Written by / 6/04/2016 / No comments / , ,

A SEMI NOSTALGIC REVIEW OF GHOSTBUSTERS II

Working On The Old Familiar Sign
"One day," says Ernie Hudson's fourth Ghostbuster, Winston, in GHOSTBUSTERS 2, "these kids," referring to a party where he and Ray Stanz, played by film creator Dan Aykroyd, are desperately performing for. "They won't even know who we are!"

That's true and untrue. Oh we remember. And how. Especially with the female reboot a month away from hitting theaters. But it's the classic original, a big budget phenom that acquired everlasting cult status because, like JAWS or STAR WARS, it could have easily not worked – like this sequel, for instance: As most know, Breaking the Fourth Wall refers to a character looking into the camera (the audience perspective of any setting is that of the phantom structure's side we don't see) or simply smiling or winking. In this case, it's shattered audibly as the Ray Parker Jr. hit song blares from a "Ghetto Blaster" while those party kids, instead of yelling "Ghostbusters" following the song's buildup, "Who You Gonna Call?", scream repeatedly, "He-Man! He-Man!"

Dick Miller's job
That's a sort of premonition for this movie's villain, a comic book heavy if ever there was one; although he's the subject of a (in this world) famous painting of a deranged wizardly barbarian, the piece cleaned up by Sigourney Weaver's returning starlet as he, aided by the new Rick Moranis, a token nerd smitten with the tall ALIEN scream queen, becomes pivotal in connecting all things evil to spring forth on Manhattan...

Not that the maligned sequel is entirely useless. One scene, as three of the Busters see an old fashion train underground (and not a subway) is creative, opening potential doors for perhaps more investigative adventure instead of an attempt at joke-a-minute banter – more of the pulpy Weird Tales the writers probably grew up on... But any kind of journey ends too soon while the humor, actually more centered on Dan and Harold throwing bizarre occult references and scientific terminology around as if to hear themselves out loud, just isn't there.

Heavy
Bill Murray's sarcastic Peter Venkman ruled the original, his lines reworked as originally intended for John Belushi by his comedic straight man/partner, Aykroyd – the late Harold Ramis, who gave Bill words in MEATBALLS, CADDYSHACK and STRIPES beforehand, not only fills the proverbial bassline as the ultimate monotone science geek, "Egon", he gave Bill the key to steal everything, intentionally. But here, in part 2, Murray seems like he's already hungover before the party's even begun. His lines are as flat and dull as his delivery lacks punch, and, as a whole, the story's not even worth that much by the time the finale, trying to outdo the iconic Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, closes in.

One great moment... A rich lady's furs striking back... 
This is one of those sequels that, as hardcore fans anticipate detesting the Reboot, have to either forget or face that it could actually be even worse than what's been anticipated since BRIDESMAIDS director Paul Feig broke the news a little while back. And so, GHOSTBUSTERS 2, even with the quick return of Rick Moranis, Annie Potts and the Green Ghost Slimer (based on John Belushi's ANIMAL HOUSE Bluto), just doesn't try hard enough to be something all its own, beginning, through a lazy burst of expository dialogue, the way SON OF KONG did in 1933: the man who brought the Giant Ape to the Big Apple is being sued for the initial havoc caused. It's never good to open a followup by undoing the very thing that made the original shine. The Ghostbusters were accidental heroes now turned vapid zeroes, going through motions without any motion at all.
"She was married to Citizen Kane when this was filmed" No Rick, they were divorced! FILM RATING: **
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