When there’s something strange in your neighbourhood?
Who you gonna call?
I aint afraid of no ghosts.
As my last review was on Ghostbusters, tis only logical that I review its sequel next. In Ghostbusters 2, set five years after the original, the four Ghostbusters have been driven out of business after being sued for the damage they did to New York in the last film. Winston Zeddemore and Ray Stanz are now unpopular children’s entertainers, Egon Spengler is back pursuing a full-time science career and Peter Venkmen is the host of a TV show. However, when it becomes clear that the spirit of the Moldovan spirit of Vigo the Carpathian has become trapped inside a portrait and is trying to break free to possess a child and return in human form, this is enough to bring the Ghostbusters out of retirement.
The strong comedic element of the first film continues well within its sequel. Again, there are some good uses of physical comedy and some witty dialogue, most notably when Venkmen is trying to rekindle things with Sigournery Weaver’s character Dana Barrett, his love interest from the first film. Especially, compared to the first film, I really enjoyed the darker and more horrific direction that the sequel took. Whereas in the first film, I felt that the ghosts to some extent were portrayed as no more than mischievous poltergeists, the ghosts were a lot more malevolent and threatening within Ghostbusters 2. For example, some of the first ghosts present in the film are the spirits of two executed criminals, which already set quite a dark precedent for the film. I also quite liked Vigo the Carpathian as a villain.
Compared to the demonic god Gozer, the fact that Vigo was the spirit of a tyrannical and homicidal human made him far more of an intimidating and threatening antagonist. I felt that his menace and malice was emphasised the most, in perhaps, the scariest and horrific shot of the film: when Stanz and Zeddemore are in the sewers together and are suddenly surrounded by severed heads. This came as a shock for me. I also liked the character of Lewis a lot more in this film, mainly because he had a lot more to do, than being the nerdy, insecure guy who had a crush on Dana Barrett.
Unfortunately the character of Lewis was replaced by an even more annoying character: Dr. Janosz Poha, the curator of the gallery where Vigo’s portrait is being restored and is subsequently possessed by Vigo. Janosz is just as annoying and insecure in this film, as Lewis is in the first film. Plus, like the first film, Ghostbusters 2 wasn’t hilarious. Sure, it generated a few chuckles here and there, but nothing pant-wettingly funny.
Whilst, I much preferred the villain in this film, I still felt that it wasn’t as funny as the first Ghostbusters. That, notwithstanding, the film certainly had a good portion of action.