(older movie reviews with a new coat of paint)
Look the first film is a classic to me. I can recite line for line from the film and have watched it at least 45 times in full. Going into this film I wasn’t expecting anything near it as far as greatness, fresh appeal and comical sync. I simply wanted a funny movie. A movie that would make me laugh and urge others to go laugh this weekend. Expecting the same thing from a sequel that came with the original is lunacy. So what did I think of this movie….
Anchorman 2 is an utter disappointment. This will come as sadness to a legion of Ron Burgundy fanatics. Walking into this movie, expecting something special and grand, I was left feeling like a customer who came to see a seasoned comedian and was given flat jokes instead.
You ever been to a comedy show expecting a good time only to hear crickets? Tonight’s film left me cold and isolated. People around me were laughing hysterically at this story line that beamed like a shiny new skyscraper in 2004. Burgundy and the gang were doing 24/7 news and what was shaped up to be a raucous affair didn’t feel right from the start.
The jokes felt forced, old, tired and hung low for seconds after being told. The story was an old fashioned news history lesson about doing it unconventionally. Ferrell squeezed as much as he could out of a script that he co-wrote with McKay that seemed to bring nothing fresh to the table. Rudd and Koechner went through the motions. Carell’s brain dead Brick became repetitive by the 45 minute mark and his relationship with Kristen Wiig’s similarly lost soul went nowhere. The film, right at two hours, felt like 3 hours of sound checks.
This is what happens to sequels sometimes. Any measure of expectations can leave a viewer feeling slighted. I was onboard for a sequel since the last one left theaters and after tonight I can tell you they should have left it alone. McKay, Ferrell and the gang are game as any comedy team in show business but they can’t save this thing from ridiculousland(sure that’s not really a place but I may invent it for sad eyed sequels).
The film will make money. People will pour out of it laughing. They will tell themselves all those black jokes, sexual references and dirty humor is good stuff. Here is the problem. Leave that film and a day later give me 2-3 quotes from it. I have nothing memorable to share with you here. At one point in this film, Ron Burgundy helps raise a baby shark. He has problems masturbating and the team gets into another guest star studded brawl. It all feels tired, old and flat.
In the latest Rolling Stone Magazine (with Ferrell on the cover), McKay is quoted as saying there was once a 5 hour version of the film. There are paragraphs about him and Ferrell doing hilarious improv sessions on set. Reading it and seeing some of the jokes in print form, they jump off the page and I couldn’t wait to hear them in the film. Guess what? They never made it in. Three or four solid one liners about ejaculation were never heard. A couple other potent lines about what men dream about also never saw the final cut. Apparently, there was enough footage for two movies. Well, let’s see the other footage.
McKay compared his roster of jokes to players on a team. If one didn’t work, another would be put in its place. I left the movie wondering if this film was one giant horrible editing job. Did we see the wrong movie? Was there a better edit in there somewhere? Sometimes film fans are left to wonder what could have been and if an editor simply made a bad call out of desperation of making a worthy sequel to a film that is probably quoted word for word by priests in private.
I need a glass of scotch myself tonight. I need something wicked to wash away the taste of this unworthy sequel that may be worth a rental to the millions of film fans that aren’t Anchorman fanatics. I was left disappointed.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t sheep’s wool. It isn’t as lovely as the lamp Brick coveted years ago. It isn’t as good as a brown bag lunch or a flute solo. It simply isn’t worth your hard earned time and money. As Luke Wilson’s news anchor said in the original, this is rigoddamndiculous!