Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Although it’s largely remembered as an inferior sequel to the classic original, I’ve always had a soft spot for “Ghostbusters 2.” Maybe it’s because it’s the first movie I ever saw in theaters and I have fond memories of seeing it with my dad and brother, but I absolutely dig watching it every single time I do. As far as I’m concerned, everything works pretty well here: The screenplay has some solid one-liners, the special effects are charming as all hell, and the comfortable chemistry among the returning cast adds to a relaxed vibe that’s unusual for a big-budget blockbuster sequel. It’s true that Bill Murray is a bit on the somnambulant side as Venkman this time around, but even on autopilot there’s enough good will left over from the first movie for him to make it palatable, and at least his co-stars make up for it (in particular Peter MacNicol, who gleefully goes all-in as Janosz like nothing could be more fun, and walks away with the movie in the process). The story’s a bit on the dopey side but there’s something kind of innocent and naive about it that makes it work, and it helps that the music selection is as fun and distinct as the first movie’s awesomely 80s soundtrack, so you just lean back and go with it. My one gripe is that the movie doesn’t seem to know what to do with Sigourney Weaver, and it’s particularly disappointing that she’s so underused here after being such a striking presence in the original.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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