Ghostbusters II (1989)

ghostbusters ii poster 1989 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some fun moments

Not up to the level of the first film

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghostbusters II

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  June 16, 1989

MPAA Rating:  PG


Sometimes I feel like these kids watching this movie…disappointment

The years have not been kind to the Ghostbusters.  Blamed for much of the problem that happened in their battle with Gozer, Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) find themselves performing for children’s birthday parties, Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) continues his studies, and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) is the host of a low-budget show dealing with psychic phenomenon.  When Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) worries her son Oscar is being targeted by spirits.  The Ghostbusters must reform to battle an evil brewing below New York City in the form of a river of ectoplasmic slime.  The slime is building and the power of an ancient evil wizard named Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg) who hope to escape his prison.


If you thought that lady at the end of the first movie was the even weaker Vigo!

Directed by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters II is the comedy-horror follow-up to the blockbuster hit Ghostbusters of 1984.  The movie was met with average to negative reviews and the film did not fare as well as the original at the box-office.

Ghostbusters was a massive success that became a classic and a piece of cinema culture (who cannot recognize the Ghostbuster logo?)  After Ghostbusters, the cartoon TV series The Real Ghostbusters continued the characters adventures (with the addition of Slimer), and that series spawned toys and action figures.  With the success of the first movie and cartoon, the studio wanted a sequel despite the cast’s less than enthusiastic participation.



The story of Ghostbusters II didn’t really change much…to a fault.  The Ghostbusters aren’t believed at the beginning of the film (just like the last one) and they have to come to the aid of Dana who this time finds her child threatened instead of herself.  The Ghostbusters find success and end up parading through the streets in the Statue of Liberty with the support of the people to battle the demon…not unlike the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man and Gozer…It all feels like rehash with a less plausible and less fun script.


I was fun in the first one, a side kick in the cartoon, and make no sense here…

The actors also don’t seem as into Ghostbusters II as they were with the original.  Ghostbusters was snappy and the actors really seem to be having fun.  Here Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Hudson seem to be going through the motions (although it is nice Winston is finally a full Ghostbuster instead of just the driver).  Wilhelm von Homburg just isn’t a solid villain (his lines were dubbed by Max von Sydow) and Peter MacNicol feels like a poor Rick Moranis substitute…plus, for younger viewers you have cameos by Slimer and bigger roles for Janine (Annie Potts) and Louis (Rick Moranis).  The film also features appearances by Cheech Marin, Philip Baker Hall, Ben Stein, Bobby Brown (who performed the theme song), Ivan Reitman son (and future director) Jason Reitman, and Billy Murray’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray.


Ok…that doesn’t even look good.

The movie doesn’t look as good as the first film despite the advancement of technology when it was released.  The ghosts are consistent with the original movie (that is a smart move…it wouldn’t have made sense for them to look “better”).  The end sequence with the Statue of Liberty doesn’t even make sense since the movie states that the slime only makes things “bounce” and jiggle when coated with it…and that the Statue of Liberty isn’t equipped with anything to make her walk and swing its arms.

Ghostbusters II was a poor follow-up to a great movie.  It isn’t the worse movie you’ll see and kids will probably like it, but if you have a choice, just stick with the original classic.  Even after the so-so response to Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters III has always been a rumor.  In 2016, the relaunch (simply entitled Ghostbusters) was released to high criticism…but apparently everyone forgot that this movie was not that great either.

Related Links:

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters (2016)

The Real Ghostbusters—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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