Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Essentials- "Ghostbusters 2" (1989)

The Essentials-#74
Ghostbusters 2
I can understand why people don't like sequels. Heck, I will be the first to tell you how much I dislike the sequel culture. I could tell you how silly I find the need to turn everything into a franchise. I also hate how if something doesn't stick, its okay, we can just reboot it twenty years later. Why do we spend so much money on movies that are just reflections of films we have seen already. So many sequels do nothing except tread that I just don't understand the need to make them sometimes. Every once in awhile though, we get a sequel worth talking about, something that improves or even entertains us, just like the first film did.
I would say that "Ghostbusters 2" did tread some water, and at times it does feel like the first movie all over again. But, there is something entertaining about it. I love the scene where the Ghostbusters are traveling through New York City inside the Statue of Liberty. I think the scene when slime starts coming out of the bathtub is ultra-freaky. I think Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray make this film, and I love that Ernie Hudson was given more to do with Winston Zeddemore. I like that this film has more personal stakes, not saying that saving a city (and the world) isn't important, but when you can relate to greater stakes, it makes the film better. "Ghostbusters 2" may not be able to compare to his predecessor in many ways, but it sure was entertaining.
When we meet the Ghostbusters in the sequel, they are being sued for property damage and forced by the city to close shop. They each find different occupations and Peter Venkman (Murray) in particular keeps up with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who has a son named Oscar from a previous marriage. The original Ghostbusters are living their lives until Oscar is harmed by the paranormal. Dana has no other choice but to turn to the Ghostbusters for help, throwing them back into anther adventure.
The source of the evil comes from Dana new job at the city museum. She is no longer a cellist, because she needs to take care of Oscar, daddy is not in the picture. Vigo the Carpathian is a 16th Century tyrant and magician who is trapped in a painting at the museum Dana works at. Vigo has possessed Dana's collegue Dr. Poha (Peter McNichol) and forces him to find a baby Vigo can transfer himself into, so that he can walk the Earth again.
Once again, the cast is colorful and awesome. The work by Ramis, Aykroyd, Hudson and Murray is diabolically good. These guys made this franchise, and they made it special. I love that Rick Moranis returned and was given a particularly wonderful scene. The work by McNichol is silly at times, but he find the quirkiness of character and carefully etches in the details. I liked Weaver once again this time out, as I did Anne Potts. Kurt Fuller shows up as Jack, a Walter Peck stand-in for the movie. He does well here, and does his best to not come off like a cliché.
Mix great performances with some uncanny humor and crude special effects work and you've got a sequel worth being proud of. I can't wait for these movies to hit the bluray stands.

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