Review: Anchorman 2
It’s the 1980s, and after losing his job and his wife, Ron Burgundy gets an offer to work on the first 24-hour news network. He reassembles his team, faces off against rival anchors, deals with an intense boss (who happens to be black), and struggles as a father – all in awkward, comedic fashion.
The whole news teams returns: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner. Christina Applegate is back too as Ron Burgundy’s wife and colleague (at least momentarily), while new cast members include Kristin Wiig as a love interest for Brick, James Mardsen as Ron’s rival, and Meagan Good as their passionate boss. Oh, and then of course there are the cameos, and what cameos!
Once the credits roll on this loud, energetic, absurdity of a sequel, it’ll set in that at no point does Adam McKay’s much anticipated comedy try to craft anything in terms of a coherent story. It is merely a loose assortment of scenes, all of which are placed up to allow our lunatic heroes room to lay on their established charm and dish jokes.
It all becomes readily apparent by a most memorable scene towards the end of the film, one that familiar audiences will be eagerly anticipating (and rightly so). By this point, the movie would have already ended (not officially, of course) had it even begun at all. This scene only serves to point out how decidedly random the preceding hour and a half really was, and what follows would be a conclusion were there anything to wrap up.
We first return to Ron Burgundy as he hosts the evening news with his wife Veronica Corningstone in New York City. Burgundy is promptly fired, though, Corningstone is promoted, and the two are divorced. She stays in New York, finds a new man, and Burgundy drifts back to San Diego, only to be picked up again by a new company.
The only point of the film, that is, other than appeasing and satisfying the legions of fans who have been quoting the first movie on end for nearly ten years, is to comment on and lampoon the frivolity and failure of 24-hour-news networks. It is both the funniest and smartest part of this lengthy, bloated comedy when Ferrell and McKay (writers on the film) take shots at the ridiculousness of present-day companies that opt for ratings instead of journalistic integrity.
The rest, is well, all over the place, generic and inoffensive but so determined (promote, much?) that you can’t help but laugh out loud. For all the silly situations in which Burgundy and his news team find themselves, from cruising in an scorpion-stocked RV to confronting an African American female boss to finding new loves interests, nothing lasts, for the next joke is coming full speed right behind.
The allusions to the first are there, as are some returning characters, and a whole hoard of cameos that, once again, serve to remind that this isn’t so much a story as an exercise in controlled outrageousness. Each character wanders aimlessly in their strange little world, doing what they did before; Rudd sadly doesn’t get enough, while Carell thankfully does.
It’s easy to be lured into the charm of a film that will be hard to hate but easy to forget. It certainly lacks the originality and mystique of the first, and isn’t the least bit coherent, but the likeability of the actors, and the wondrous execution of the aforementioned epic scene help to keep this one afloat and a bit rewarding.
Should You See It?
At some point – everyone else will be. It’s best enjoyed in a very crowded theatre or among a bunch of friends. The laughter is infectious, and the more there is, the less you’ll be thinking and staring at your watch.