AN EMPIRE OF WORDS

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and there I was watching the sequel to the first Anchorman that became a cult classic, with it’s quotable fashion and hilarious originality. Adam McKay directed the original project and what became an excellent partnership between Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Fast forward to 2012, when the news of the sequel gained traction and it soon became a reality when we first saw the trailer.

Needless to say I was very excited. Anchorman 2 picks up a little way after where the first left out, with Ron (Will Ferrell) and Veronica (Christina Applegate) both are still presenting the news as co-anchors but they now have a child together and are married. Ron is fired and Veronica is promoted to the top bill, Ron is then reduced to insulting dolphins, until he recruited for the first of it’s kind 24 hour news channel.

Of course, there are new characters introduced throughout the film, as the sequel takes place in the big apple of New York and not the familiar landscape of San Diego. Of course, the old Channel 4 news team is re-recruited as Ron left for the big time. So of course, the originals are there Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner) and the seemingly overused Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell). A portion is spent summing up what happened to them and what they are doing now, Brian being the most successful, and Brick reading a eulogy at his own funeral. (Hmm.)

“You know what they call bats? The chickens of the cave”

The new cast introduced include Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), who is the African American running the show at GNN and seems intent on getting the point across she is a strong independent woman, much like Veronica in the first one, but more “full-on”. Jack Lime (James Marsden) the chiseled featured rival of Ron’s for the top spot in the news room. And of course, Brick’s love interest Chani (Kristen Wiig) in the overplayed scenes that just seem to drag on in awkwardness in times.

Brick with Chani in one of those awkward scenes.

Brick with Chani in one of those awkward scenes.

Standing at just under two hours, the film feels longer than that, especially with some of the long drawn out sequences, it doesn’t feel like we’ve seen, or what we used to in the first film. Most of the comedy is overused or reused from the first, like “by the beard of Zeus” is taken and reshaped many, many, many times.

That being said, some of the comedy is excellent in places, but this mainly brought on by Ron Burgundy’s on-screen presence, like his encounter with Veronica’s lover after they’ve split up. Some of the comedy I found came from the elements from the first one, but twisted, not simply reused. This film has a lot, and I mean a lot, of cameos, but it’s excellent. It works. My favouite has to be Drake’s cameo at the start of the film, for some reason it is rather enjoyable.

I started to dislike this film before it even had appeared in the cinemas, simply for the amount of press that was used. Anchorman 2 invaded the sports networks, websites (Even IMDb was changed to IMDburgundy), this amounted to the extent of not being able to escape the actual film. The extraordinary lengths they went to publicise this film, even Will Ferrell being in character to announce the official news of the sequel, to them doing interviews in character. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for this kind of stuff, but to when I can’t escape it, I’m not.

But I’ll end on a good note.

The Channel 4 news team are back together.. With perms.

The Channel 4 news team are back together.. With perms.

What’s an Anchorman film without the news team fights? This is where the majority of the cameos are introduced, which I won’t ruin as some are simply brilliant. As far as it goes, this film would get the King of Cameo’s award for this year, beating This Is The End. All in all, as far it goes this film is very, average. As much as I hate to say that, the reused jokes and the length, doesn’t seem to fit and doesn’t feel like the first. But that was always going to be difficult to contend with, right? It’s a bold sequel, because at times it is enjoyable, but I doubt I’ll be running out to buy this on DVD.

3/5

This post is my 50th on my blog, so thanks for reading and staying with me all this time!

Also, I’ve attempted to change my writing style, for those who are regular readers, do you prefer it this way, or the old way? 

Thank for reading, and if you’ve seen this film, did you feel the same way? Or did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments!

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Author: Nathan Harris

Currently studying Film & Television studies and Media Writing at Derby University. Hopefully wanting to become a film critic/journalist.

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