Film review: Anchorman 2

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Hollywood’s leading funny men return to take on the 24-hour news cycle and the ’80s in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Hollywood’s leading funny men return to take on the 24-hour news cycle and the ’80s in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Good news. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is not as bad as the following comedy sequels: Caddyshack II. Analyze That. Teen Wolf Too. Dumb and Dumberer. Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise. Fletch Lives. The Hangover Part II.

In fact, Anchorman 2 is not bad. The sheer volume of jokes guarantees some will stick. There are so many gags that a few even move the plot forward—and this is a movie with a surprising amount of plot, which is the same thing that killed Back to the Future Part II.

But Anchorman 2 doesn’t lock into high gear and stay there. When I saw Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, for the first 10 minutes I thought, “Nope. Not working. In fact, this is stupid.”

Then sometime later—maybe it was the jazz flute scene—I was sold. And I have stayed sold. If I come across Anchorman on TV, my afternoon is shot, and I own the Blu-Ray.

The win-over moment never arises during Anchorman 2. Maybe it’s because the movie tries so hard to be funny. I almost wanted to tell Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and director and co-writer Adam McKay to stop. After all, with so much plot, maybe fewer jokes would be a boon.

During the course of roughly two hours (note: comedies should never be two hours long, ever), Ron and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) break up; she gets promoted as he’s fired; he’s hired by the first cable news network, GNN; he and the old gang—who all went separate ways—regroup; they invent Fox News-style cable news; Ron has a horrible accident; Ron deals with having a female African American boss (Meagan Good); Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) gets a love interest (Kristen Wiig); and on and on and on.

And what Ferrell and McKay seem to have forgotten is that the story in the first Anchorman did not matter. Sexist newsreader dealing with feminism? Fine. Let the bits commence. Drink scotch, sing “Afternoon Delight,” whatever.

In The Legend Continues, much like Peter Venkman in the wretched Ghostbusters II, Ron has been softened, and softening sucks the life from comedy. At one point, Ron realizes his relationship with his son is more important than the news, and—are you kidding? Lout Ron Burgundy cares about family? This isn’t It’s a Wonderful Life, gang.

Worse, Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) has been made the brains of the group, which just seems wrong. Here’s a guy with a closet full of condoms but he has seven illegitimate children. How is this guy the brains?

And Brick is given way too much screen time. He’s great for one-liners (“I love lamp”), but watching him give a eulogy at his own funeral and then fall in love with someone as dumb as he is? Pass.

Of course, no movie with this many jokes can fail (but please don’t steal from Bloom County next time, guys). Those that work are gut-laugh funny. If only there were a better framing device, Anchorman 2 may have been as good as the original.

Anchorman 2:The Legend Continues PG-13, 119 minutes Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

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  • Syttende Mai

    Will Farrell – Obamacare stooge.

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