It’s always a difficult task making a sequel to a popular and successful comedy. Sometimes that magic about the original simply can’t be captured again. Look at The Hangover for an example. Loved the first one – everyone did. The sequels missed the mark bad, though. Certain ones, even if they aren’t that good, can be enjoyed because you love a certain group of characters and just want to see them together in something new. That’s the main reason that I did have some fun in Anchorman 2:The Legend Continues. The first Anchorman was an extremely quotable movie that hit the right beats for many people. I wasn’t high on it after my first watch, but it came to grow on me through repeated viewings (endlessly quotable). This is a movie that will generate numerous different opinions. There are lots of problems. As for all comedies, being funny can clog up the holes. Now that couldn’t be completely achieved, but I’d be lying if I say I didn’t laugh throughout.
Not a whole lot can come from really explaining the plot, but I’ll give it a go. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is happily married to his co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and things are perfect. That is until Veronica gets a promotion and Ron gets the ax. He is given a new opportunity when he is recruited to join the first 24-hour news channel. This prompts Ron to get the old news team back working (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner) and head to New York. They find great success as he changes tactics, making the news fun rather than informative. Ron will have to balance his rise to the top with keeping an eye on his loved ones, including his family, friends, and of course, Baxter.
Comedy is a subjective thing, especially when pertaining to movies like Anchorman (along with Will Ferrell)which rely on gag-a-second type of humor. It has its ups and downs in that department. Dry patches are inevitable for anything similar to that. They never lasted long, though, there were long stretches where everything hit consistently. Some of it comes from the various one-liners, and other time visual humor. Shock humor is also accomplished. It wasn’t overdone either, the perfect amount was put in. I’m not a fan when that’s overdone to death. Cameos worked as well – were a smorgasbord of them. It’s hard to say if any of these jokes are going to stick with you, or hold up upon re-watching because the surprise element plays a crucial role in most. What I do know, is most worked the first time around.
Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s screenplay was better than expected. Wasn’t nearly as quotable as the first, and the gags weren’t quite as memorable, but the comedy stayed in tact with a couple of scenes topping anything in the franchise. I’m glad effort was behind Anchorman 2. It could have easily been made lazily, repeating countless points from its predecessor. Puts a different angle on things. Whether it worked or not is irrelevant, I was glad to see Anchorman 2was its own movie and not phoning it in as a quick cash grab. The script has some social commentary thrown in the mix. It doesn’t hit you over the head with it, but could have been handled a lot better.
As all Apatow films and productions, this could have benefited from more editing. Now, I don’t mind lengthy movies. Long running times don’t work for straight up comedies, however. The run time was too long at two hours. I can point to a few oddly placed scenes that shouldn’t be there. Anchorman isn’t known for having a great plot. Unlike the original, this was an issue. The whole movie feels like a series of sketches; very slapdash. Structure in a comedy is important. Tons isn’t needed, but you have to feel it’s there. I felt the first had something to the story where this one ultimately did not. The saving grace was the laughs that did pop up enough to stop the problem from getting out of control.
The cast did a fine job; the core members didn’t disappointment in there return. Will Ferrell and Steve Carell steal the show just like before. Both of them are so funny playing those characters I’ll start to chuckle by looking at them. No one else but them could play Ron and Brick. Paul Rudd and David Koechner are great too. The chemistry is top notch between the four guys playing off each other with ease. As for new additions, Kristin Wiig and Meagan Good delivered wonderful performances. Anchorman 2 does as a comedy should do, make you laugh. Other elements are clearly lacking, but enough is present for a fun time at the movies if nothing more.