Did you know that there is a new Ghostbusters movie currently in production? It’s supposed to take place in the original’s timeline and feature most of the surviving original cast, as well as new faces to carry most of the action. In other words, an actual sequel! Sequels obviously get fans excited, but with Ghostbusters, it seems like everyone tries to pretend like it doesn’t have a sequel already.
No, this isn’t about the 2016 reimagining. This is about Ghostbusters 2. The movie has a much shadier reputation than the original, but it’s actually much better than you remember. It’s not entirely better than its predecessor, but it is superior in some ways; ten of them, to be precise. Let’s list them!
10 Ghostbusters 2 Has More Jokes
Though most fans have memorized the first movie’s one-liners, they often forget that the second one has just as much great lines. A lot of them still come from Peter Venkman, but this time, the comedic load seems more evenly distributed.
Egon gets some time to shine when we see him at his lab, Ray gets some of the more absurd lines, and Winston finally gets to show his personality. The bigger set pieces are also funnier, giving the movies’ ensemble more time to play off each other. The courtroom scene alone nearly makes the entire film.
9 Ghostbusters 2 Has More Winston
Winston was briefly mentioned in the previous entry, but he deserves more props than that. Ernie Hudson’s performance is one of the strong points of this sequel. Winston is in from the start this time, which means he doesn’t have to spend half of his screen time learning the trade.
Instead, we spend more time learning about his strong work ethic, his personality, and his superb comedic timing. “It’s always the quiet ones”, he says, when Ray confesses to sleeping with the mood slime, and no one could have delivered that line better.
8 Ghostbusters 2 Has More Louis And Janine
Ghostbusters 2 gives a lot more space to work to the supporting characters, and it allows us to see some great performances from actors who only showed us a glimpse of their talent in the original movie. If you though Rick Moranis was funny as a nerdy accountant, wait until you see him become a bumbling lawyer. Similarly, Annie Potts was great as a no-nonsense secretary, but the five years between the movies seem to have awaken something in her character of Janine. She has seen everything by working with the Ghostbusters, she doesn’t care anymore, and the movie is all the better for it.
7 It’s A Great Holiday Movie
Whenever people are asked to list their favorite Holidays movie, you get the usual Christmas-centric films, as well as a few action aficionados that will mention Die Hard. Ghostbusters fans should be prouder of the fact that their beloved franchise can also be enjoyed during the jolly season: Ghostbusters 2 takes place between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The boys can be seen sporting Santa hats in a few scenes, and Vigo’s entire plan centers around the New Year. In fact, the movie’s climax is about around normal folks coming together and celebrating. Let’s give Ghostbusters 2 its rightful place in the Holidays canon.
6 The Soundtrack Is Better
No one will argue that Ray Parker Jr’s classic is the best song ever featured in a Ghostbusters soundtrack. However, the rest of the album is pretty forgettable. You remember the songs because of the musical cues they provide in the movie, but they are not songs you would enjoy by themselves. The Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack, however, is packed with great tunes. Let’s start with Bobby Brown’s certified hit “On Our Own”, as well as his solid companion piece “We’re Back”. There’s also a great Doug E. Fresh rap, as well as a great remix of the original theme by Run DMC. Even Elton John is in there! Overall, it's a much easier listen than the first one.
5 Vigo The Carpathian Is A Great Villain
A 100-feet tall Marshmallow Man is a pretty memorable visual, but most fans seem to forget that Gozer does not show up until the end of Ghostbusters. The rest of the time, the movie only faintly alludes to Zuul and Gozerians, and does not really make sense of everything until the end.
Vigo, on the other end, is built superbly from the start of the movie. His presence can be felt in nearly every scene, and his motivation is clear. Vigo might have less style, but he has a lot more substance.
4 The Special Effects Have Improved
Ghostbusters had some pretty snazzy special effects for 1984, but a lot of the ghosts looked blurry, and the Terror Dog puppet would be almost laughable if its design wasn’t so grotesque. The sequel obviously benefited from the five years of technological advancement. The spooks are clearer, the movie is better lighted, and the film is just generally less of a strain to look at. The river of slime is a great effect, as are the various apparitions in the last act. The Titanic arriving with a bit of a delay is a highlight in itself.
3 Peter MacNicol Nearly Steals The Whole Movie
Breaking from the “original vs sequel” argument, Peter MacNicol provides a reason to enjoy Ghostbusters 2 all on his own. He plays Dr. Janosz Poha with such glee that it becomes a performance for the ages.
It takes a lot to be the funniest person in a movie that has Bill Murray in it, but MacNicol manages to do so. Poha’s vaguely Eastern European accent is hilarious in itself, and the character’s various eccentricities steal every scene he’s in. If it wasn’t for the movie’s undeserved reputation, Janosz Poha would be scene as an all-time great comedic character.
2 It Has A Nice Message
Ghostbusters 2 places the responsibility of the film’s events on everyone living in New York. Vigo is fueled by the river of slime, which is in turn fueled by the negative emotions of the city’s inhabitants. The more you act like a jerk to your neighbour, the more powerful Vigo becomes. It’s only when the New Yorkers can finally come together that Vigo can be weakened and defeated. So be good to each others, everyone!
Come to think of it, Vigo should have planned his return for the middle of a Yankees vs Red Sox series.
1 It's A Great Comeback Story
The first Ghostbusters is a great movie about building something with the help of your friends, but the second one goes in another direction. In the same vein as Rocky 4 or Return of the Jedi, it’s about the underdogs making a comeback and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Seeing the Ghostbusters reeling five years after saving New York leads to many great scenes, such as Peter’s World of the Psychic show, or the courtroom scene following their arrest. It also makes their triumph that much sweeter, with the cool mid-credits scene of the guys finally getting the celebration they deserve.