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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

February 10, 2016

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Director: Adam McKay
Actors: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell

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Synopsis: Legendary San Diego newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), moves into the arena of 24 hour news broadcasting….

Review: Far from impressed by the bizarrely festooned Anchorman first time round, I decided to give the ‘concept’ another go by checking out its sequel to see if perhaps I’d been a little churlish in my initial appraisal. I don’t know why I ever doubted myself! It’s brash, unsubtle and (for the most part) as humourless as I remember it, and if anything its flaws are even more exacerbated in this installment. This strange juxtaposition between a surfeit of humour and the project’s rampant over-indulgence is especially prominent in the ropey skits that are allowed to just run and run: from the odiously overegged ‘joke’ about Ron having a pet shark, and the exruciatingly conceited and unfunny courtship scenes between Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland and Kristen Wiig’s Chani, to the pièce de resistance of smug flatulence that is the celebrity cameo battle scene in the climax. Probably more sinister is the sense that though a film like this claims to satirise sexism and racism, it’s really a condescending parlour-game run by rich Hollywood white boys who are trying to procure cheap, illicit laughs from their own guilty transgressions.

In a film of nearly two hours of relentless comic posturing, it’s impossible for one or two things not to have some humour residue. Steve Carell’s Brick Tamlin (lame courtship skit aside) is a simply inspired portrayal of a demented, sociopathic simpleton, and some of the ironic jokes about 24 hour news hit the spot well – though sadly the rest of this film’s artillery is far more scattergun and off target. (February 2016)

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