Anchorman 2 is the greatest comedy sequel of all-time. There. It’s out there. Boom. How’d that hit you? Yeah, I have no idea what that means. I’m still recovering from the overdose of absolute absurdity I was smacked with at an advance showing of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Comedic sequels are not good. They are never good. In fact, I cannot think of another good one (help me here, I’m struggling). Making a comedy is hard enough in the first place. Going back to that same well and not ruining the first movie in the process is something that’s unprecedented (hi there, Hangover). Anchorman 2 is NOT Anchorman, which I maintain is the best comedy of the last 10 years. It has essentially the same plot as the first film with the same devices and the last third of the movie could have (and probably should have) been cut. Adam McKay, who also directed the first film, says they shot enough footage to make three movies (which is what they’ll do for the Blu Ray, you wait). Despite this, the movie delivers consistent laughs, has more celebrity cameos than any movie I can recall and just allows these talented comedic actors to play around with these characters. The result is a solid comedy that gives you more catch phrases (Chicken of the Cave) to confuse people with for the next ten years.
The story takes place ten years after the first film and Ron and Veronica are a successful husband/wife anchor team. That changes when Harrison Ford’s character (I have never seen him do comedy this broad), the longtime venerable national anchorman (kind of a sociopathic Cronkite) taps Veronica to fill his shoes and fires Ron. Anyone who knows Ron will know that also ended their marriage rather quickly.
After another deep spiral into madness, Burgundy is rescued from introducing the dolphin show at Sea World by GNN, the world’s first 24-hour news network. Ron assembles his old team: Bryan Fantana, Champ Kines and Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell nearly steals this movie) and they set about doing the news THEIR way. Which….is kind of how it is now. Essentially Ron ruins news.
Comedy is such a hard thing to review because something is either funny to you or it isn’t. It’s not like drama where you can appreciate the technical this or the pacing, score, blah blah. Did you find it funny? If yes, it’s a good comedy. If no, it’s not. My audience was rolling most of the film, though, as I said, the last 30 minutes seemed pointless and meandering. Ron Burgundy is the perfect outlet for Will Ferrell’s comedy, because no matter how offensive or annoying or inappropriate (Ron and the gang smoke a new drug Bryan has discovered through investigative reporting-crack-on air) there’s a child-like, well-meaning quality to him beneath his salon quality hair and Odin-level mustache. Anchorman 2 is a good time with old friends and I was happy to see them and have a laugh. Anchorman 2 opens tomorrow in theaters nationwide.