Ghostbusters II

 
Slime-soaked sequel still has spirit and laughs.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ghostbusters try their hardest to bring out the best in New Yorkers, defeating negative energy with positive.

Positive role models

The good guys here may be a bit rough around the edges -- especially Peter Venkman, who also has a problem with authority -- but they always come through as heroes in the end.

Violence & scariness

The Ghostbusters crew attacks the slime and the ghosts with laser guns that shoot light and goo. A baby is kidnapped by a ghost and is threatened with possession by Vigo.

Sexy stuff

Some kissing and "making out" that is more suggested than graphic.

Language

Some mild insults.

Consumerism

The city of New York gets great publicity.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver have wine with dinner. The slime substance has some mood-enhancing effects.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there isn't much to shock tweens and up in this mock-horror film. There are numerous ghosts running rampant through NYC, but it's played for comedy over scares (like when the Titanic disembarks). Still, ghosts are the "bad guys" and get eliminated with laser guns by a crew of wisecracking guys. At one point a baby is kidnapped by a ghost and a sinister spirit tries to inhabit his body. The baby is rescued, of course, but there is another real person, hilariously portrayed by Peter MacNicol, who wants to steal the baby in order to woo its mother.

What's the story?

The once-famous Ghostbusters are long-forgotten and bankrupt when the film begins. When some mysterious slime surfaces they gladly trade their gigs singing at children's birthday parties for their real ghostbusting duties. Dr. Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) ex-girlfriend Dana (Sigourney Weaver), now a single mom, is forced to confront the paranormal after a strange slime incident involving her 9-month old baby, Oscar. Coincidentally, Dana works for the Met as a restoration artist, where she encounters a mysterious portrait of a long-dead madman. His evil spirit inhabits the artwork, waiting for his chance to come alive again. When he takes an interest in baby Oscar, you know who Dana's gonna call.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

GHOSTBUSTERS II was partially written by two of its actors: Dan Akroyd (who played Dr. Raymond Stantz) and Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler). It's hard not to laugh at anything Bill Murray says or does. He has a sly, wry, comic genius that makes even the simplest plot (which is what gives this sci-fi adventure its charm) a little more complex. Murray's in his prime here as one of four fearless slime fighters in a sequel that is just about as funny and entertaining as the original.

This hodgepodge of occult, paranormal, and plain bizarre elements means all kinds of zaniness is free to ensue -- especially when you serenade Lady Liberty with a little Motown. It's a nice little send-up to the world of psychics and other New Age types, as well, who take themselves far too seriously. It can even put some of those paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead in perspective for kids who can get caught up in the hype. However outdated the special effects might seem in today's light, the movie works as a not-so-scary comedic action film.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of ghosts and what people believe and don't believe about them. Are they real? Are they imagined?

  • You can also discuss the "mood slime" the Ghostbusters discover and if there's a metaphor in there for real life: negative energy begets more negativity, and a positive outlook begets more positive outcomes. When have you found this to be true?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 16, 1989
DVD release date:June 29, 1999
Cast:Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Director:Ivan Reitman
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild action

This review of Ghostbusters II was written by

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old August 6, 2012
age 8+
 

GHOSTBUSTERS 2

slimy sequel not as good as the first.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bychargnar March 11, 2012
age 9+
 

It's just okay

The villain ruins the whole movie. Not very funny either.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bySinfoniarc February 17, 2012
age 8+
 

Terrible Sequel But Harmless

The biggest problem with this sequel to a great 80s movie is that it's really not very good. There's some bad language in it but the Ghostbusters really take on the role of being heroes to the people of NYC, which is good. The Peter Nichols character, Johann, is kinda creepy. His eyes glow and he pulls a Mary Poppins/Mrs. Gulch trying to steal Sigourney Weaver's baby. The Vigo character (portrayed by the great Max Sydow) is pretty creepy too. But all in all it's pretty mild. I seem to remember a scene in which Sigourney doesn't have a shirt on (but a bra rather) while bathing the child, but it's not even remotey sexualized (for the opposite, watch "Alien"). My kids like it but they're easily entertained. I'd be more concerned about your kids being bored or not enjoying it than picking up on anything potentially bad within the movie.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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