The 1990 romantic hit Ghost is exactly the type of movie one expects to be remade right about now in this cultural wasteland we call the twenty-first century. So when director Jerry Zucker told the world he was making a sequel instead of a reboot, most of us were a little shocked. When he said he was bringing back Patrick Swayze to play the lead, we were more than shocked—mostly because Patrick Swayze has been dead since 2009. So how did he do it? “None of your damn business” is what Zucker tells anyone who asks. Rumer has it that Whoopi Goldberg can actually summon the dead, but what the hell does Rumer Willis know? Just because both of her parents are in this movie doesn’t mean she knows how they summoned Patrick Swayze’s departed soul. Anyway, as one would imagine, a movie starring an actual ghost is pretty fucking amazing.
Ghost II is somewhat of a misleading title for this film, as it is not really a “sequel” in the true sense of the word. The 1990 film didn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger. Bad guy gets impaled by giant shards of glass and his soul gets dragged off to hell; good guy says good-bye to the love of his life and flies on up to heaven. It was an open and shut case, really. So what the hell is Ghost II about?
It turns out to be mostly based on a true story. When Ghost Patrick Swayze returned from the Phantom Zone (or wherever he was) he got wind that some ass-hat director was planning to remake Road House. This idea upset Ghost Swayze very much, and he set out to put a stop to it. Ghost II is the story of his real-life attempt to shut down the production of Road House.
What complicates things a bit is the fact that Demi Moore plays herself as the actress cast in the “love interest” role for the Road House production. This puts her at odds with Ghost Swayze, who doesn’t take too kindly to his former Ghost co-star participating in a project which he feels tarnishes his legacy. Meanwhile, Aston Kutcher plays himself playing Dalton, the role Alive Swayze had in the original Road House. Bruce Willis plays himself cast as Wade Garret, the villain portrayed by Sam Elliot in the original. There’s so much uncomfortable real-life tension bleeding into this crazy movie, that at times, it threatens to yank the audience right out of the story. However, it’s pretty fun to watch.
Another key plot point was taken from real events as well. See, unlike the ghosts in Ghost, real-life Ghost Swayze couldn’t figure out how to move objects. The producers summoned real life Ghost Vincent Schiavelli, the actor who played the grumpy ghost on the train who taught Swayze how to move objects in the movie (Schiavelli passed away in 2005), but it turns out he doesn’t know how to move objects either. This made the two real-life ghosts pretty cranky. Luckily, they were able to find a work-around—it turns out they can make living people shit their pants by passing through their bodies. Sure, with the state of CGI today, this ability is hardly necessary, but the ghosts were having fun, so Zucker let them improvise.
There’s a lot of “soiling” in this movie. Actors are often in mid-sentence when either Ghost Swayze or Ghost Schiavelli passes through them, creating a sudden unexpected mess. The worst is a scene in which Demi is wearing a bikini. Should this move have been rated X? Possibly. In spite of all the genuine on-screen defecation (not to mention all the nudity and strong sexual content), Ghost actually ended up with a “G” rating due to a mix-up with some paperwork (the MPAA thought they were rating the Ghost Dad remake). Good times!
I give Ghost II 5 Stars. Because of the shits and the tits.
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