This Just In: ‘Anchorman’ Sequel Works


          I’m gonna do the thing that God put David Palmer on this earth to do: have Sports Clips quality hair and review the entertainment medium known as movies.

It is not too often, quite rare in fact, that comedy sequels are any good. Often the sequels are lazy carbon copies of the original. “The Hangover: Part II”, “Grown Ups 2” and “Caddyshack II” (shutters) all come to mind as sequels that horrifically missed the mark. However sometimes sequels are good. “Shrek II” and “Wayne’s World 2” are such examples.

Now we have “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, the follow-up to the 2004 hit that put Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell on the comedy map. And I am happy to report (ha, news pun) that it is not a disaster.

Once again directed by Adam McKay, the movie follows Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and his news team (Rudd, Carell and David Koechner) as they move from San Diego to New York City in an effort to be part of the first ever 24 hour news broadcast channel.

The first “Anchorman” is a pop culture cornerstone, and is quoted daily. While this sequel has some entertaining one liners, one can’t help but think they may have been trying a bit too hard to reinvent the wheel. There are many moments where you get the feeling Ferrell and his friends think they just invented the next big pop culture reference, but in reality it is just a chuckle that we forget about moments later.

That is not saying the film is not funny; it has more chuckles than any film this year, and the ending is one of the most irrelevant and pleasurable sequences in cinema in i don’t know how long.

It was fun watching the movie touch on the topic of 24-hour news stations, and how they are run by big companies and sometimes cover fluff stories instead of hard hitting reports. It does this so well that one could argue the film is a satire. And since the film is set in 1980, there are a few clever jokes about future events, such as how “innocent” and “trustworthy” OJ Simpson is.

There are times the movie goes way off the tracks, involving one subplot that only produces one laugh yet lasts twenty minutes. It was random even by Will Ferrell and Anchorman standards, and I felt it was really just a pointless part of the film (I won’t say what it is for the sake of saving the one joke but trust me, it is pretty out there).

The film may not live up to the hype it built for itself (you couldn’t turn on a TV the past two months without seeing Ron Burgundy, whether he is in a car commercial or interviewing Peyton Manning for ESPN), but “Anchorman 2” is a funny movie. Yes, it is stupid and pointless and has no real structure by any conceivable measure, but if you’ve seen the first film you should expect nothing less.

It is clear that Ferrell and all the other comedic geniuses had a blast filming the movie, and that fun is quite infectious. You are having a ball alongside them, even if occasionally they are enjoying the ride a bit more than you. With a dozen fantastic cameos sprinkled in throughout the film’s running time, the movie never loses your interest and it is great to see the actors treated this like a passion project and didn’t just phone it in for an easy paycheck. And to quote Ron Burgundy: that’s kind of a big deal.

Critics Rating: 7/10

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