Anchorman 2 (2013): Ron and the Channel 4 News Team are back! This time, the gang finds themselves trying to gain traction at the Global News Network. Obviously, hilarious events ensue, full of one liners, outrageous improv, an interesting romance, and of course, Baxter the dog.
Boy have I waited a long time for this. First off, Anchorman is one of my all-time favorite movies out there. Why? Well, that is an excellent question my friend! It wasn't just the crazy one-liners, or the great comedic interlude between the characters that did it for me, rather it was because I actually care about these characters. I care about Ron, Brian, Champ, and Brick. So many comedies you could care less about the characters and its story, as long as it makes you laugh it doesn't matter is what I typically say, but that is not the case with the original. However this is just me personally, and I will say right off the bat that if you don't care about the characters in the first Anchorman, this movie will do nothing to change your opinion on them. Well maybe Brick but then again, how could you not like Brick? This movie follows a formula very similar to that of the original, right down to referencing itself at times. Sometimes this worked (Brian Fantana's cologne cabinet makes a very clever cameo) and sometimes they didn't. (The song was clearly forced. Funny, but not as natural and logical to the story as Afternoon Delight was.) But still, the movie was very enjoyable to me, and made me laugh all throughout its 119 minute runtime, particularly in an absolutely ridiculous third act.
So first of all, story. Now the rule of comedies I have will once again have to apply here, because the story itself is absurd. There were quite a few corners cut to get the plot from point A to point B, like the part where the gang gets into an incredibly violent Winnebago accident and then are totally fine in the next scene. But did you honestly expect otherwise? I still genuinely cared about the Channel 4 News Team this time around. I wanted to see them succeed against all odds. Oh, additionally there is a crazy romance here between Carrell's character and Kristen Wiig's character, who is of course very similar to that of Brick. This led to some of the movie's funniest moments, as Carrell and Wiig fumble through dates and just physical intimacy in general. I'd almost recommend seeing the movie just for this part. Actually Carrell gets a lot of screen time, and of course Ferrel does too, but the losers in Anchorman 2 are Paul Rudd and David Koechner, as they really don't get that much screen time. Which is unfortunate. The only other major complaint I will voice here involves Meagan Good's character, Linda Jackson, or the African-American boss. Her character made very little sense to me, and clearly seemed to exist just for the sake of the comedy. One second she hates Ron to the point that she beats him up, and then a few scenes later she wants to sleep with him. No middle ground, just straight from pure hatred to wanting to have sex. Wait what? But man was the dinner scene with her family funny. So again, the absurdity of this plot point is forgiven because it made me laugh.
So, acting. It is clear to me that this is not a cash-grab sequel. These guys, particularly Will Ferrel, clearly are just doing this sequel because they absolutely love playing these characters. And it shows, as most of this script is improv'd from everyone. Especially Ferrel. Harrison Ford didn't impress me as much as I was hoping he would, (he certainly does not have a funny side) but other than that all of the major characters are done very well. Right down to the absurd cameos in the third act. These cameos honestly make the scene in the original where all the news teams fight each other look like there were a bunch of nobodies in it. The fight scene in the sequel and the cameos within is without a doubt the best scene of the movie.
So there ya have it! I felt that this movie was hilarious. Not as good as the original but still absolutely hilarious. If you enjoyed the first you will most certainly have fun seeing the characters you've come to know and love back on screen. However if you didn't enjoy the original then you will not enjoy this one. Also it is a sequel. And yes it is Anchorman but I would strongly recommend seeing the original before this one if you somehow missed it. Some of the characters, particularly Veronica Corningstone, may make no sense at all if you watch this movie by itself. Well her motivations I should say. Ya. Veronica associating herself with Ron won't make much sense if you haven't seen the first one. But if you like comedies or the first Anchorman, go see it. This movie is right there with This is the End for funniest comedy of the year in my book.
The Critique: an absurd and fun comedy very similar to that of its predecessor. Well acted, good one-liners, and just an overall fun experience.
The Recommendation: Fans of the series and of comedies will feel right at home here. However if you don't fall into either of those categories approach at your own risk.
Where to see it: a theater viewing doesn't offer much here past laughing with strangers. This movie is not a visually stunning piece in case you couldn't figure that out.
The Verdict: 8/10 Great
Oscar Talk: Ha. Oscar talk. Ready for ironic hashtag use? #RONBURGUNDYOSCAR2013