Disclaimer: there may be spoilers, but not really any important ones, so read it anyway.
Last night I went to see “Anchorman 2.” I had high hopes for this film, because I remember the first one being hilarious and it has an amazing cast. I thought, since Will Ferrell has turned down other sequel opportunities, this one must live up to the first one’s quality. However, like most sequels, it was disappointing.
The movie relied solely on the cast and their goofy jokes, but it didn’t have any sort of strong storyline, theme, or lesson to be learned. The strongest part, plot-wise, was the subplot with Brick Tamland’s love interest. That had a vaguely clear character arc and a distinct goal for Brick, however there was not really an obstacle that he had to overcome.
Ron Burgundy’s story goes all over the place. I wasn’t sure if this was a story about him finding love, learning how to be a father, succeeding as an anchorman, raising a shark, changing history in the news industry, or coming to terms with women and black people gaining more power in their culture.
As it turns out, though the theme was touched upon, the last one is not true. They seemed to put a strong, black, woman character in this one just to create a funny circumstance for Ron and for her to be his sexual plaything, which exasperates stereotypes so many people are working to remove. It didn’t develop into any sort of plot that shed light on how far we’ve come since that time (this movie made me question if it was all that far).
Also, the only time the two main female characters interact, they are fighting over the male and calling each other “bitches.” This sexist movie was only slightly redeemed when Amy Poehler and Tina Fey joined in the fight scene and whooped some ass.
As for the idea of Ron and his news team changing the course of news history, I thought it was a great idea. It’s funny to think that the ridiculous consumerist nature of the news today is the sole responsibility of these characters that we’ve loved since the first “Anchorman.”
That should have been what the film was about. They could have developed a stronger plot within that idea, instead of meandering in so many different directions, grasping at other plot lines to keep the viewer engaged.
The movie is supposed to be a “legend.” It’s in the title. The only reason why this story would be a legend is because of the way they changed the format of news, not because of his bizarre personal journey where he becomes blind and raises a shark and learns to love his son. If Ron needed a personal journey to go along with this large scale one, they should have made it much more contained. The audience needed something to take away from this film, other than laughs, which I found wasn’t the case.
Overall, I’ll give it three and a half stars.
The best joke of the film: when Ron exclaims, “By the hymen of Olivia Newton John.”
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