As one of the few humans on the planet not swept up into the Anchorman phenomenon (yes, I admit to you that I did not see the first film) I could go into this review with a pure heart and a clear perspective. You can trust me to give the facts and just the facts.
With the fact that I did not see the first kept in mind, I have to say that part 2 was rather painful. Everything seemed like sketch skits just stuck together and called a movie hoping we would not notice. This is upsetting as there is a great comedic cast involved in the film. Besides Ferrell, Applegate, Farrell, Rudd and Koechner there is also Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Fred Willard, Greg Kinnear, Meagan Good, and Chris Parnell. They even have Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones and Han Solo – for goodness sake! Colour me disappointed.
After leaving San Diego Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell – The Lego Movie, Blades of Glory) and his wife Veronica (Christina Applegate – Up All Night, Hall Pass) and son Walter (Judah Nelson – appeared in episodes of Portlandia and Two and a Half Men) move to New York City. Their idyllic life changes when their boss decides to promote Veronica to full time anchor and firing Ron. Ron, feeling like a has been, moves back to San Diego and gets a job working part time at Sea World.
They say that everyone gets a second chance and for Ron that second chance is brought on by a man named Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker – Spider-Man 2, The Cell). Freddie is an executive producer at the television station Global New Network, which is a 24-hour new channel. He takes a chance and hires Ron, who has decided to get his whole gang back together. That means Champ (David Koechner – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Thank You For Smoking), Brick (Steve Carell – Crazy, Stupid, Love, Despicable Me) and Brian (Paul Rudd – Role Models, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) ride again and are coming to a television near you. They all move back to New York.
It is not all hearts and roses for Ron and the gang as they are given the less than desirable graveyard shift. Not one to settle for simply being good, Ron comes up with a plan that he believes is foolproof and will bring him and his entourage back up to the top.
As with most films that fail the problem here is the script or lack thereof. Horror of all horrors is the part where it tries to be kinda serious. Now, I am no screenwriter, but even I know that trying to instill some seriousness in a film that can only be described as a broad comedy it tricky to say the least and foolish in most circumstances as it blows up in your face. Jumping back and forth between physical comedy and serious moments is tough and screenwriters Will Ferrell and Adam McKay – who is also the director (The Other Guys, Step Brothers) – are not up to the task.
It is a shame because over the first 30 minutes of the film it totally worked. This must be the stuff that made the film a cult favourite. It demonstrates the potential of this type of absurd humour. Then for some reason they change course and that is a mistake as they head into very choppy waters.
The trying to cram in as much humour and as many jokes (part of the advertisement campaign was that it had 763 new jokes) as they can ends up biting them in the butt. It just feels unrehearsed, unplanned and, in plain English, awkward. I don’t appreciate when I feel like the people behind a film are forcing me to laugh. It should be rather organic rather than random feeling. Very little “natural” about Anchorman 2.
• Super-Sized R-Rated Version – with 763 New Jokes!
• Original Theatrical Version
• Unrated Version – not shown in theaters DVD with Original Theatrical Version also included PLUS Over 4 Hours of Bonus Content!
• Commentary with Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner (Unrated Version)
• 5 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes: Newsroom – Inside the making of the film, RV – Dissecting the RV tumble, News Fight – Inside the biggest, baddest all-star celebrity brawl, Baxter & Doby – The lovable animals of Anchorman 2, Anchorman 2: The Musical – A look at the musical sequel that almost was
• Over 90 Minutes of Deleted and Alternate Scenes
• 2 Line-O-Rama’s – Hilarious Outtakes!
• Rare Cast Audition Tapes
• 2 Gag Reels
• Cast Table Reads – Original Script Read-Throughs