Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis in Ghostbusters II

The Moods not Right for more Ghostbusting

After the runaway success of the completely entertaining "Ghostbusters" it really was only a matter of time before a sequel was made. So 5 years later and with all the same faces Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver on board we got that sequel "Ghostbusters II", but could it match up to the first? Well for me whilst entertaining and enjoyable the answer is no, but that doesn't make "Ghostbusters II" a bad movie just a little repetitive which by nature of being a sequel is what is expected.

5 years after saving the day the Ghostbusters have gone out of business and pretty much their separate ways into new careers. But when Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver - Dave) suddenly experiences something strange the Ghostbusters get back together and discover some seriously spooky goings on with a river of mood slime flowing beneath Manhattan Island and an ancient picture with strange mystical powers seeming to be controlling things.

Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters II

There is some intelligence to "Ghostbusters II" or at least to how we get to meet all those familiar faces again after a 5 year hiatus and I like how the movie sort of explains what has happened in those 5 years, most importantly the Ghostbusters going out of business following the Stay Puff Marshmallow man incident. As such characters have moved on or in the case of some clinging to the remnants of being Ghostbusters but by the miracle of screen writers we get them all back together for more ghostly goings on and comedy hi-jinx.

The thing is that whilst we get a new storyline with new paranormal bad guys it isn't that much different from before. In fact under the disguise of various different scenes it is very much a rehash as we watch Dana Barrett get in touch with Egon after a close encounter of the spooky kind, the Ghostbusters going into action after saving the day from some ghosts in a courtroom, culminating with them yet again in trouble with the city and of course returning once more to try and save the day. The fact that Dana Barrett's baby Oscar is wanted by Vigo and Dr. Janosz Poha has the hots for Dana makes it all the more similar.

There are some clever new bits, such as the river of slime which has formed underground which reacts to people's emotions and that after 5 years Venkman still has the hots for Dana giving it a nice semi romantic sub plot. But these are just embellishments which really fail to disguise what at times is just a rewrite of before.

But in a way that doesn't matter because as with "Ghostbusters", "Ghostbusters II" works because it is funny with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis all on fine form and even Ernie Hudson as the fourth Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore gets more time to dish out the laughs. Again there is some cleverness to the humour as well, with the scene featuring the dancing toaster being one of the more memorable fun moments. But sadly there are occasions where the humour is lost and it becomes all too daft, yes I know "Ghostbusters II" is meant to be daft but the big ending is just too much and feels like they struggled to come up with a way to out do the Stay Puff Marshmallow man from the first movie.

Like with Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis, Sigourney Weaver also delivers some fun and it seems this time round they have decided to either play on her obvious sex appeal or use her to pastiche B movie horror as their are scenes where she needlessly removers her top or walks around in a small bath towel, not that I mind. One new character this time is Dr. Janosz Poha played by Peter MacNicol in what can be described like a pale imitation of Rick Moranis's Louis Tully crossed with Martin Short's Franck Eggelhoffer from the "Father of the Bride" movies. It sort of works because MacNicol makes him amusing but it is a weak character.

What this all boils down to is that "Ghostbusters II" is an entertaining movie but compared to the original is lacking the freshness. The trouble is that the storyline does feel like a rehash of the first and has similar scenes coming at similar times. Even so there are some very funny moments and some clever ideas to make it both entertaining and fun.