Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – A Review
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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – A Review

We have waited nine years for the follow up to the cult gem Anchorman. Does producer Judd Apatow break a streak of comedy home runs that have earned him the number one spot on Entertainment Weekly's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood? Let’s break it down.

The theatre was surprisingly full and was a mixed bag of young and old, apparently all fans of sleazy newscasters. After an excessive amount of advertising and the crowd showing audible irritation, the movie finally started opening with the happy couple walking through the streets of 1980 New York on their way to anchoring the news together for a prestigious big city news network. The plot quickly takes us to the darkest time in Ron’s life; getting fired by his idol, Mack Harken, played by Harrison Ford, (yes really) while wife, Victoria is promoted to the spot of anchor. Ron’s life spins out of control after Victoria refuses to accept his ultimatum of choosing him or her career. He is on his own, and in a downward spiral.

Hitting rock bottom after being fired at his job of host at SeaWorld, he is given a chance to revive his career by joining a groundbreaking twenty four hours news network. He travels the country to reunite his crew who he finds are all out of the news game and photographing kittens, serving deep fried bat, and attending their own funeral. They are all too happy to join Ron in united polyester to “tell the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear”. The cast is ridiculous. Not only did the original cast sign up again, but some very big time names made cameos in a genre that they would not be expected to cross over to. The genre being utter silliness. The one that surprised me the most was Liam Neeson who is not exactly typecast in this brand of slapstick comedy. The same could be said of Greg Kinnear who surprised as Victoria’s love interest. There are plenty of other cameos, too numerous to list, so I will leave some element of surprise.

We have the same campy, sleaze bucket hero, in the same flammable polyester suits, with his same inner circle of equally bumbling cohorts. The exception, of course, being his brilliant journalist wife, Victoria Corningstone, reprised by the coolly comical, Christina Applegate. Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner all gel to forge some kind of Four Stooges stew that bubbles with quirky one-liners, politically incorrect verbal diarrhea, and their characters’ unlikely success. And that is exactly what we all signed up for. With the exception of some OTT racial and misogynistic gags that go on too long, it is the formula we all expected and why ditched our holiday shopping, cleaning and other things that have to be done in the next few days.

Will Ferrell is genius at executing the same repetitive schtick and getting a laugh. At one point in the movie a man lost all control of his laughter causing the whole theatre to turn to catch a glimpse of his attack of hilarity, causing most of us to miss the next couple of quick lines. There were plenty of LOL moments, several “Did he really just say that?” moments, and a few twists that the movie could have done without. One that was a welcome was the romance between Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Chani (Kristen Wiig) who is Brick’s imbecilic match. His terrified non-sequitors are plentiful and as random and sublime as you would expect from this veteran. James Marsden dazzles as Jack Lime. He is too good looking for words but also happens to be pretty funny as the narcissistic anchor for the prime time slot.

It would be hard to argue that these are some of the best one-liners from this sequel:

’When you’ve got an ass like the North Star, wise men are going to follow it.’

‘I’m going to do the thing that God put Rod Burgundy on this Earth to do: Have salon quality hair and read the news.’

‘Who the hell is Julius Caesar? You know I don’t follow the NBA.’

‘By the hymen of Olivia Newton John!’

‘Oh my God, he’s absolutely magnificent. I bet his poop smells like sandalwood.’

While none of these stands up to "Why don't you go back to your home on whore island!" from the original, they are commendable. So all in all it is a bizarre romp with our intrepid, unwitting innovator, and the predictability that is the product of Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell. I had a great time and left in good spirits, not of the Christmas kind. And yes, Judd's streak is unbroken.


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