Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
Ghostbusters 2 delivers very few laughs or charm from the previous film. The entire cast almost feels like they’re simply going through the motions to get a film out and a paycheck. Which is sad because the first film was so promising. Chalk it up to the studios wanting to cash in on the first film’s popularity. Even Bill Murray was disappointed with how GB2 turned out and I definitely echo his sentiment.
The film picks up five years after Ghostbusters. Dana (Sigourney Weaver) and Venkman (Murray) have, thankfully, parted ways. Dana is now a single mother of super adorable baby Oscar. Ray (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) now perform their Ghostbusters schlock to whiny and picky children at birthday parties and Spengler (Harold Ramis) works at a university exploring human emotions. Ray also owns his own occult bookshop. After the events of five years ago, they’ve been banned from investigating the paranormal by New York’s mayor but when the supernatural sets their sights on Dana once again, they’re pulled back into their business so they can prevent another outbreak of evil.
As I said earlier, GB2 really lacks the laughs and the charm of its predecessor which is sad because it had the possibility of being so much more than a tiny bit more complicated rehash of the first film. You know, blah blah ghosts. Blah blah ancient evil. Blah blah, Dana being a damsel in distress again. It’s, honestly, a pretty big mess of things that the audience has already seen before. Thankfully, at least the story made sense and was linear. So many sequels often fall into the nonsensical trap and while this story had its moments, at least it did improve characterization a bit.
Dana got away from Venkman. Thank goodness for that. Yes, they rekindle their relationship by the end of the film but one thing is for certain: Venkman is not nearly the sexist pig he was previously. I didn’t have to resist the urge to punch him each time he came on the screen. And, while Dana is still a bit of a damsel in distress, she’s not nearly the background character she was in Ghostbusters. Dana takes control of her situation. She approaches Spengler and Ray for their help. She is doing everything she can to protect her son, Oscar. Granted that’s a bit of a motherly instinct but at least she’s there and she’s integral to the investigation. The important thing is is that Weaver was given much more of a role in this film over the last. Thank goodness because she’s an amazing actress that deserves much more.
As for everyone other than Venkman, they’ve really stayed the same. There wasn’t this evolution with Ray, Spengler, and Winston which I was kind of upset about. I wish the writers would have explored Ray and Winston’s friendship a lot more. I also wish they would’ve fleshed out Spengler as well. There is so much they could’ve done that was sacrificed for chasing ghosts and ridding the world of evil once again.
Unfortunately, despite the popularity of the Ghostbusters brand, nothing could save this sequel from money-hungry studio producers. Which, as I said, is a shame. Ghostbusters set up something great but the sequel just lets everything (including the audience) down.