The fall from grace and quick rise back to it feels as contrived as it did in the first movie, but the pink slime plot following this is quite enjoyable in its investigation/teamwork angle (the ‘busters are always better together) and “positive emotion” climax. Venkman still slips in some misogyny here and there but it’s mostly overshadowed by the film’s good smattering of quirky comedy elsewhere (Louis’ opening statement was a riot: “Because one time, I turned into a dog and they helped me”).
I mean, it’s alright. The original trio have a good amount of chemistry together (Ramis the nerd, Murray the deadpan cool guy, Aykroyd the straight man) but on his own Murray’s schtick gets misogynist and tiresome real quick. Plot-wise, their rise to success feels too sudden and honestly, it’s way more enjoyable early on when they’re down-on-their-luck underdogs. The wild apocalyptic elements contrast nicely with the crew’s dry, down-to-earth vibes but highlight some terrible visual effects.
It’s not unnecessary, with its expanded universe, deeper themes, and bevy of fun new (or just newly developed–badass Han Solo-esque Bo is great) characters, but it does feel a little detached from its three predecessors with no strong central plot thread or thematic thrust and the usual gang sadly neglected (which makes the emotional climax a little underwhelming). Slightly unmet expectations aside, it’s still very fun (the action set pieces are great), very funny, and very well-animated.