Friday, December 20, 2013

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues review

Nine years ago, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was released. The film was a low-budget production with several stars who were relative unknowns. Will Ferrell was a rising star, but very few people knew who Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd were. Anchorman was not a major success, taking in only $90.5 million worldwide. For years, a sequel was planned and plotted by star Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay, but Paramount didn't bite. Finally, they decided that it was a venture worth taking, and the $50 million comedy was greenlit. Now, the real question is: did they need to make it? After seeing Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, I can't really answer that question. Is Anchorman 2 a good movie? No, not particularly. However, it's not necessarily a bad one either. All I can say is that Anchorman 2 is a good time at the movies and is very funny, but offers nothing more than that.

Anchorman 2 continues the story of famed San Diego newsman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell). Ron is working at a station in New York with his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). One day, after several slip-ups, Veronica is offered the lead anchor job and Ron is fired. Ron is angry and returns to San Diego to become an announcer for Sea World. Just as he's hit rock bottom, Ron is found by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker), a talent recruit for GNN, which stands for Global News Network. Shapp wants Ron at the station to be one of their anchors, and he accepts. But first, Ron must assemble his news team which is comprised of sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). The boys are thrust into the big city life in New York, and have many interesting experiences over the course of the story.

The original Anchorman was a very funny comedy, but not necessarily a great one. It's very quotable and well written, but also a little low budget and stupid. That being said, I was very excited for Anchorman 2, and the movie met my expectations in some ways. It's quite hilarious and I was consistently laughing throughout. However, while the original Anchorman mixed the humor with a story that you could follow, Anchorman 2 does not. Is Anchorman 2 as funny as the original? Yes. Is it a good movie? No.

It's always hard to critique acting in a comedy. Basically, all of the actors shine in one scene or another. Will Ferrell is consistently funny and Paul Rudd also has some great scenes, but Steve Carell is the one who really shines in this film. His character is off the wall crazy and you never truly know what's going to happen with him. David Koechner isn't in the film that much and Meagan Good doesn't have much to do as Ron's new girlfriend. However, all of the actors have at least one funny scene in the film and that's good.

The plot in this film is utterly terrible. That's all I can really say. The plot is unfocused and doesn't even seem that well thought out. Anchorman 2 is a bunch of jokes thrown together into the shape of a movie. Before I saw the movie, I read several reviews that called the film a series of skits and I refused to believe that would be the case. It's true. It really is. There's an outline of a story, but there's nothing that keeps you invested in the movie.

The original Anchorman is a very random movie. But this one ups that to a whole different level of insanity. I can't even really tell you why half of the things that are in Anchorman 2 are in there. There's no rhyme or reason to the movie. It's just a constant mess of jokes. And it's a long one at that. Anchorman 2 is two hours long, and while I didn't really feel its length, there was a lot of extra fat that could have been trimmed off of this movie. Also, this film feels really awkward. There's a lot of improvisational comedy involved, and I'm not sure it works. The movie has no flow to it at all.

However, despite all of the negatives, one thing keeps this movie alive and those are the jokes. Despite all of its inconsistencies, Anchorman 2 is a downright hilarious film, and one that certainly has some insanely memorable quotes. My friends and I have already added a few lines from this film into our daily vocabulary. The fact that I was laughing throughout this whole movie keeps it from getting a negative grade.

Anchorman 2 is a hilarious movie. I will not deny that. It's funny from start to finish and the outlandish humor and celebrity cameos will always find a way to shock you. It's just too bad that the film has absolutely no flow, and plays out like a series of jokes barely held together by a plot. The Anchorman universe has some interesting social satire and there are lots of funny jokes, but they just aren't movies. There are tons of subplots introduced that go nowhere and characters that serve little purpose at all. It's just a weird, weird film. I can only describe Anchorman 2 as a mixed bag, because that is what it is. If you liked the original Anchorman, you'll probably like this one, but I can't say that it was worth making or that it was a good movie. It's just too messy.

THE FINAL GRADE:  C+                                          (6.4/10)


3 comments:

  1. Great review Josh. While the first works a bit better in my mind, this one's still got its hilarious moments that never lose its edge, despite being in a PG-13-rated movie.

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  2. This deserves an A+. You are #craycray

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  3. It is really the running time that brings "Anchorman 2" down. As I said, I laughed a lot. But the laughs were spread out whereas in the first "Anchorman," they crammed in as many jokes as possible, and nearly all of them landed.

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