Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American fantasy comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Rick Moranis. The sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, it sees the Ghostbusters reunite to combat a new threat to New York City.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ivan Reitman|
|Produced by||Ivan Reitman|
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Budget||$37 million|
|Box office||$215.4 million|
Despite mixed reviews, Ghostbusters II grossed $112.5 million in the United States and $215.4 million worldwide, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 1989. A reboot, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call was released on July 15, 2016, while a direct sequel, Ghostbusters 3, is scheduled to be released on July 10, 2020.
After saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer, the Ghostbusters are sued for property damage and barred from investigating the supernatural, forcing them out of business. Five years later, Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore and works as a children's entertainer with Winston Zeddemore, Egon Spengler works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion, and Peter Venkman hosts a psychic television show. Peter's ex-girlfriend Dana Barrett has had a son, Oscar, with an ex-husband, and works at an art museum.
After Oscar's carriage is drawn to a busy intersection by an unseen force, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help. Dana's boss Janosz Poha is possessed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a sixteenth-century legendary tyrant trapped in a painting in the museum. Vigo orders Poha to locate a child that Vigo can possess, allowing him to return to life.
Under the intersection where Oscar's carriage was possessed, the Ghostbusters discover a river of slime filling the abandoned Beach Pneumatic Transit line. After obtaining a sample, Ray is attacked by the slime and accidentally causes a citywide blackout. The Ghostbusters are arrested and found guilty of investigating the supernatural. In the court room, the slime taken as evidence reacts to the judge's angry outburst and releases the ghosts of two deceased convicts. The Ghostbusters capture the ghosts in exchange for the restraining order being rescinded.
The slime invades Dana's apartment and attacks her and Oscar. She seeks refuge with Peter, and the two renew their relationship. The Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts to emotions, and suspect that it has been generated by the negative attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner, Egon, Ray, and Winston explore the underground river of slime. They are pulled into the river and escape coated in slime. They begin arguing, and Egon realizes that they are being influenced by the slime. They learn the river flows to the museum.
The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed. The mayor's assistant, Jack Hardemeyer, has them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor's interests. A spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter's apartment, and Dana pursues them to the museum. After she enters, the museum is covered with a barrier of impenetrable slime.
On New Year's Eve, the slime rises to the streets, causing widespread paranormal activity. The mayor fires Hardemeyer and has the Ghostbusters released. Determining that they need a symbol of positivity to rally the citizens and weaken the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged slime to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace. At the museum, the slime recedes and they use the Statue's torch to break through the ceiling.
Janosz is neutralized with positively-charged slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts to possess Oscar. A chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" by the citizens outside weakens Vigo, returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, and the other Ghostbusters attack him. Louis attacks the weakened slime barrier with a proton stream of his own. Vigo is destroyed, and the painting transforms into a likeness of the Ghostbusters protecting Oscar. The Ghostbusters receive a standing ovation from the onlookers and the Key to the City from the mayor.
- Bill Murray as Peter Venkman
- Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz
- Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett
- Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler
- Rick Moranis as Louis Tully
- Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore
- Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz
- Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha
- Harris Yulin as Judge Stephen Wexler
- Janet Margolin as Kitten
- David Margulies as Mayor Lenny Clotch
- Kurt Fuller as Jack Hardemeyer
- William T. Deutschendorf and Hank J. Deutschendorf II as Baby Oscar
- Wilhelm von Homburg as Vigo
- Ivan Reitman as the voice of Slimer
Some notable cast members in the film include one of Bill Murray's siblings, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the psychiatric doctor, Dan Aykroyd's niece, Karen Humber, who played one of the school children, and Ben Stein, who played a public works official for the mayor. Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, plays the boy who insults the Ghostbusters at a birthday party. Cheech Marin is the dock supervisor who witnesses the arrival of the Titanic, and Philip Baker Hall is the city police chief. Bobby Brown is the doorman to Gracie Mansion when the Ghostbusters go to see the Mayor of New York City (also performing on the soundtrack). The physical role of Vigo was played by Wilhelm von Homburg, and his dialog was dubbed by Max von Sydow.
After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressed the producers to make a sequel. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects. Eventually, they agreed and created a script.
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At its release, Ghostbusters II was the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history with $29.5 million, a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40.5 million). Ghostbusters II eventually grossed $112.4 million in North America and $102.9 million internationally for a total of $215.3 million worldwide.
The film received an approval rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 5.32/10. The site's consensus reads, "Thanks to the cast, Ghostbusters 2 is reasonably amusing, but it lacks the charm, wit, and energy of its predecessor." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Variety said the film had amusing visuals and a clever plot.
On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture two thumbs down, disappointed that the film did not try anything new and like many sequels, merely re-treated the first film. Siskel stated "The film contains little comic invention. It looks as if the filmmakers, particularly the writers, simply didn't try to do anything special. As if they simply filmed the first draft." Ebert stated that he saw the movie in a theater in Michigan and out of a packed house, there was only one laugh. Murray remarked how disappointed he was with it all as "Those special-effects guys took over. It was too much of the slime and not enough of us".
Ghostbusters II was released on DVD on March 14, 2006. It was released on Blu-Ray on September 16, 2014, followed by a 4K UHD Blu-Ray release on June 7, 2016.
A great deal of merchandise (such as coloring books) came out with the release of this film. As was the case with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, the makers of this material may have wanted to avoid likeness fees and as a result, the main characters in these bear little resemblance to any other version of the characters.
As a tie-in with the release of the movie, approximately 3,100 Hardee’s fast food restaurants offered a kids meal-deal that included a toy called the "Ghostblaster", a small noisemaker embossed with the movie’s signature logo on one side and made different sounds when one of two buttons were activated. However, officials at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed that the toy posed a potential choking hazard to small children because the toy was operated with small watch-sized batteries and recalled at least 2 million units.
Comic book adaptationEdit
During this period, The Real Ghostbusters comic book produced by NOW Comics ran a three-part adaptation of the film, using the cartoon character designs instead of the likenesses of the actors. The overall story received minor alterations to run as a three-part series, and includes several scenes that were in the shooting script but were not included in the released movie. An example is a scene set after their first visit at the museum (and Ray's first encounter with Vigo). In this scene, Ray is momentarily possessed while driving the Ecto-1A, and as a result tries to crash the car and kill the Ghostbusters. They soon bring Ray around to his senses after speeding through New York streets, and he apologizes, unable to account for his actions. They never connect it to Vigo since, while possessed, Ray never mentions him. The comic panels further reinforce the movie's scene where Ray is briefly hypnotized by Vigo (leading to him being chosen as a host at the end).
|Soundtrack album by |
|Genre||New jack swing, R&B, rap|
|Ghostbusters soundtrack chronology|
|Singles from Ghostbusters II|
|Original Soundtrack Album|
|1.||"On Our Own"||L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons||Bobby Brown||4:54|
|2.||"Supernatural"||Jellybean Johnson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis||New Edition||4:34|
|3.||"The Promised Land"||Bobby Caldwell, Paul Gordon||James "J.T." Taylor||4:17|
|4.||"We're Back"||Bobby Brown, Dennis Austin, Larry White, Kirk Crumple Original||Bobby Brown||5:10|
|5.||"Spirit"||Doug E. Fresh, Bernard Wright||Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew||5:03|
|6.||"Ghostbusters"||Ray Parker, Jr.||Run-D.M.C.||4:10|
|7.||"Flesh 'N Blood"||Danny Elfman||Oingo Boingo||4:17|
|8.||"Love is a Cannibal"||Elton John, Bernie Taupin||Elton John||3:54|
|9.||"Flip City"||Glenn Frey, Hawk Wolinski||Glenn Frey||5:12|
|10.||"Higher and Higher"||Gary Jackson, Carl Smith, Raynard Miner||Howard Huntsberry||4:09|
The film also features the original versions of "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. and "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson, though neither appears on the soundtrack album.
The album was made available in digital form on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
Reboot and sequelEdit
In 1999, Dan Aykroyd wrote a script for a possible third film, Ghostbusters III: Hellbent. In 2004, Murray said that he did not want to appear in a third Ghosbusters film and the cast considered replacing him with Ben Stiller.
In 2014, after Harold Ramis's death, Ivan Reitman abandoned the project. Film directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were in talks to direct the film, but passed on the project, leading to its cancellation. In August 2014, Paul Feig revealed that he was in talks to direct a third film in the franchise, but with women in the lead roles. The reboot, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call was released on July 15, 2016. In November 2018, Aykroyd said that the script for Ghostbusters 3 was still being written, saying there was "a possibility of a reunion with the three remaining Ghostbusters".
On January 15, 2019, Entertainment Weekly reported that a new Ghostbusters film is in development set in the original universe with Reitman's son Jason directing and writing the film alongside Gil Kenan with Reitman also producing for a 2020 release.
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