Ghostbusters II ★★★

I was supposed to go to Iroquois Amphitheater for a free screening of The Muppets Take Manhattan but it was pretty stormy throughout the night so my friend and I elected to do an in-home movie night. She had never seen Ghostbusters until we saw it at Iroquois in June. We decided that the right Plan B was for her to finish off the Ghostbusters duology.

There is a palpable sense that Ghosbusters II was made because Sony wanted another blockbuster and the guys agreed to do it as long as they could make the movie for themselves. In the end, both sides got their way...and neither side really got what they wanted.

It's easy to imagine the cast and crew busting a gut at a lot of the different scenes in Ghostbusters II. Bill Murray almost feels like he's crashed their movie shoot and hijacked the camera just for the fun of it. His manic energy drives the movie and it's difficult to resist laughing at a lot of his quips (though I could have done without the xenophobic "You'll never get a green card with that attitude"). The camaraderie is the real appeal of this film and that stuff is enjoyable.

Where Ghostbusters II gets into trouble is really not until its final act. There's a sense of trying too hard to be an action movie blockbuster, plus the antagonism with the mayor's aid (Kurt Fuller) just feels like a generic rehash of what we saw in the first film between the boys and the EPA. Vigo isn't a particularly interesting character, though I have to say they did a great job with having him operate through the painting.

My friend laughed several times at the movie because she made the connection that Ghostbusters II was the basis for Luigi's Mansion. I've never played that game, but her description was enough to convince me that I really should play it at some point if only so that I can bask in the absurdity of a video game starring Luigi based on Ghostbusters II.

Ghostbusters II has a lousy reputation. I can't say that it's entirely undeserved - a lot of it is lazy or forced, etc. - but I do think it's more enjoyable than many have admitted. It set out to make me laugh and it accomplished that. In my world, that's a win.

Ghostbusters II Re-Ranked on My Flickchart (#614/1517)

Ghostbusters II > How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days --> #614
I liked the premise of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days well enough. McConaughey is fun to watch and has nice chemistry with Kate Hudson, but I'm going with Ghostbusters II. Bustin' makes me feel good.

Ghostbusters II < Get Him to the Greek --> #614
The objective of both of these movies was the same: to make me laugh. Both succeeded, but Get Him to the Greek succeeded more strongly.

Ghostbusters II < Duck Amuck --> #614
Ghostbusters II is admittedly flawed, but it makes me laugh and I like it. Duck Amuck also makes me laugh and it isn't flawed. Ergo, it wins.

Ghostbusters II < Spider-Man --> #665
About the only thing I dislike about Spider-Man is Willem Dafoe's ridiculous Green Goblin costume. Ghostbusters II is likable enough, but not as satisfying.

Ghostbusters II < Gulliver's Travels --> #712
I'm going on my memory of watching Gulliver's Travels when it originally aired as I've not seen it since, but I was pretty impressed by its scale and sense of fun. Ghostbusters II makes me laugh, but it isn't a favorite.

Ghostbusters II > Anger Management --> #712
The premise of Anger Management is appealing, as is the Sandler/Nicholson dynamic, but it just becomes a chore to finish watching. Ghostbusters II never really hits a truly high point, but it doesn't make me check the time.

Ghostbusters II > Clueless --> #712
If I ever get around to rewatching Clueless, I may discover I prefer it. Until then, though, this is a win for Ghostbusters II.

Ghostbusters II > A Garfield Christmas --> #712
In general, I would pick Garfield > Ghostbusters, but A Garfield Christmas isn't especially grand. Neither is Ghostbusters II, but it makes me laugh.

Ghostbusters II > Psycho --> #712
I know it's cinematic heresy, but I just have not been able to really get completely into Hitchcock. I liked Psycho well enough, but I don't get all the love for it. Ghostbusters II isn't great, but it amuses me.

Ghostbusters II > Unforgiven --> #712
At some point, I need to revisit Unforgiven. It didn't really engage me the first time I saw it. Until I see it again, though, this is a win for Ghostbusters II for making me laugh.

Ghostbusters II > Ewoks: The Battle for Endor --> #712
I liked both of these about the same. I'd be more apt to rewatch Ghostbusters II, though, and on that basis it gets the nod.

Ghostbusters II was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #712/1517