Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Directed by: Adam McKay
Running time: 119 minutes
Now Showing this week is Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, directed by Adam McKay. That’s right everybody, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrel) is back, this time in the 1980s! Ron and his now wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are co-anchors of a news program in New York City following the events of the original Anchorman film. But when management decide to promote Veronica to a solo news anchor position and fire Ron, their marriage falls apart and Ron finds himself down on his luck and drinking his sorrows away. Fortunately, fate smiles upon him in the form of a new opportunity to put Ron back into broadcast news: he can host his own slot on the world’s first twenty four hour news network. Ron feels he’s up to the task, but not before he pulls his old news team Brian (Paul Rudd), Champ (David Koechner) and Brick (Steve Carell) out of retirement to help him out. As one would assume, hilarity ensues.
I’m going to come right out and say that Anchorman 2 is unashamedly much of the same as to what the original Anchorman was: a goofy, vulgar, and instantly quotable comedy. Anchorman 2 has in no major way shaken up the formula or altered the tone of the original film. But you know what, that’s OK! That’s what we’re here for. We all loved the original Anchorman and we want to get some new snappy one-liners to whip out and laugh about at future parties for another nine years. All the classic traits of the original are back, with Brick’s almost terrifyingly loose grip on reality, Brian’s amazing collections of scary sexual aids, and the trademark cameo filled fight scene is bigger than ever and featuring a plethora of talented celebrities (and also Kanye West)! I know that saying a sequel is more of the same as its predecessor is often not used as a compliment, but in Anchorman 2’s case I would say that it is. With nine years between films, I wouldn’t say these characters have been over-saturated just yet.
Having said all that, I do feel that any more Anchorman films would be too much. Don’t get me wrong, Anchorman 2 hit some amazing notes and made for some amazing laughs, but there were times where some jokes were very poorly implemented and it seemed a bit strained on a few occasions. The biggest instances of this issue were when a joke was made, but then another character would add to it by stating why the joke was funny. That is a comedy misstep that has always bothered me, because if the joke is funny, I don’t need to be told it is. I will be laughing already; you don’t need tell me why I should be doing what I am already in fact doing. That is time/dialogue better spent stealthily setting me up for the next joke!
Putting the above criticism aside; I did thoroughly enjoy the aspects of the film that were more of a commentary on modern journalism as well as just being plain hilarious. A favourite was the financial benefactor of the new twenty four hour news network being a very wealthy Australian man looking to dominate the American news market; a very obvious parody of Rupert Murdoch. It was a very historical yet topical running gag, so kudos! There are many more little things that I won’t spoil, but suffice to say that Anchorman 2 portrays a very hilarious account of how some of the more tasteless/low brow forms of broadcast journalism may have begun, and that was a very welcome addition from my perspective.
All in all, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is another serving of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. This was mainly a positive thing, but did detract from the film somewhat. If you’re considering watching it, ask yourself one question: have you see the original Anchorman? If yes, and you liked it, then you’ll like this one too. If you didn’t like it then why are you even considering watching the sequel?! If you answered no, then go watch the original film, as it’s awesome and be comfortable knowing there is more fun to be had if you so wish.
See you next time!