Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman-2

Release: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

[RPX Theater]

Baxter! Bark twice if you’re in this movie!

“Woof-woof!”

. . .and, oh how he is! Baxter and the entire Channel Four News team assemble for the much-anticipated follow-up to Adam McKay’s 2004 smash hit. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. . .is, to put it completely unbiased-like and everything, well. . .it’s exactly the product you were expecting, but quite possibly funnier.

While the decades may have changed — the likes of Ron, Brian, Champ and Brick are now gone from Channel 4 News, doing their own thing, finding themselves slightly displaced with the 70s behind them — the characters that made the first movie so hilarious sure haven’t.

Sure, originality has faded a little since the prospect of seeing the guys “again” by definition means we are already accustomed to the antics and shenanigans that are likely to come our way. McKay does not take his audiences for fools, despite what some may think of the quality of his work. That we are already acclimated to this feverish silliness coming into the second film is really an advantage, since that leaves him with one option: making sure that we get to know the characters on a deeper level. That might not be something to necessarily expect from a sequel to a slapstick comedy like Anchorman, but that’s just what we get out of our second time around the block with four of Hollywood’s funniest forty-somethings. Well written, familiarly yet painfully hilarious, and perhaps even a touch more sincere than its predecessor, Anchorman 2 delivers the good news, and quickly.

The sequel can only be described as the natural succession in Will Ferrell’s most successful comedy outing. Mr. Burgundy and his former colleagues find themselves struggling to make ends meet in the new decade; that is, until Ron gets hired by a major 24-hour news station, GNN (Global News Network). He wants to reunite his team and deliver New York, and the world, the best damned news one mustache could provide.

Of course that means pitting his San Diego resume against that of the slick, professional and comically un-intimidating Jack Lime (hehe. . .Jack Lame). Ron soon finds that its going to take some serious news anchoring to get his name out, especially when he learns that his team is given the worst time slot to be on air (from 2 to 5 in the morning). Ron quickly discovers that no matter what time they’re getting to report the news, wouldn’t it be better to give the people greater quantity of “what they want” (like high-speed car chases and celebrity gossip) instead of what “they need” (high-profile interviews and clearly more quality stories like the ones Veronica Corningstone is trying to nail)? What is Ron going to sacrifice to get to that prime-time spot on GNN?

Fortunately none of the guys sacrifice their comedic wit in this second outing. McKay and company, much to their credit, bring back a lot of the jokes that helped make its predecessor so outrageous, and while that sounds like potentially lazy filmmaking, in this case it was a good idea. Familiarity can breed contempt, but rare are the dull moments when you’re around Ron and his dim-witted colleagues. Their antics are met with greater opposition at this station, as the four of them are overseen by a particularly no-nonsense station manager by the name of Linda Jackson (Meagan Good). . .and in comparison to others, the four seem to be the station’s least successful contributors.

That is, yes, until Ron discovers the secret of news reporting. Though set in the 80s, the heart and soul of this cackle-inducing comedy very much riffs on the state of more contemporary news outlets and the way they present information to the masses. It’s the soft news being spewed out by the likes of TMZ, MTV and even to some extent more reputable sources like NBC that get targeted by Ferrell and McKay’s still sharp and witty script. For the most part, it is as successful a formula as the one they came up with roughly a decade ago.

The only thing this film will likely not do is compete with the first’s quotability factor. While there are some epic moments here to remember, there are no glass cases of emotion to be found, nor one liners of pure gold such as “where did you get those clothes, at the toilet store?” Much to its credit though, this film’s sight gags are far more plentiful and these alone are worth paying for a ticket. One particular side-story is responsible for one of Ferrell’s most bizarre yet hilarious running visual jokes (that’s a pun, actually), a sequence which culminates in the most satisfying of comic climaxes. If you thought the scale of the last news team battle (and the list of big-name extras) was impressive in the first movie, just you wait.

The Legend does indeed continue. This is everything that a sequel to a comedy should be, and thanks to the reuniting of McKay with the same guys who helped make him a success in the early 2000s, the line between remaining reliably funny and becoming pretentious about what it’s trying to achieve is carefully avoided. It’s not a film that has a great amount of purpose, but it’s a deliciously entertaining film that shows a progression of the relationships between the guys from the Channel 4 News desk. It also makes some great use of supporting roles in Meagan Good and Greg Kinnear, bearing witness to some of the most brazenly racist and childish behavior any news team member has ever seen at GNN. You almost feel sorry for these two. Almost.

Long live the mustache, and most importantly, long live Baxter — the coolest dog any movie has ever seen.

anchorman-2

3-5Recommendation: This section is remarkably easy for this one. If you were a fan of the first, this will more than satisfy. If you weren’t, here’s one this December you can probably skip out on. The silliness is back in fine form here and although we had to wait nearly a decade to see a sequel, it’s more than great news that what awaited was not simply a ship waiting to sink.

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 119 mins.

Quoted: “Suicide makes you hungry, I don’t care what anybody says.”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.screencrush.com; http://www.imdb.com 

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26 thoughts on “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

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    • hahah good man! roll around in other people’s filth and grime for the sake of Will Ferrell inanity! I LOVE it! 😀

      thanks for stopping by man, i knew you’d come through.

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    • hahah hey, Will Ferrell’s ridiculousness is certainly not to everyone’s appeal I can totally understand that. If you do end up watching/liking Anchorman 1 then this surely won’t disappoint but I’d surely not suggest sitting around for a longer version of pretty much the same story. 😀

  5. I’ve gone on record stating that I hated the first one so I’m not all that enthused about this one. I will check it out, just to see how bad it really is 😉

    Nice work, all the same buddy! 🙂

    • Cheers James, it’s pretty raucous. Keep in mind it’s low-brow sense of humor and you’re sure to have a blast! 😀

      • haha yeah, it almost begs the question: what if Ferrell decides to try drama? Would. . .it. . .work? Just something to ponder. . .but yes, I’m always a fan of him being brainless

  6. I LOVED this film. I didn’t expect it to be so funny. To be honest, I thought the original was just ok, but this was HIGH-larious. I won’t write a review before Sunday so my detailed thought will have to wait, but I was laughing nonstop except during the last 20 minutes.

    • hahah that’s good to hear, i was too. it was painfully funny at times. Admittedly this is almost a carbon-copy of the first, but it had room to expand beyond all the outrageous one-liners that made the predecessor such a cult hit. I’m very relieved to say this lived up to the hype

  7. Good review Tom. While it wasn’t exactly like the first in every which way, that still didn’t matter because it was very laugh-out-loud funny at times. At other times, however, it felt like they were maybe reaching a bit too high for the skies with the jokes.

    • Yeah, perhaps a few times for sure they were trying to get a little too silly but overall I had a blast here. Will Ferrell proves to be one of the more reliable comedians working today.

  8. You sound optimistic about it, even though you sound right off the bat a much much bigger fan of the first film than me, but I’m still hesitant on catching it in theaters. Glad to know it’s not AS quotable as the first film, as I thought this one would just be a massive meme generator. Still not eager though… Sorry lol

    • That’s all fine and dandy, it’s certainly a low-brow humor piece! the lack of quotability also is smart because it was able to be damn funny but in slightly different ways. But there’s no mistaking it, if Will Ferrell et al’s sense of humor is not your own, this will definitely be a much better rental or one to catch on tv, interrupted by all kinds of commercials. 😀

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