Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review 257: "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"

It's kind of a big deal.
Way to oversell it, guys.

A Meme a Minute

      Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is the 2013 sequel to the 2004 hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The film is directed by Adam McKay (The Other Guys) and was written by him along side Will Ferrell (A Night at the Roxbury). The film follows Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) as he reunites with his news team, Champ (David Koechner), Brian (Paul Rudd) and Brick (Steve Carell) after he's asked by Freddie Sharp (Dylan Baker) to join GNN, the world's first 24-hour news network. But it won't be easy, as they deal with new boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), Ron's wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) and son (Judah Nelson), Ron's wife's boyfriend Gary (Greg Kinnear), Brick's love interest Chani (Kristin Wiig) and a rival anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden). Oh, and a bunch of other stuff. Like, a bunch. Some might even say too much stuff. Some like me.

I gets a bit weird.

      I really didn't particularly like Anchorman 2. But before I get into why, I need to explain two bias-ish things I had going into this movie. One, I didn't particularly like Anchorman itself. Whether it be the film was just not that funny to me or the fact that I didn't see it until just last Christmas and by then had heard every major joke of the film over and over until I was sick of them before I even saw the film, I didn't like it. It was boring and honestly I don't think the constantly quoted lines would have made me laugh had it not been the 45 millionth time I heard it. And two, I don't like the style of "throw everything we have and make it stick" comedy Anchorman is. I generally prefer my comedies a bit more structured than this and that's mostly do to, while an approach that does get laughs, it's not one that I thinks gets a good story or characters out of.
      And maybe that's just it. The reason I didn't really like this movie is because the plot is fragmented into six or seven smaller plots and the characters aren't good enough to make them work. And while yeah, the film does have a few laughs here and there, it's not nearly enough to justify the films way overlong 2 hour runtime.

 Fame, Reunion, Bet, Mystery, News, Shark, Blindness and Back Again

      I think the overall idea here wasn't a bad one. 24-hour news networks is a clever setting for a sequel to Anchorman. And the film at times does get really interesting with it. The sections of the film about the competition between Ron's new team and Lime's news team is the best stuff in the movie. But that, unfortunately, is only about a half-hour of the film, if not less. Instead of keeping that interesting plot going, the film is constantly getting sidetracked. Ron suffers an injury, tries to get his family back. A shark comes in at one point. The film feels like a ten-year old sequel. It's like they tried to include every idea they ever had for this film in those ten years. And it eventually just becomes a mess. I was bored when Ron was dating his new boss, and I was almost asleep by the time Ron bottle feeds a shark. And on paper, it all sounds funny. But, in execution, the film becomes one bizarre setpiece after another, rather making us laugh through randomness and strangeness than with actual funny stuff. Like characters and story.

REALLY a bit weird.
The Verdict

      If you liked the first Anchorman, the Anchorman 2 is simply more of the same. Unfortunately for me, I didn't enjoy the first Anchorman, and I didn't enjoy this one either. The film throws everything and the kitchen sink on screen, but barely any of in made me laugh and the film leaves it's interesting story and,okay, bland characters to fall apart. Overstuffed and overlong, Anchorman 2 does as much random and absurd stuff as it can, but without a reason for it, it just becomes one lame, boring mess of a movie. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues gets 3 stars out of 6.

1 comment:

  1. Most comedy sequels blow and try too hard for laughs, but this one was good and funny enough to not be placed along with that idea. Good review Alex.