Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - Film review
Posted on: 2013-12-26
A disappointment from the normally reliable Ferrell and McKay
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (15) reviewed by Sam Dawe
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig
How silly is too silly? Is there even such a thing as “too silly” when you’re making comedy? Is it pompous and churlish to even attempt to objectively review something that obviously makes people laugh? I found myself internally asking all of these questions while watching Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
I was fully on board with the heroic commitment to the ridiculous that the first Anchorman displayed so skillfully and was looking forward to more of the same when I sat down for the sequel almost ten years later.
Maybe it’s those years that have turned something that was once brilliantly irreverent into something that, while still very funny at times, mostly just feels shrill and obnoxious.
This is normally where I’d put a brief overview of the story, but it feels redundant for a film so determined not to tell one.
While I appreciate that nobody’s watching a sequel to Anchorman for its narrative, its predecessor did, at least, have a simple plot – albeit one peppered with insane, hilarious detours into foolishness. Anchorman 2 feels like one of those random tangents stretched into an entire two-hour exercise in testing patience with the odd sprinkle of plot to just about hold everything together.
It’s still funny – at times very funny. The cast’s chemistry and gift for improv is still ever present but there’s an increased emphasis on not making even a bit of sense that makes for a much more hit & miss experience than before.
What had felt natural now feels a little bit forced, especially in a climactic set piece that repeats one of the best sequences from the first film – the News Reader Rumble - but ups the cameo count at the expense of actual laughs.
Perhaps I’m being harsh. Almost all of Will Ferrell’s collaborations with director, Adam McKay improve on re-watch. The brilliant Step Brothers and Talladega Nights failed to strike a chord at first but their rapid-fire laugh count saw them grow into cult classics. Even the first Anchorman only registered its full, quotable excellence upon repeated viewing.
Still, you can’t help but wonder about the sequel that might have been.
A disappointment from the normally reliable Ferrell and McKay. The gags are less consistent and, worse, much more forced. Only time will tell if Ron Burgundy second outing is a diamond in the rough.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Swansea, Jimmy moved to Bristol back in 2004 to attend university. Passionate about live music, sport, science and nature, he can usually be found walking his cocker spaniel Baxter at any number of green spots around the city. Call James on 078 9999 3534 or email Editor@365Bristol.com.