As the Holidays roll around, the 2013 movie regime starts winding down. Hi, Robbie K here back with another review as we kick off the last three weeks of the year with a comedy. Now I’m a little late as this film snuck up on me with a Wednesday release date, but nevertheless I have returned to the theater trenches to bring you the latest in Will Ferrell’s “unique” brand of comedy. That’s right this review is on Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
When the trailers premiered a year ago, I can’t say I was too thrilled about a sequel to a comedy that was already a bit of a stretch for my tastes. Nevertheless I went into the movie as unbiased as possible to give this movie a fair review. So what are my thoughts on it you ask? They start with the fact that this movie is plain, stupid, laughs much like its predecessor. Anchorman 2 starts out with the cheesy announcer showing an out of left field shot of Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and a shark, only to state that they had jumped the gun and needed to rewind the “plot”.
Already sounding funny/stupid, it’s just getting started; for Anchorman 2’s cheesy laughs and awkward comedy come flooding in from the get go. While much of the humor was either stale or cheap for me, fans of the original will have no problem enjoying the unfiltered rants of Burgundy and crew. Ferrell still plays a huge tool, acting idiotically and speaking ridiculous, often racist, things that would in this day and age result in some being shot, beaten to a pulp, or at the least sued. Of course in Anchorman’s world, the rest of the public are idiots, feeding the newscast egos and providing more fuel for the fire for a continued loop of well… stupidity.
Despite how old the comedy was for me though, there were a few lines that had me laughing. Ferrell’s over enunciation of just about every line was ridiculous, but a few well-timed phrases kept things interesting. The Champ (David Koechner) had a few whammies as well, but for the most part didn’t have as much of a role as I thought he would. Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd) still has an obsession with the female parts, using some very unique and colorful ways to describe his fetish. Rudd’s delivery is sound, and his acting still impresses me as he changes from a goofy sexist pig, into a moral driven friend that cares about something else. Finally there is Brick (Steve Carell), who was pretty much the saving grace for me in this movie. Carell has stepped right back into the childlike enigma that is Brick, spouting out random interests, and overreacting to situational misunderstandings. While I didn’t enjoy the screaming, mostly due to the trailers showing the same scene over again, Brick’s character made me laugh every time. Although they tried to make a female counterpart to complete him and provide extra comedy (Kristen Wiig), I wasn’t impressed with her lines, though Wiig does a great job in whatever role she plays.
While the humor wasn’t as funny this time around, I did enjoy the transition of the decades in this installment. The 70’s are over and on come the 80’s and as many of us know, there were lots of new worlds to explore. Anchorman 2, not only reintroduces, or introduces for the younger audience members, to the world of 80’s, but also integrated the newscast humor within this world. It kept the jokes tethered to a central point, and organized the humor to allow for better timing and more relevance to the humor. While not the hardest world to recreate, the set design was nicely retrograded with classic automobiles and outfits filling the screen in all their “glory”. Hard wood floors, big screen plasma T.V.s and laptops were replaced with their eighties counterparts, and even the new studios had that nostalgic appearance that shows on Nick at Nite made famous. Regardless all of the 80’s themes do come together in one of the more humorous (and ridiculous) scenes of the movie that not only brings an interesting twist, but also recruits a cascade of celebrities that are wickedly popular.
The transition though was not just for humor; as to my surprise Anchorman 2 actually had a story. You might be saying, the last one did Robbie, so why were you surprised. Well that’s because the last story was only a device that drove Ron to more situations to be a tool. This story though is more character driven, having Ron face many challenges that will put his character, and for that matter his friendships to the test. While many seeing this movie really don’t care about a story, I enjoyed these struggles because with a character as epic as Ron, a little struggle can bring out the greatest potential. For those who don’t care though, well the tests provide plenty of opportune moments for his humor, which to sound like a broken record is still the same.
To sum this review up, Anchorman 2 is an extension of the humor for one of Ferrell’s biggest successes. If you enjoyed the humor back then, you will probably enjoy it now and this movie has plenty of laughs to offer. Yet, the comedy is still unchanging, the character development improved but still ridiculous and shallow, and the rest of the movie is mediocre fun. So with all the movies coming out this year I can’t say this is my number one recommendation, but if you want some easy laughs with some friends, or want to here a good soundtrack check it out. My scores for Anchorman 2 are:
Movie Overall: 6.0