Ghostbusters II (1989)

After the end of the first film, you’d think the Ghostbusters would be heroes for life. However, they’ve been sued out of existence and are barely able to get back together in time to stop a whole new evil, Vigo the Carpathian, who is trapped inside a painting that Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) is restoring along with her boss, Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol, a bright spot here).

Yes, Dana went from playing the cello at a high level to being an art expert of the same caliber. Obviously, we’re dealing with a Buckaroo Banzai level individual here.

This film never lived up to the original for audience, critics or the people who made it. It took five years of rough gestation to even get to the screen, which needed suits, agents and even a lunch for the stars to decide whether or not they wanted to work together.

Vigo is pretty great though. While his voice comes from Max Von Sydow, he was played by Wilhelm von Homburg, a German boxer, wrestler and weight lifter who also shows up in The Last of the Secret Agents?Die HardThe Wrecking Crew and In the Mouth of Madness. This Deadspin account of his life is pretty astounding, telling the story of a man who lived for excess and may have even fathered his own half-sister.

Remember how I said in a past review that Ghostbusters has no hero’s journey for its characters? Well, they’ve done the third — and hardest — act off-screen, as now Ray (Dan Aykroyd) owns an occult bookstore and works a side job with Winston (Ernie Hudson) doing kid birthday parties, Egon (Harold Ramis) works in a lab and Venkman (Bill Murray) hosts a ridiculous psychic TV show.

Luckily, everything works out despite a river of slime. Rick Moranis returns as Louis Tully and Annie Potts comes back as Janine Melnitz, ready to fall for Egon.

Sure, this is nowhere as good as the first, but that Bobby Brown song sure is catchy. Actually, they could make several of these films and I’d watch them all. I even made it through the toss away the past reimagining.

2 thoughts on “Ghostbusters II (1989)

  1. That’s an interesting point; the new doc describes how Ernie Hudson’s lines were shifted to Venkman, I guess that crosses the streams, quite literally, in that neither has a clear narrative path…


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