‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ Movie Review – Blessing and a Curse
By now, we should all take sequels with a grain of salt. The idea of sequels is mostly money-generated, and the content usually suffers as a result. Sequels generally have to make the story work, rather than having it come natural. Comedy sequels have it even worse, most of the time, so conventional thinking makes Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues a tough movie to forecast as a winner. Like most comedies (sequel or not), Adam McKay’s latest has some laughs mixed in, but I have to concede the movie tries way too hard to be funny, making it subpar even without comparing it to the first.
Anchorman 2 picks back up in the 1980s as Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) again hits rock bottom. Like last time, it involves his lover Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) getting a raise without him. When Ron is ultimately fired from his post, he has to resort to a new 24-hour cable network – the first of its kind – to redeem his name.
Of course, he turns to his esteemed News Team, consisting of Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and Champ Kind (David Koechner), to help bring them to the top.
The movie also adds names like Harrison Ford, Kristen Wiig, and James Marsden (X-Men) as supporting characters.
Being a sequel to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, in particular, is both a blessing and a curse. To me, it feels like I’m insulting a close friend or family member if I say anything bad about the sequel. Not only was it a movie we deserved, but it was a movie that looked to have things going for it. The root of the problem could be the story, but I don’t think I can resort to bashing the story in a comedy.
Unfortunately, the script is probably where things go awry because it felt like they laid siege with a constant barrage of attempted jokes. With enough attempts, enough jokes will succeed seemed to be their mentality. To do this, they created a very disjointed narrative that really doesn’t mesh. Somehow, it’s even more random than the jazz flute and pleasure-town bits in the original.
I’m no filmmaking expert, but I’d venture to guess a significant amount of the first movie involves improv comedy. Unfortunately, Anchorman 2 seemed to have lost this…or the actors themselves just weren’t as funny (a scary thought, I know). They still show bouts of their old selves, but again, it seems to be too scarce.
However, like I said earlier, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is also a blessing. I’m afraid that without the first, this movie would be far worse-off. Some of the gags land solely because of the first movie. In particular, the latest cameo-filled news crew fight, although completely ludicrous, seems to harken back to the first movie.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t nearly as quotable as the original. It also makes some mistakes in the plot progression. And even though it’s funny at times, it seems to try way too hard (especially with Ron and Brick). It’s really a tough film to review because for every laugh, there are just as many misses. Luckily, I don’t think it’s bad enough to tarnish the original film (a fear I did have going in). It ultimately comes down to a simple question: Is any new Anchorman good Anchorman? That’s the decision you have to make.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues received a rare midweek release today. Check it out now!
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