There are great sequels. There are sequels that expand, deepen and enrich upon the original. Then there are sequels that defecate, piss and vomit upon the original. There are sequels that take everything that is holy about the original and destroy it. And then there are sequels that are a practical re-run of the first and just make you go 'meh'. 'Ghostbusters 2' is just such a sequel.Despite saving New York form being eaten by the ancient god Zuul, the ghostbusters have fallen on hard times. After being sued for mass destruction of public property, they're broke and business has folded. Egon (Harold Ramis) is working in research again, Ray (Dan Akroyd) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) have resorted to becoming childrens entertainers when the children would much rather have He-Man entertain them, and Pete (Bill Murray) is a two-bit tv show host. Dana Barret (Sigourney Weaver) meanwhile is a single mother and working in an art restoration gallery. But her job is about to be disturbed by the arrival of the Carpathian warlord Viggo imprisoned in a painting.
Isn't that just the way? You just get back on your feet and along comes the ghost of a bloodthirsty barbarian who wants to invade the body of your cute ickle baby to reincarnate himself. Sheesh, talk about bad luck...And just to make the hurry for the ghostbusters to reunite just that little bit quicker, there's a river of slime flowing through the sewers causing an uprise in violence.
Technically, there's no reason why this shouldn't be as good as the first. It's not an over-inflated special effects-fest, everyone has returned and gives comfortable performances, the story makes sense and the villains very snarly. But ultimately that's the problem - it's too similiar to first time around. It's lost the zest and flash that the first one had and everything just feels like a lame retread. There's set-pieces that look effective (the dead prisoners in court and a ghost nanny), but they're nowhere near as effective or atmospheric as the first capture of Slimer or the appearance of the Hell Hounds in the first. There's nothing as scary here as the ghostly librarian in the first, and nothing as funny here as the "Yes it's true. This man has no dick" line.
It's an attempt to recapture the elemental fun of the first, but it's not scary enough, funny enough or plain fun enough. It's noticeable that Murray doesn't seem as interested this time round and seems quite bored in places. And while the walking Statue of Liberty is a great gimmick, it'll have you fondly recalling the StayPuft Marshmallow Man instead of raising your excitement levels. So while there's nothing intrinsically wrong with this sequel, there's none of the danger of the first (Viggo isn't a patch on Zuul as a villain).'Ghostbusters 2' does avoid the cardinal sin of sequels, by not being a total disgrace or embarassment to the first. It's in no way bad, and is actually quite fun if you're in an undemanding mood. But was 'quite fun' and 'undemanding' how anyone described the first film? No. And that's the problem with this sequel in a nutshell.