It’s a bit weird how some of the most prominent studios can make some incredibly large mistakes. There’s a bunch of different examples of this, perhaps the biggest one can be found in recent years with the release of Wonder Woman 1984. Studios constantly make sequels, and threequels when they aren’t needed, only to extract a bit more money from the audience. This was the case with Ghostbusters II, which brought back the story of characters that didn’t need their stories told anymore.
How to Stream or Download Ghostbusters II
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button that is located below this review.
The Movie Review
After saving the world in Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler are sued by the state of New York in Ghostbusters II. Despite that visible act of heroism, their work is marginalized and instead of being renowned heroes, they are made to be the cause of destruction in New York and forced to retire. Though that doesn’t last very long as a new threat emerges right after the shape-shifting Gozer’s demise, and the Ghostbusters have to jump right back out of retirement to save the world once more.
This plot doesn’t make much sense is one of the main issues here, it is so inconsistently written with so many errors in terms of world-building and character development. Not to be overly nitpicky, Ghostbusters II is still one of the pinnacles of entertainment.
It does everything right when it comes to its fantastic narrative-driven style of comedy, and keeps the story pushing forward with the same jokes and cynicism that we expected after the original. Though when you put that off, and you watch it as a film overall, it lacks a lot of consistency.
There is nothing to gain from watching this film aside from the sheer entertainment factor. There is no emotion to these characters that we had come to love, no arcs that showcase how they’ve grown as people.
They get retired and they start working different sorts of odd jobs until they are forced out of retirement from their Paranormal Research business and thrown right back into saving the world. It’s a funny plot for a funny film, but it lacks the emotional depth that the original film had managed to procure.
The acting here is still absolutely fantastic though. Bill Murray is a miracle worker here, making sure to carry this film on his back with the fantastic comedic timing and the chemistry he creates with his co-stars. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Weaver deliver fantastic performances as their enigmatic characters of Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler.
However, the newest addition to the Ghostbusters roster is Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore, and he is an absolute wonder! Zeddemore is the heart of the crew in this film and the newbie is portrayed to comedic perfection by Ernie Hudson. The punchlines are snappy, the dialogue is funny and the personality has depth.
Though in creating the depth for Ernie’s character, the director kind of forgot to deliver depth to the rest of the world. It feels drab in comparison to the lively world of Ghostbusters, there aren’t many characters that feel essential to its themes aside from the main quad-crew.
Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett was meant to add more emotion to this film but as it stands, it really falls flat due to it not being explored enough, or at all honestly. The visual effects are a large improvement over the original though, the combination of both the practical effects and the computer-generated graphics was a massive leap due to the ever-evolving technology in the late 80s and early 90s.
The Bottom Line
Ghostbusters II is an entertaining film at its worst, it’s a film that has some of the best practical effects, computer-generated graphics, visual effects, and camera work in any blockbuster from the 80s. However, while the actors do their jobs wonderfully, it’s hard to fall in love with the characters as the story chooses not to focus on them too much.
Instead, the film’s narrative revolves around what is happening, rather than what is happening to the characters and what they’re feeling through these moments. It’s a fun film, but not one that you will remember for anything but the sheer thrill of watching it.
- Fantastic acting, the actors have perfected comedic timing.
- Snappy dialogue.
- Industry grade computer graphics, visual effects, and the best practical effects of its time.
- Lacks emotional depth, characters are sidelined for jokes.
- The plot is weak and doesn’t focus on the characters but rather on the world.
- Dana Burnett’s arc doesn’t add much to the film due to not being focused on.