Thursday, December 19, 2013

Anchorman 2 - Movie Review

Starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Meagan Good, Dylan Baker, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Judah Nelson, Fred Willard and Chris Parnell.
Directed by Adam McKay.

★★1/4

Nine years. Nine years since the legend has graced the big screen.  So when the stars align and he finally re-emerges, we get a cuddly reunion that I just wish had been funnier.

Call it the Austin Powers effect. I though the second movie was the weakest because it felt like it was retreading jokes from the first one.  This one too offers a retread. Some of it is funny, make no mistake, but this also suffers from our ability to see the punchlines coming from farther away, and shouting the punchline does not make it funnier.

We begin with Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone happily married, parents to a cute little moppet, and co-anchoring the weekend edition on a national news network (WBC).  When the main anchor of the network decides to retire, he names Veronica his successor, and he fires Ron, "the worst anchorman I've ever seen."  Ron's fragile pride is wounded, and he tells Veronica that if she loved him, she'd refuse the promotion. So naturally we cut to a few months later where a newly single Ron Burgundy has hit rock-bottom.

But then comes along the opportunity to be a part of GNN, the first 24-hour news network.

The movie has fun with the trope of "getting the band back together."  Steve Carell is a bigger star now so Brick has more to do this time around. But Brick was so dumb in the first one that he's impossible to invest in this time around. Comedy is best when there's a grain of truth to it, but Brick is incomprehensibly stupid. He's dumber than an adult Ralph Wiggum.

There's some inspired humor with the way it skewers cable news. There are also some gags that go on too long and just aren't funny, like Ron's awkward racism trying to relate to black people.

The third act gets so ridiculous that it almost saves it. (Did I mention it has a lot of good surprise cameos?)

Maybe if there'd been more people in my theater, there would have been more laughs, and I would have enjoyed it more.  As is, it's fine, you know. What can I say. It's alright. You could do worse. (Shrugs). I was disappointed.

1 comment:

Thomas Watson said...

Will Ferrell is many things, but above else he is a mogul. When he does something, you can guarantee he will go out of his way to make sure you know about it.