December 21, 2013

Critical Capsule: Anchorman 2 - The Legend Continues

I think there has to be a time limit on when sequels can be made. Times change, people change, and it can be near impossible to recapture the magic that is trapped in the past. Case in point, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The original 2004 film was a blast of manic, non sequitur comedy, this sequel feels like warmed over leftovers, even more so than the Wake Up, Ron Burgundy DVD movie that was made of all the clipped bits from the movie proper. This is not to say I didn't laugh, I did, but the movie probably could have been better and shorter, if it was really needed in the first place.

Like I was saying, there may need to be a time limit put in place. Anchorman was a great film for its moment in time, and while we liked the characters it may have been better to just leave them in the past. If there was a need to revisit them, perhaps they should do a web series or something like that. After all, the movie feels like a series of strung together gags with the barest thread of plot to hold them together. As it is, it is a hair away from flying completely off the rails.

The movie follows Ron (Will Ferrell) as he loses his job as weekend news anchor when his wife, Veronica (Christina Applegate), gets promoted over him. He drifts through terrible jobs and when he is at his lowest, he is approached by someone starting up a new 24-hour news network, GNN. He takes the job and reassembles his team of Brian (Paul Rudd), Champ (David Koechner), and Brick (Steve Carell). Together this collection of rejects take to the graveyard shift airwaves and proceed to go against their bosses and garner the approval of the masses.

This movie does have some laughs, but runs way too long. At nearly two hours long, there are slow spots, places where it could have been tightened up, and sections that could be entirely cut with no detriment. On top of that, it doesn't have that freewheeling aura of the first. I suspect there was a lot of improvising on the set (which much of will undoubtedly be on the Blu-ray release), but it feels like they were all playing to their mark, attempting to recreate the original rather than expand it.

To its credit, I thought it was interesting in its attempt to examine the current state of the news, but overall it felt like it wasn't trying hard enough, or maybe too hard? I don't know, but while I got a few laughs, it wasn't exactly a great movie. Sure, it could have been worse, but I hoped for better.

Mildly Recommended.

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