Sunday, January 5, 2014

Movie Review - Anchorman 2 - By Jeffrey J. Thivierge


Sometimes I wonder if my wife knows how close she was to getting dumped when we first started dating back in the spring of 2006. All because of the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. 

My wife and I both have a love of movies, so I was shocked when she told me she hadn’t seen “Anchorman”. At the first available instance, I whipped out the DVD from my case and forced her to watch it. Her reaction shocked me.... She wasn’t impressed. I felt defeated, because I loved this movie so much and she didn’t care for it. I offered her a chance to watch it again, which she did about a week later. Apparently, she needed this week to let this Will Ferrell classic soak in, because her view changed from, “ehhh” to “Oh my God, this is comic genius!”

When Will Ferrell announced that there would be a second installment of “Anchorman”, we were both giddy, yet cautiously optimistic because so many sequels end up as stinkers.

“The Legend Continues” picks up a few years after Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) have vacated San Diego and headed to the Big Apple to be the first husband and wife co-anchors of the weekend news for a major network. Their relationship becomes rocky as Veronica is promoted to the evening news desk and Ron takes a job with a new 24-hour news network. Ron assembles his former colleagues, Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell), Champ Kind (David Koechner), and Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) from San Diego to assist him in his new venture. 

At the network, Ron has found a new adversary, the young Jack Lime (James Marsden), who has been tapped as the prime time anchor, while Ron and the gang have been relegated to a late night time slot. Looking past the new antagonist in this chapter of the story, Ron and Brick also find new love interests in Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) and Chani (Kristen Wiig), respectively. From there, hilarity ensues as the gang treats the country to something that had been missing in the news.... sensationalism.

So often when Hollywood produces a sequel, it’s done to squeeze the public for more money on an already beloved entity. (Think “Star Wars” and the prequels.) The first installment of “Anchorman” did okay in the theaters, but it developed a cult following over the last nine years. I think that writer/director Adam McKay wouldn’t have gone through with the sequel if it wasn’t “right”. 

Personally, I think that McKay and Ferrell knocked it out of the park with this sequel. They didn’t just rehash the original with new players. They made a movie that incorporated the original cast with a completely new story line. They did revisit a couple of scenarios from the original, but with more gusto. This movie is full of cameos from some of the biggest stars of television, movies and music. (Anybody that knows me knows that I enjoy a comedy with cameos.) 

With that said, it takes a certain personality to truly enjoy a movie of this caliber. I enjoy toilet humor a little more than the average guy that’s getting close to the age of 40. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is full of toilet humor as well as some racially charged comedy. If you walk into the theater with thin skin and are easily offended, be prepared to walk out offended. If you like the idea of watching something that makes you cringe with embarrassment and like impossible humor, you’ll probably enjoy this movie.

Maybe I’m really starting to show my age, but this movie would’ve been rated “R” in the 1980s, but is only rated “PG-13” today. Call me old fashioned, but I have a 14-year-old daughter and I cringe to think she is old enough to watch this movie. Of course, she won’t be allowed to date until she’s 29. By then, Ron Burgundy will be in the twilight of his career.