Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Harrison Ford, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Kristen Wiig
Directed by: Adam McKay
Synopsis: With the 70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.
What can I say? Anchorman 2 is terrible. Sorry Anchorman fans but it’s true. Ron Burgundy is dead. No matter how much you wanted him to be alive and kicking he was dead on arrival. Am I surprised? Not one bit.
To put it slightly into perspective, maybe it was just me. I just don’t find Will Ferrell’s brand of comedy funny any more. Back in the early noughties, with Zoolander and Old School and the first Anchorman, I was riding the crest of the Ferrell wave just like everyone else. Then something happened to me. Or to Will Ferrell. Either way, I just don’t feel the humour any more.
So, I knew I wasn’t going to like Anchorman 2 right from the get go. I mean, the signs weren’t good anyway, right? Trying to recreate a cult classic, ten years after the original event, was always going to be a hard ask. The trailer looked distinctly average, the jokes were basically the same as a decade ago (tired) and the initial reviews were lukewarm at best. I’ve just got around to watching it myself now, and can only concur.
The only merit the film takes is the satirical slant on the 24 hour news boom (“it’ll never catch on”). The boss is quite clearly meant to be Rupert Murdoch, the news station itself barely hides it’s likeness to CNN (GNN) and the graphics on screen when the news is being reported are all things we will recognise as common place today.
The plot is pretty flimsy as expected. Ron gets fired from his local news job, but gets an offer to head up a new 24 hour news channel. He gets the old team back together, and then basically repeats most of what happens in the first Anchorman. There is the odd funny moment but the likes of Brick and Champ, who were a tiny (I mean tiny) bit funny in the first film were just irritating as hell this time around. Paul Rudd was decent enough and Ferrell himself was so-so.
I think the makers knew it was pretty bad because they knew they had to recreate the first film’s fight scene on a larger scale and just called in as many big name pals as they could (I won’t name any names in case you haven’t seen it). It was vaguely funny, but, again, it never reached any great comedic heights.
Overall, I might have laughed about two or three times, which for a big name, two-hour comedy isn’t good enough. Now, let us just let Ron Burgundy rest in peace, huh?