I’ll tell you up front, this isn’t as good or better than the first Anchorman. That doesn’t make this a bad movie, not in the slightest. The original was something special, at least for me. I wanted to say that upfront. Expectation is the source of all heartache, especially with sequels.*
The best part of the movie was the central plot, the news team working for the first 24 hour news network. Of course Ron Burgundy was responsible for make the news what it is today, sensationalism coupled with entertainment. It really was a brilliant move. Between the graphics, banners, live car chase, I couldn’t help but laugh and roll my eyes. Ron Burgundy was meant to read the news, and have salon quality hair.
The movie was stuff with characters and great performances. Steve Carell has more screen time, given his star power. His new love interest, played by Kristen Wiig, did great opposite the stalwart weatherman. Paul Rudd was solid while David Koechner had little to do past the first act beyond showing up. Christina Applegate had a decent sized part as well. Given the previews, I thought she’d have less of a presence.
It was obvious that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay knew what a sacred cow they had, trying to put their best foot forward with the sequel. This was obvious to me as I sometimes thought they were trying too hard. Nearly a half hour longer than the first, it felt overly bloated like many Apatow movies and could have used some editing. There’s a bit of time before the news team is assembled. While I had a few chuckles before then, it wasn’t until they were together together, over 20 minutes in that the movie gelled.
Comedy sequels typically follow a formula, taking the best parts from the first and doing them bigger. That being said, it’s pretty easy to guess the arc of the movie, Ron leaves the news team, falls from grace, fights a dangerous animal with Baxter saving him, etc. This is were the movie seemed to drag the most, particularly at the beginning of the third act when Ron was blind. The entire bit with the shark could have been removed. The dinner scene with Meagan Good and family was horribly awkward and I couldn’t wait for it to end. I don’t care for embarrassing, awkward humor (like the Office). My biggest complaint was when the movie picked up steam, a bit that didn’t work would grind it to a halt.
What did work? Again, the central plot was great, as was anytime the team was reporting the news. Carell was funny and every time Rudd was on screen, you felt it. The best scene though, which I’m glad was repeated, was the epic battle. There were some major cameos that I won’t spoil for you here. Do yourself a favor and let it be a surprise. It’s difficult to mention what was funny without running the surprise. I assure you, there’s more bad than good.
I went into this movie with my expectations set low. This wasn’t a negative outlook, instead trying to prevent my hopes from getting too high. Though it doesn’t touch the original, it’s certainly no Caddyshack II. You’ll feel the slow spots, but still leave with a smile on your face and few knew quotes. “Like the old saying goes, nope.”
What was your favorite cameo? How does it compare to the original for you? Comment below!
*My girlfriend said that line and allowed me to use it.