It's no secret that sequels never quite reach the highs of the original films they're based on. That said, some of them do have their merits. If they manage to recapture the spirit of their predecessors while introducing audiences to fresh new ideas then they have a reason to be and their existence is justified.
Which brings me to Ghostbusters II, a sequel widely recognised as inferior to the first Ghostbusters. Taking place 5 years later, the Ghostbusters, it turns out, have been screwed over by the city they once saved and are now appearing at kids' birthday parties etc. I guess it didn't take too long to re-trap all those loose ghosts from the first movie... The film basically sees everyone get back together Blues Brothers-style to battle a brand new villain and re-earn the city's approval.
It's a lot of fun to see these guys again and the team's chemistry is still as strong as ever. Peter MacNichol pops up as ghost painting demon Vigo's kinda henchman/slave: he's completely over-the-top and very entertaining. Back from the first film are Rick Moranis' Louis, who finally becomes a Ghostbuster right at the end of the film, and secretary Janine (Annie Potts) whose lust for Egon strangely becomes a full-on sexual thirst for poor old Louis. Sigourney Weaver is also back and although her involvement this time in the main plot is a tad more forced, she's still a worthy part of the team.
Along with Vigo, the Ghostbusters face a river of pink slime flowing under New York City that's supposedly made out of all the negative energy the city's accumulated over the years. For some reason, the river creates ghosts once in a while... Not sure how that works but just go with it. I mean, it's not like the whole Zuul and Gozer thing made any sense to begin with! The reason for the river of slime is a bit messy, granted, but it's a likably goofy concept which lends itself to a lot of crazy, completely enjoyable moments including the Ghostbusters taking over the Statue Of Liberty and controlling it using an NES Advantage.
I guess being a sequel, Ghostbusters II inherently doesn't feel completely new, hence why the first film is always more fondly remembered but I for one find both films equally worthy and just as good. Neither are 100% perfect, neither make complete sense. But that's not why you sign up to a film called Ghostbusters, you sign up to see a bunch of funny dudes in overalls kick ghost ass to the sound of that annoyingly catchy theme song and both films deliver completely in that respect.
Seeing the film again confirms what I've always felt: Ghostbusters II is underrated. I always enjoy the hell out of it and it really is a sequel worth checking out.
I ain't afraid of no sequel.