Ghostbusters II (1989)
Guess who's coming to save the world again?
Anyone not see this one coming? I mean, Seems as good a movie as any to end the year on, considering it takes place at the end of the year it's set in. I could prattle on about this intro for a while like I usually do - but I'd hate to put it off so long it comes out next year! Let's kick it and see if busting still makes you feel good.
Five years have passed since the events of the first Ghostbusters movie, and it seems that their heroic deeds and ghost-busting necessities have been lost to memory and turned into nothing more than a gimmick. They buster crew has all spread out a bit - each fitting themselves into a role that makes sense, such as the scientist going back to experiments, the learner opening an occult store, and the gear getting used more for off-shot party performances to make money on the side. Guess all those bills for damages and law suits go a ways to show how appreciative New York can be towards it's heroes. The once-a-dog love interest also returns, this time having some complications with her baby's stroller taking an unexplained free-roam through the city streets with her baby in tow. As any intelligent person would do, she gets back in contact with the best (and only) proven ghost busters around.
They start to investigate, and through a bit of antics even the off-stragglers end up joining back into the fold to solve the mystery. After inspecting the apartment and baby for any clues and finding none, their investigation leads to the streets where the events occurred which leads to some much more positive results. They rip a hole in the street to investigate their readings further and find under the city a giant sewer filled with slime. They get a sample, but as it turns out the city doesn't like it when people randomly punch holes in their streets, and they get taken to court over the entire endeavor. Our first clues as to the slime arrives here, as during a particularly heated ruling the slime explodes, causing two criminals sentenced to the chair to reappear as ghosts and terrorize the courtroom. Of course, the terrified judge rescinds the rulings so they can legally get back to work and save him, and the first ghost of the movie gets busted.
At the museum, a painting surfaces of one Vigo - a mystical and quite evil cat. He infers his will into the boss that he needs a baby so at the turn of the new year he can possess it and once again live to rule the world. Of course, the target of this happens to be the old love interest that the busters are already investigating, and of course this plan also includes a giant river of slime charged with negative emotions. The slime isn't all that bad though, as we see the more science-inclined busters teaching it to be happy with some fun music and even tinkering around with making a slime-sprayer. When events finally start reaching a boiling point, we finally start seeing our share of ghosts and the busters get to work trying to break into the museum that's now solidified in slime to save the baby and his mother! Will they succeed?
The plot is fun in the fact that it's relatively believable how the heroes are suddenly all just unbelievable. It's not that some of the people don't remember what they did, it's just most the people don't care about them and without all the ghosts floating around and terrorizing people, the people have returned to thinking that maybe they are just frauds. The rest of the plot is as fantastical as ghosts and mood slime can be, but it does keep the mood and fun of the first movie while standing mostly on it's own two feet.
Jokes are abound, both in lines and in actions. It'll be hit and miss, for sure, but that's the nature of comedy. For example, when checking out the abandoned train tracks for an entrance to the slime sewers, they are playing around with echos when the last one get's no echo, instead a resounding "WINSTON" that gets them all scared. Of course, the nature of slime and slime-ing people and objects can be funny to others, and to some extent there's even some science-style jokes out there as well. Music won't play as much a role in the jokes, outside of perhaps the birthday party scene, although audio can come in to help things out.
Actors do a fine job, and the actors once again do a great job of playing off each other. It all flows well, even if some of the characters are a little over-the-top (such as the judge). Some cameo appearances pop in here and there for a line or two, but for the most part if anything had to be the weakest I'd say it'd probably be the villain Vigo, whose lines mostly consist of the same thing or generically evil "rule the world" stuff. He's a step down in threat levels than Gozer, for sure, even if the setup allows a more "power of love and stuff" than the first.
It's a fun flick that most people should enjoy. It might not be as good as the first, but maybe some would say it's better than the first - it's the sort of movie that it's hard to tell. It can be watched without prior knowledge, but would be better if watched after the first was enjoyed - which would also probably tell you if you'd enjoy this movie too, as if you don't like the first you won't like this one either most likely. It's got some comedy, it's got some danger, and it's got some decent effects.