Back in 2004, Anchorman was a surprise hit. It was always going to find an audience, with its ‘Frat Pack’ and SNL alumni connections but nobody expected it to be the monster success that it was. In the years since, the movie has taken on cult status and that it why a sequel was such a huge risk. I had only recently seen the original and was less than impressed so I didn’t hold out much hope for Anchorman 2. Ferrell is always hit or miss for me but I went anyway because…… well thats what I do.
Anchorman 2 picks up a few years after the original. The team of Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), Brian Fantana (Rudd), Brick Tamland (Carell) and Champ Kind (Koechner) have all gone their separate ways. Burgundy is (non prime time) co-anchoring with his wife Veronica Corningstone (Applegate) in New York City but is fired. He is then approached by Freddie Shapp (Baker) whose Aussie boss Kench Allenby (Lawson) wants to invest in a new kind of television.
24 hour a day news. A global 24 hour a day network called GNN.
They are the laughing-stock of the industry and to add insult to injury, our boys are given the 2am slot. This amuses GNN prime time anchor Jack Lime (Marsden) no end and the warring factions have a bet on who will achieve the higher ratings.
What follows is, in parts, an almost satirical look at the dumbing down of much of our television news. Veronica’s interview with Yasser Arafat, which would have been a huge, HUGE news story and coup for any journalist at the time, was taken off the air so the masses could watch a car chase. Genius.
The rest of the movie comprises Ron and Co being…..Ron and Co. There are some hilarious scenes, really funny stuff. Carell’s beyond stupid Brick has some of the movie’s best moments. I wonder if he had a script or was instructed to just speak randomly, as long as what he said had nothing to do with what was happening around him. Just hilarious. And Brick finds a potential girlfriend Chani (Wiig) who is just as socially awkward as he is.
Some jokes fall flat. The racist sportscaster is ……why? Just why? Utterly superfluous. As is the romance between Ron and his Boss Linda Jackson (Good). Far more time should have been spent showing Ron pursuing ex-wife Veronica. Ferrell and Applegate share a wonderful onscreen chemistry and it was wasted here.
Overall, I liked this movie. It was funny and irreverent and had my favourite thing in the whole wide world…….an Aussie in a non Aussie movie with an intact Aussie accent. Bliss. Okay so Lawson’s Allenby was ockered to the max but I loved it. It was funny ocker not the cringeworthy Paul Hogan type of ocker. Yuck!!
Of course, the big fight scene is worth the ticket price alone. It has a surprising cast of seemingly thousands and is laugh out loud, cheeringly funny.
While it is not the funniest movie ever made, it is a fantastic way to spend a few hours, especially in the yummy air conditioning on 40 degree summer’s day. If you like the offbeat, over the top humour, this is a winner. In my opinion, it is better than its predecessor in every way. The jokes are funnier and the characters more fleshed out. Maybe not a great date movie if you are out of your teens but definitely worth a look.
Love Flick xx
Director : Adam McKay
Starring : Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, James Marsden, Meagan Good, Josh Lawson, Kristen Wiig, Dylan Baker, Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear
Running Time : 119 minutes
Release Date : 12 December, 2013