Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Written by: Adam McKay and Will Ferrell
Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate
Reviewed by: Sean Daly, Jennifer Daly
He Said She Said
What were your expectations before seeing this film?
He said-I thought the original Anchorman—after my second viewing and from thereon—was one of the funniest movies of all time. It’s also arguable the most re-watchable movie I’ve ever seen. I’d heard Ferrell and McKay had been very particular about scripts for a sequel, which gave me high hopes when they finally green-lit Anchorman 2. The hilarious first wave of Dodge Durango ads gave me even higher hopes but, as time went by, Ron Burgundy’s ubiquity across all forms of media began to get on my nerves and dull my expectations.
She Said- I expected Anchorman but, being a sequel, figured it wouldn’t be up to par with the original.
Which actor/actress stole the show?
He said-I thought Kristen Wiig, playing the female version of Brick with about the same amount of lines Carell got in the original, was great. Had she been given, say, five times more lines, her dim-witted character would have grown old quickly. Remember this later…
She Said-Will Ferrell. He dominates the movie with his humor and improvisation. That being said, if you are not into his type of humor, you will think quite the opposite.
Which Actor/Actress was poorly cast?
He Said-The dog who played Baxter this time around clearly understood nothing about the nuances that made the first Baxter so great. Since I know a lot of the lines were improvised, I also took great offense when he barked asking why he would be friends with Ron Burgundy, who is deserving of nothing but admiration. Just kidding. Everyone was cast fine but if giving Brick the second biggest role in the movie was what it took to get Carell to sign back on, they should have proceeded without him.
She Said- Since the majority of the cast returned for the sequel, I am going to change this question a bit and answer compared to the original cast, who underperformed. I would have to say Christina Applegate. In one of the opening scenes where she and Burgundy were on air together, it was hard not to notice she could not keep a straight face while Ferrell was “reporting” the news. Her role became more of a supporting one, and the scenes in which she was in were not as strong as the first Anchorman.
How was the cinematography?
He Said-Fine. The scenes of New York in the early-eighties and San Diego were spot on and McKay showed us one of the more, um, memorable lighthouses I can recall.
She Said- It was up to par with the original. I felt like I was in the time period in which this movie was set.
Was the soundtrack a highlight or a low light of the film?
He Said- Highlight! Even though some of the songs were released after when the movie took place, it set the era perfectly. To invoke Vision Quest by using John Waite’s “Change” at the end was genius.
She Said- Highlight. I love late 70’s-early 80’s music, so I will always answer highlight for a film set in this time frame.
How did you feel the dialogue worked in the film?
He Said-Absolutely. These characters speak in nonsense for the most part, which is what anyone seeing this movie is looking for. On the other hand, the original Anchorman may be the most quoted movie of this century and I doubt the sequel approaches that status, especially since some of the Dodge commercials had more memorable lines.
She Said- The dialogue worked very well. Burgundy comes out with some quotes that I think will stick around for a while, just like the original. My personal favorite: “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John” kept me in stitches and I think people in the theater were annoyed with my longer-than-appropriate laughter.
Would you define the film as a chick flick or a dude flick or a mix of both?
He Said-Anchorman is a dude flick in that I don’t know a lot of guys around my age who haven’t quoted it at some point. This movie will not end up as quotable but it still leans far more towards dude.
She Said- It is definitely a dude flick. Lots of potentially offensive stuff that could turn off a lady (see above quote from my last response).
How was the pacing of the film?
He Said- The pacing was good. It kept the jokes coming fast and furious, which is the entire point.
She Said- The pacing was fine, but I will say that the battle of news networks toward the end of the movie was too long and drawn out. In addition, it had cameo actor after cameo actor appear. I was thinking, enough already, by the third set of movie stars. I believe they presented about ten sets of them.
He Said- Anchorman 2 had huge shoes to fill and, like most sequels to a classic, didn’t measure up to the original. It was certainly entertaining, though, and had some standout parts. One was the scene at the lighthouse after Ron Burgundy suffered his tragic mishap, though it admittedly ripped off Talladega Nights. Then again, at least McKay and Ferrell were ripping themselves off. I can also definitely see a future drinking game when it hits video where viewers count all of the ridiculous props on screen in the background. And having the ghost of Stonewall Jackson as a hologram to represent the History Channel during the obligatory fight to the death between news providers was inspired, (though the scene itself was a low point in my mind because it looked as though Entertainment Weekly vomited all over the screen with all of the celebrities they jammed in.) I also liked that Anchorman 2 even tried to make a point, small as it was, about the nature of how television now presents news as entertainment versus factual events. I never knew Ron Burgundy circa 1982 was the catalyst for such things as the OJ car chase, Nancy Grace, and Fox News.
The biggest problem with Anchorman 2 was that the other three members of the news team weren’t nearly as funny this time around. I don’t blame the actors, except for maybe Carell, as much as the writing or McKay not getting them to improvise as effectively. Brian Fantana isn’t given enough to do while Champ just rehashes the same Whammy and Hot for Ron shtick. Meanwhile, Brick is given way too much material and overstays his welcome pretty early on. His is a character who works best in small doses.
The caveat I will give to any negative thoughts I have about Anchorman 2 is that the first time I saw the original, I wasn’t that impressed but changed my mind drastically after seeing it a second time. I have heard many other people say the same thing. It’s possible the same thing will happen with this movie. Even if it doesn’t, if you were a fan of the original, it’s definitely worth seeing.
She Said- It’s very rare that a sequel is just as good, or even better, than the original. Anchorman 2 is no exception to this rule. Ferrell is as hilarious in the sequel as he was in the original, but the supporting crew not so much. Some of the plot mirrored so closely the original that it became boring and tedious. An example would be the hatred between Burgundy and Jack Lime, the pretty boy newscaster, which I found too close to the original rift between Burgundy and Wes Mantooth. Another would be the bizarre, over-the-top musical performance of a woodwind instrument (yup, there’s one in this one, too). Sometimes too much of a good thing is, well, too much of a good thing.
Parts of this movie were so funny that I still chuckle as I recall them for this Q & A. The scene when the bus is on cruise control with no one at the wheel and what follows is classic. Brick finds a girlfriend who is just like him and their first kiss is hysterical (note her underwear).
This movie is pretty solid for its genre. But I did like the original more.
He Said- 2 guys
She Said- 2 gals