Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Thoughts
The original Anchorman brought laughter to many and has become a cult classic since it’s release. It took about 10 years to get Anchorman 2 made and the expectations were very high. Some were disappointment and some enjoyed it. I for one thought it was a very good sequel. It’s unrealistic to think Anchorman 2 would be an instant classic like Anchorman. Anchorman worked so well because it was different and very strong compared to past Frat Pack films. It had a huge impact on comedy films and the careers of Judd Apatow and his crew. It’s very unlikely for a sequel to repeat that same success but that doesn’t deny it from being good either.
With Anchorman 2, Adam McKay focused more on the story than jokes. It’s the story that brings laughter rather than the dialog. While the first movie was of Ron learning to accept others in his life and coming to terms with his selfishnes. Ron’s journey in this film is about him growing up & becoming more responsible. Ron’s marriage is on the rocks and he’s failing as a father to his son. Anchorman was about losing it all, while Anchorman 2 was having too much. The entire film is a journey for Ron to become a better man, better husband and better father. Even though it’s a silly film, Ron has a very a dynamic change.
One of the complaints against the film was it wasn’t as quotable as the first one but Anchorman 2 wasn’t set out to repeat what the first one did. Like I mentioned before, it’s a the story that provides the laughs. There are a couple of references and twists to jokes from the first movie, like Brian Fantana having unique condom collection compared to his cologne collection from the first movie. The jokes in the film work more in a conversation than they do out of context. Since Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, David Koecher, and Will Ferrell are all talented improv artists, they’re consistently coming up with hilarious banter amongst each other. It’s good to see the main characters return but the supporting cast had an overhaul. Characters like Ed Harkan & Garth are irreplaceable but we get new characters like Dylan Baker’s Freddy Shapp, who was one of the finer additions to the cast. His lack of understanding for the group & support provides some comedic moments. His reactions to the characters actions are priceless. We also get some laughs from other new characters like Meagan Good’s Linda Jackson, who is the perfect foil to Veronica Corningstone and James Marsden as Jack Lime. Unlike Wes Man Tooth who was a likable in some ways, Jack Lime is just a pompous jerk. He’s a funny bully.
Since the last Anchorman, Steve Carrell’s popularity has grown heavily making him a mega star. Brick is given a lot more screen time because of that. At times Brick’s lines feel forced, just so he could be noticed but thankfully, Steve Carrell is talented enough to spit out things that are funny. Brick also gets a romantic side plot. The love story really has no merit to it, it just gives Brick something to do. Pairing Brick up with another stupid character I felt was a mistake. Their story just didn’t feel like it made sense and felt out of place in the movie. Brick was a special character because of his idiosynacricies and adding someone who was the same made it feel less special. I think it would have been a lot more interesting if Chani was a normal girl who was infatuated with Brick. There would be a lot more humor in that. It could have been just as outrageous as Brick having a grenade & trident in the first movie. Casting Kristin Wiig as his love interest was a smart idea though. The two make a great pair and have some nice chemistry. I would like to see them work again soon. The one thing I did like was we got a different take on Brick. The group is actually aware of his low intelligence. He’s like a son to them that they’re very protective of him. Though at times i was questioning if Brick was as stupid as he seemed. Especially towards the end with one of his final lines. Anything is possible in the Anchorman world.
Even though there are some weak parts compared to the first film, there are a couple of things that are better. Sadly Baxter’s role in the movie is vastly reduced until his significant moment in the end but a little bit Baxter is better than no Baxter. The story for one was a huge improvement. Also the friendship of the characters is stronger in the film. Brian is the most caring one as opposed to the first one where he was ready to let go of Ron, he doesn’t want to let go of Ron in this. The film doesn’t resort to cliches of success stories, it twists and turns. It actually mocks some movie tropes. Even getting the group back together was different. The group just kind of jumped on board without any convincing. Since everyone’s career has sky rocketed since 2004, the movie is also bigger in scope. At times Anchorman 2 feels like an epic. It’s a 2 hour comedy, half an hour longer than a usual comedy. There’s more location movement. It’s a bigger world. The film is more glamorous and New York is the best location for that. The costumes are more hip and the soundtrack is a lot more funky. Even the careers of the characters are getting bigger throughout the film. At times , it’s even more beautiful than the first one. The cameos that come towards the end are all big stars and it’s pretty funny to see who they got involved. The climax is one of the best parts of the movie, and really outshines any of the moments in the first one even if it’s a throwback to a certain scene. It’s just an epic spectacle to watch.
Would I Recommend?
With Anchorman 2, Adam McKay has a created a much more epic film. It’s not as quotable as the first film, but it’s got a very good story that provides laughs throughout. It’s a fun journey. The satiric aspect of the news is still there taking a shot at racism and public news. Anchorman 2 is even more outrageous than the first film but that’s the beauty of it. For some, that’s a turn off but it’s not fair that cartoons can get away with silliness and live action can’t. The original Anchorman set the tone that this is an over the top world and Anchorman 2 picks up from there. Having unfunny people in the cast would be a mistake but Anchorman 2 is perfectly casted so it can be as looney as it wants. Anchorman 2 is a smarter film than many may notice. It’s totally self aware of it’s success & series following. The original Anchorman is pivotal to Anchorman 2 but Anchorman 2 takes things further. It doesn’t suffer from the sequel curse and tries to build its own identity. Even though the film hasn’t gotten a huge following, only time will tell but Anchorman 2 is a treat for anyone who’s a fan of the first one or comedy.