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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Directing: B-
Acting: B
Writing: B
Cinematography: B-
Editing: C

Okay, let's just put this on the table: I saw Anchorman in 2004, and all I can remember about it now is that I didn't like it much. Maybe I'd like it better now, I have no idea; at the time I found it to be an average, C+ comedy with little lasting appeal. Clearly I was wrong there: it's a movie that became so beloved in the years that followed its release that this sequel, coming nine years later, came with a rather massive amount of hype and marketing. It seems to have worked: the original grossed $85 million domestically and the sequel has thus far earned $109.6 million. (Okay, let's be fair and adjust for inflation: Anchorman 2 has earned roughly $86 million in 2004 dollars. It's still a bigger earner.)

I'd say that I can't imagine why, but it's fairly easy to see: counter-programming during Oscar Bait season in December; nothing better to see in theatres in January. I'll be honest and tell you the latter is the only reason I went to see it myself today.

But is it fun? Yes, mostly. Is it perfect? Hardly. Does that matter? Maybe.

Anchorman 2 is a full two hours long, and with a movie like this, that's roughly ninety minutes too long. I began to wonder if the editor was stoned on the job. There are plenty of laughs, but there's too much dead space between them. With some serious tightening up, this movie could have been fairly hilarious. Instead, especially during the last quarter or so, it becomes a slog from gag to gag.

Will Ferrell is an undeniable talent, and some might say he was born to play the part of Ron Burgundy. He's also nine years older than he was in 2004, and he was 37 then; he's not quite as spry. Ron Burgundy's cluelessly pompous behavior loses some of its charm with age. Oddly, many of Ferrell's laughs are garnered from Ron Burgundy's mystified reactions to other characters' antics. Steve Carell is particularly funny, actually, with the child-like non sequitur lines that come out of Brick Tamland's mouth. He can make a line like "I'm wearing two pairs of pants" kind of hilarious. You kind of have to be there.

Much of the humor falls a little flat, however, and Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana and particularly David Koechner as Champ Kind are underserved by the script. Even Ferrell himself drowns a bit in his own inane humor at times. One scene in which he ignorantly spouts racist comments at a dinner with his black girlfriend's family fundamentally doesn't work.

But, just when it feels like Anchorman 2 has veered into uselessness, it throws in curve balls, like Kristin Wigg as Brick Tamland's bizarrely awkward love interest. Or a delightfully gonzo climactic battle between several news teams that involves medieval weaponry and features countless cameos. Even that sequence could have used some polishing in its editing, but it has a kinetically comic spirit that makes it work.

Really, this movie is a sequence of scenes that alternately work or don't work; they all try to be funny, and about half of them are, with varying degrees of success. I particularly enjoyed the RV crash sequence featuring the news team being thrown around inside in slow motion. The stuff that works really bears no direct relationship to the story, which is honestly irrelevant. Ron Burgundy gets fired the same time his wife (Christina Applegate in a thankless roll) is promoted, and then he gets hired at a newfangled "24 hour news" channel. There's a lot of semi-ironic commentary on news integrity to reflect the current state of the industry. There's not a lot in the way of comic cohesion.

But, do we expect any better from this movie? It's hard to justify calling it a disappointment when the expectations were low to begin with.

Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner and Will Ferrell offer more of the same in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES.

Overall: B-
1 comment or Leave a comment
tommy50702 From: tommy50702 Date: March 31st, 2015 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy is hopelessly juvenile and terminally inappropriate.
1 comment or Leave a comment