Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carrell. Rating: M. Running time: 119 minutes
I loved the first Anchorman movie and I definitely wasn’t the only one. It was just so wonderfully silly and charming that you couldn’t help but love it.
The interplay and banter between the members of the news team was also hilarious; Will Ferrell’s titular, bungling news anchor Ron Burgundy was masterfully comedic and interplayed hilariously with Paul Rudd’s (mostly) suave Brian Fantana, David Koechner’s neurotic and repressed Champ Kind and Steve Carrell’s mentally deficient Brick Tamland.
Combined the four of them, along with the excellent Christina Applegate, helped to make the original film one of the most eminently quotable films of (possibly) all time. “I love lamp,” anyone?
So, unfortunately, we must now turn our attentions to the sequel, Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues. A turgid, forced, messy and entirely formulaic afterthought to the original film’s genius.
Don’t get me wrong, the original Anchorman was pretty formulaic but it was always formulaic in a good way. Anchorman 2 has taken the same basic story and characters and transplanted them from the sunny shores of San Diego to the mean streets of New York City.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with NYC as a place, it seems that once you took the news team out of San Diego, they lost a bit of their heart and their soul.
The jokes just feel so much more laboured and forced than they ever did in the first film. Even some of the funniest bits of the movie; like Brian Fantana’s ‘world famous’ condom cabinet, are basically just carbon copies of the now famous skits from the first film. It often feels like Anchorman 2 is just trying parody Anchorman 1 and, more often then not, it does it poorly.
Another huge problem I had with this film is how much air time is given to Steve Carrell’s character Brick Tamland. In the original film Brick was utilised beautiful in short, sharp bursts – often serving as the humourous counterpoint to possibly awkward scenes or allowing his zippy one liners to really hit the audience properly – but here Brick is everywhere and it’s an absolute bummer. If, for no other reason, then the fact that Carrell really overdoes the character’s stupidity.
The film does offer an interesting satire on how falling journalistic standards as well as the public’s taste for ‘soft’ news allowed for people like Richard Murdoch (blatantly satirised in the film as ‘Kench’ Allenby) were able to make a fortune off of terrible 24 hour ‘news’ channels like Fox but, glimmer of interest aside, it’s still not a very good film.
It’s sad really – I’m in a glass case of emotion…
Two out of five stars. Good for people who just have to see Anchorman 2 and I know that they’re out there.