Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Most sequels are feeble affairs, and comedies tend to suffer the most. Few do the franchise justice and instead tend to be plagued by the need to play it safe. With Airplane 2 and the Ocean’s Eleven follow-ups in mind, one could be forgiven for seeing Anchorman 2 with a vague sense of dread. This sequel however just about dodges these pitfalls.
Firstly, it’s more political than its predecessor. Journalism, particularly TV journalism, has long been a laughing stock, and one sense a point is being made when Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) asks “why can’t we just give them the news they want?”, to which Victoria (Christina Applegate) wails “everyone’s just doing stories about cute animals now!”
Corporate sponsors have their pantomime villain moment, and towards the end Ferrell steps more or less out of character to warn the audience that they’re all getting screwed. Fair enough, but Burgundy is hardly a weighty character for this outburst, and the movie doesn’t give him the time to develop in this direction.
With the movie set in the 70s, the other problem is that satire can only be so strong. When Burgundy cuts to a car chase to block a rival’s ratings, a narrator has to explain: “This may look commonplace today, but back then…”
There’s surrealism and slapstick aplenty, which is what most fans of the original Anchorman movie will come to see. Much of the plot is clichéd, and a long final act nearly kills the film entirely. But Ferrell et al are from a zanier world of comedy than say, Woody Allen, who moved from gags to slow-burning character studies, and they far exceed the observational comedy of modern TV shows. It has its dry patches, but Anchorman 2 makes for a respectable follow-up on the legend. Although, here’s hoping they don’t make a part three.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is released nationwide on 18th December 2013.
Watch the trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues here: