Will Ferrell; he’s one of those comedic actors who you pretty much know what you’re going to get every time he shows up on screen, but that’s his meal ticket – ridiculous humour. The (now) Anchorman franchise kind of affords him the liberty to do as he pleases and recycle the same character from all his other films but to retro fit it into the pseudo 70’s news anchor setting, a look which suits it (and him) rather well.
The Legendary Ron Burgundy is wasting away doing low paying presentation jobs, while he has resigned himself to his fate, drinking and making an even bigger fool of himself in a deluge of self pity amidst his sunken career. He is a news anchor first and foremost, and without that, he has lost his purpose and drive, or just his motivation to continue living.
Presumably you’ve watched the first one, so you know what to expect, though generally Will Ferrell is a brand unto himself, so if you’re a fan, then this may just satisfy your fix. Realistically though, if you watched this film on circuit and enjoyed it, then I recommend buying the DVD, just for the outtakes.
The Bottom Line
I for one wasn’t initially sold on the first Anchorman – this being a brand of comedy that is an acquired taste, yet it seemingly has the ability to grow on you over time, if you let it (not to mention the lack of quality comedic variety in Hollywood). So that being said I did eventually warm to Anchorman, but then I was still surprised when a sequel was announced. In the current Hollywood climate however, more of the same can sometimes be a good/tolerable thing (just look at 22 Jump Street).
Anchorman 2 then is just that, but perhaps with even more of the ridiculous. The over handed spoofy-ness might not appeal to many as the emphasis leans more on the crazy and less on genuine comedy because everyone (being the actors and filmmakers) seem to be caught up in the thrill of just getting the madcap gang back together – once again featuring Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate.
There was an opportunity here but the writers perhaps missed a trick in going the mad-hatter route (despite the climactic battle sequence being its own kind of entertaining).
It says something (and this is sadly quite common with modern comedies) when the films blooper reel is funnier than the film itself, in fact, I’d venture to say it’s almost worth buying the DVD just for the gags. The actors know all too well that this is completely ridiculous and just trying to one up one another is rather hilarious, so even if the film, (which does contain a rather bizarre family bonding sequence where they adopt a pet shark) doesn’t tickle the right spot, watching the cast make even bigger fools of themselves in the blooper roll, just might.
Anchorman did warrant a sequel, but it didn’t quite deliver the afternoon delight we expected.