Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

(Video on Demand, April 2014) I remain a bit out of the popular opinion loop when it comes to the original Anchroman: While the film has its moments, it feels as aggressively dumb as its lead characters, and in no way warrant any kind of cult-classic status. But then again, I’ve never been much of a fan of Will Ferrell. So when this sequel doubles-down on nearly everything that made Anchroman, well, Anchorman, it makes sense that any feeling about the first film may be transferred nearly-intact to this sequel. The Good? Well, Anchorman 2‘s comedic carpet-bombing makes it so that it does manage to score a laugh or a chuckle from time to time. It does get better as it gets weirder. The end “newscaster brawl” has a high density of celebrity cameos and sight gags (although the fact that nearly everyone wasn’t there at the same time becomes painfully obvious, plus why not pick Montréal-born Rachelle Lefebvre or Jessica Paré rather than French-from-France Marion Cotillard as the French-Canadian reporter?), and the script manages a few points for taking on the general dumbing-down of news. Still, much like the first film seemed awfully indulgently sexist in its depiction of sexism, Anchorman 2 does seem inordinately pleased in its own stupidity while criticizing the erosion of intellectual standards. Much of the film works better conceptually than on the screen: I suspect that the loose improvisational nature of the film comes from the production, and the lack of a tight script makes it hard to hit and sustain specific plot points. Watching the film can be aggressively annoying at times, since much of the humor seems to be based around awkward screaming and fake panic –it gets old quickly. Ultimately, I suspect that the audience for this film self-selects based on their liking of Ferrell’s comic shtick. I can tolerate it at small doses, and having seen Anchorman 2 I find myself satisfied for the next year or so.

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