Saturday, 12 April 2014

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

The legend continues? did it need to?. Watching Ferrell prep his voice ready to go on air right at the start is a good funny moment that reminds you exactly what this is about. Its off the wall insanely silly stuff that doesn't really make too much sense and doesn't really care.

The story isn't really much different from the first film and involves the usual career ups and downs for 'Burgundy', but now juggling with family issues. This time around Burgundy gets fired by his boss, the now well known real life old grump Harrison Ford. Only to be picked up for a 24 hour news station which is the newest thing (its the 80's remember). So off he goes to recruit his old news team and take New York by storm.

'Who the hell is Julius Caesar? You know I don't follow the NBA!'

The sequences where Burgundy finds his old buddies kinda paves the way for the rest of the film, its amusing, but not that amusing. Straight away I noticed that Carell's character 'Brick' seems to be way way over the top with his absurdities. Before this guy was obviously dumb or slow but generally kept up with the other guys. This time he's virtually beyond idiotic bordering on completely retarded, sure its funny at times but he's so out there the whole joke loses its appeal.

This feels like the problem with the whole film really, the joke has been stretched out too far and it loses its clever touch. All the other guys are still on their game with Koechner as outrageous as ever and easily being the best character next to Ferrell's. But the whole rival news team thing with Marsden feels old hat now and most of the jokes and quips don't really hold up as well. Don't get me wrong there are still some good moments here, Burgundy and his team getting all flustered over their new boss being a black woman was pretty funny. The usual sexual gapes and innuendos, dated visual gags such as their outfits and suits, the ever thick misogynistic angle that this franchise relies heavily on and Burgundy meeting his black bosses family probably being a highlight. Can't beat a bit of awkward to watch racial stereotyping tomfoolery.

'Which one of you pipe hittin' bitches can pass the salt?'

As you progress towards the finale the film becomes more of a spoof with every scene. The whole White Shark sub plot, Burgundy getting blinded and of course the big news team ruck that throws in quite a few needless cameos. Yeah sure its kinda funny I guess, sort of, but not overly. It all feels like they're just rehashing the original ideas, regurgitating the same thing but bigger and with more stars. Nothing wrong with the odd small cameo for laughs but did we really need to see so many in that finale fight, on that note did it really need to be so ludicrous?. A werewolf? a minotaur? the ghost of Stonewall Jackson?! did it need to that far?. Most of it wasn't even that amusing, seeing Sacha Baron Cohen play some snotty BBC news team reporter was actually kinda pathetic, he couldn't even get the gentlemanly accent right...and he's British!. Then you had all the corny stereotypical visual jokes about our Royal heritage and snootiness blah blah blah...oh please, originality anywhere?.

I found this disappointing really, it just didn't do anything for me and it didn't feel fresh because it isn't. Almost the same as the first film except its bigger which isn't a problem generally, but it is if you reuse all the same gags. You can see everyone is having a blast doing this but unfortunately I think they enjoyed their reunion too much and forgot about making a decent film. The first film was funny due to its heavy satire of sexism and racism in the 1970's workplace. This has spots of that but mainly goes down the all out spoof route and loses that clever sting.

'Every morning I get here a half hour early and I sexually assault a starfish'