Dan Aykroyd wrote a totally farfetched film that would not have worked had Bill Murray not dissembled all the serious attributes along the way. His dry wit in not believing the things that happen right in front of his face made the original movie great, and made Dan Aykroyd funny despite playing the straightest of straight man roles. In that, any sequel (including THE HORRIBLE second movie) doesn't work because Murray's character is no longer a cynical and hilarious non-believer of the story itself. And Murray is the kind of presence that just cannot be replaced… not by female SNL stars (the infamous reboot) and not by children either (AFTERLIFE). Not even by Murray himself, who was completely lost in the second movie… and who never wanted to be in a third movie BECAUSE OF how bad the second movie was... 

Basically, the original GHOSTBUSTERS was a shocking success that no one saw coming (including all those who were THERE on opening night). Had John Belushi starred alongside Akyroyd as intended, it probably would have not worked since Belushi, as great as he was and always the craziest guy in the proverbial crazy train, didn't have the subtle skill of undoing all the work done by others. Murray was there all along to say, "This story is silly and I don't know why I'm here" which was needed given the insane premise and, without him OR Harold Ramis to make Dan's character that much more serious-minded about all the mind-boggling, fantastical science, there's simply no use of trying to trap the same lighting in the same bottle… which, as noted several times, wasn't even possible in 1989 for an unnecessary sequel attempting to tread the same ground that was miraculously successful to begin with.

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