a classic montage of them fighting and catching ghosts, including the cringy adverts and awful acting. The film also builds to a great climax of ghost attacks, mirroring the first movie’s feeling of overwhelming catastrophe.
This is where the issues begins to arise. The first movie had such an iconic ending, not so much the fight with the possessed Sigourney Weaver, but the moment when a huge Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man attacks our heroes. Its surreal and now part of geek and mainstream culture. The film does feel like it’s trying to repeat the same thing here, this time with the Ghostbusters in the driving seat.
When they do face the villain at the end, it feels anti-climactic. There isn’t a clever trick, forewarned earlier in the movie, like they had with the first film. This feels like it’s just “point and shoot.” There is a little bit more to it but not really enough.
You can look past the weak ending of the film though because the rest is so iconic and cool. The river of slime, the kidnapping of the baby, the dancing toaster and the bus driving Slimer. It’s also got some of the best performances from the Ghostbusters. With the exception of Bill Murray, the rest of Ghostbusters have never really outshone this movie and you can see why. It’s a classic eighties movie!
It’s also the reason I don’t want to see a third. Its been too long and this movie is far too iconic. It can’t be the original Ghostbusters, and not just because Murray has ruled himself out, and without Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston in those jumpsuits, driving Ecto 1, I don’t want to see that movie!
Overall, Ghostbusters 2 still holds up as an iconic eighties movie, with great quotable moments, fantastic action scenes and very funny performances from the actors involved. It has a weak ending and probably isn’t as good as the first, but it’s still a great sequel to such a great film from my childhood.
(1-3 – awful/avoid. 4-6 – average. 7-8 – good. 9-10 – fantastic.)