It’s the first day of the new year! And, since it is my first post for 2014, I wanted to match the occasion perfectly! I wanted to review something that dealt with celebrating the New Year! Oddly enough, I couldn’t really remember watching anything that featured bringing in the new year prominently.
Then it suddenly struck me! There was a movie I watched a long time ago that, not only featured the commemoration of the new year, but also made it a plot point! And that is Ghostbusters II, the sequel to the first Ghostbusters movie (obviously). When it came out, most reviews of the film were mixed. In actuality, it’s a pretty good movie. It’s well acted, the writing is exceptionally done and the effects still work even to this day. It’s only major flaw is that it’s just not as good as the first film.
Ghostbusters II takes place 5 years after the events of Ghostbusters I. The team has disbanded and have moved on to different things. However, a new supernatural menace has been festering underneath New York, feeding at all of the negative energy of the city’s population. This new evil is Vigo the Carpathian and will rise from the dead when the New Year comes.
Like I said, the acting is superb. Bill Murray’s portrayal of the smart mouth Peter Venkman is a joy to watch. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler, respectively) have such great dialogue between themselves that just work. Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zedmore may not have that many funny lines but the ones that he does have work effectively. Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz very few appearances is fun.
There are two notable roles that really worked for me. And that would be Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha as the curator of the museum who becomes Vigo’s servant and Rick Moranis as Louis Tully, the Ghostbusters’ accountant and lawyer. They play their roles with such commitment so, even though their performances should be “over the top,” they still come off as believable.
Of course, it helps that the writing is well done. The dialogue between the characters never really feel out of place and just flows naturally. Even when they’re just giving the viewers details regarding what happened between the gap of the two films, they have a reason to say it. In other movies, this kind of exposition comes out of the blue. Thankfully, Ghostbusters II is one of the exceptions.
Finally, the special effects are fantastic! Although this was made more than 20 years ago, they still work even compared to today’s standards! The proton beams still look dangerous. The ghosts never look too “solid.” Not only that, it looks like the film makers took a lot of time and effort on the practical effects and the set designs. I would like to see more films go back to this style and not rely on CGI too much.
There are some flaws with the movie. Even though the story is great, it doesn’t have the same weight as the first film for some reason. Sure, the Ghostbusters still prevent a paranormal evil creature from taking over the world, but it’s like the scope is much smaller. The story is also a little bit slower than the first film. But, like I said, the only reason why I think of these errors is because I’m comparing it to its predecessor.
Ghostbusters II is not a bad movie. It just has the unfortunate role of being the follow up to one of the most beloved movies of all time. I say go watch it if you can.
Have you watched Ghostbusters II? How do you think the movie holds up? Let me know in the comments section below!