Cult classics never really start out with much critical success and their takes time to develop. Some of these films are powerful and meaningful to some, while others are purposefully goofy and obscure. Either way, cult classics are a huge part of the world of film and a lot of great movies would be lost, if not for their ever-growing audience. Whether or not the film is good is irrelevant, as many have come to notice. At the end of the day, you watch a movie to leave your own life and become entertained by someone else’s in one way or another. If you’re spending your time with a News Team from San Diego, you’re probably going to have a funny and wonderful time.
When we last saw legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), he and his anchorwoman wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), were co-anchors in San Diego. When called into New York for the opportunity of the lifetime, Veronica received a promotion and Ron was fired for being “the worst anchorman” the world had seen. Spiraling into depression (if only in a glass case of emotion), Ron lost every job he found and was on the brink of ending his life. In his hour of darkness, however, Ron was asked to join Global News Network (GNN) to help cover 24 hour news. Knowing he couldn’t go it alone, Ron assembles the News Team to help do what they do best. Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) all find their way to Ron and attempt to get back in the groove of reporting the news.
With news being delivered 24/7, the news team wouldn’t be the only reporters there. Handsome, hot-shot Jack Lime (James Marsden) is the face of GNN and will have the prime-time spot. He and Burgundy easily spark a rivalry and competition for the spot. If things weren’t strange enough, Ron and the news team have an interesting time adjusting to the fact that their boss, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), is an African-American woman. With the odds against them, the news team would unknowingly start a revolution in the way the news was told. In an unorthodox approach, the news team discussed the news that Americans wanted to hear, which aided in the skyrocketing of their ratings. But, as happens to most people who acquire fame, everything goes to Ron’s head and he’ll have to go on a journey to save himself, his family, and the people he cares most about.
Full of hilariously bizarre one-liners, Brick screaming, and quality news reporting, Anchorman 2 just feels right. It’s always hard to give out a rating for a film and it’s even harder when that film is a comedy. It’s nice to be able to sit back and enjoy a movie, without having to look deep into the plot, character transformation, and overall quality of the film. Anchorman can be picked to pieces if you look at it critically, but that’s just no fun. Like it’s predecessor, this film doesn’t have the most elaborate of plots. Did I care? Not at all. This is a comedy that’s meant to be funny and enjoyable, which it is. There are a few slow moments and things that weren’t all that funny, but I laughed my ass off for the majority of the film. I left the film holding my sides and smiling and that’s what matters most.
Will Ferrell is this generations funniest man, to me at least. I’ve been a huge fan of his for over a decade now and I can easily quote: Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, Old School, Elf, Blades of Glory, Anchorman, and The Other Guys. His body of work is clearly impressive and his roles are almost all memorable. No such role is as memorable as Ron Burgundy. With all the ad campaigns that Anchorman 2 has going on, it’s hard not to laugh when you see him and his bushy mustache appear in front of you. We get the expected “by the beard of Zeus” quotes from Burgundy, as well as many hilarious stutters and uncomfortable situations. He truly becomes Ron Burgundy and eats up every scene that he’s in. It’s hard to hear half of what he says though, because you’ll miss half his dialog because you’re laughing too hard at what he previously said.
With the news team back, I felt much better about the film. What’s Anchorman without the laugh-out-loud quotes that our sweet, sweet Brick shouts? How could men confidently walk around without the musk of Sex Panther (by Odeon). Plus, what fun is a baseball game without shouting “whammy” when someone knocks the crap out of the ball? Reprising their roles, Carell, Rudd, and Koechner steal dozens of scenes that will have you barking like a seal. While Rudd offers new varieties of condoms and Koechner ramps up his sexual attraction to Ron, it’s Carell who delivers the best performance in the film. He’s so deeply invested in his role and he obviously has the most fun with it. He doesn’t even have to say anything and I’m still going to laugh at him. Carell has worked wonders with his character and he’s worth seeing the movie on his own.
Every other cast member does a great job, including Kristen Wiig, who plays Brick’s female counterpart and lover. What I really loved about this film, is how truthful it is about its views of the news. For the most part, the news is pretty boring and can be awfully depressing sometimes. The idea of having uncensored news that made you laugh and interested was a fun concept that wouldn’t be all that bad an idea in today’s world. Of course, this wouldn’t be a sequel without references to the last film. There are all the ones I mention above, and of course, there’s another rumble between news teams in central park with about a dozen more cameos that you wont see coming. The jokes are more “taboo” here, but I think that they’re handled well and ultimately make this a funnier film.
As funny as most of the film is, there are still moments and sequences that are drawn out for a Family Guy style of comedic appeal, but they end up taking up time that you’re not really going to laugh during. At five minutes under two-hours, this film does feel a bit long and there are a few parts that didn’t land any jokes that you could definitely remove. Some of the minor characters, who were very funny, aren’t given too much to work with (then again, it’s not their movie either). Other than a semi-slow pace and some lapses of time where the jokes aren’t funny, this comedy didn’t have much wrong with it.
Personally, I think that this film is a bit funnier than Anchorman. Both have similar qualities, but I like the approach that this film took. The cast is back and better than ever and they really do a great job of making you laugh until you cry. The writing is much better this time around and most of the jokes are pretty solid. Ron and Brick are the highlights of this film, but everyone does a great job of entertaining too. It’s not a perfect comedy, but it stands above many of the comedies I’ve seen this year. Like I said, at the end of the day, judging a comedy comes down to entertainment and laughter. That’s what it’s all about and Anchorman 2 provides both of those things.
Anchorman 2 Trailer