Sunday, March 30, 2014
Video review: "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
The first “Anchorman” movie was spectacularly overrated, and the sequel is a heaping helping of seconds.
Oh, you’ll laugh during “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Probably chortle quite uproariously on a half-dozen or so occasions. The rest of the time, though, is waiting around for that next big ROFL moment to arrive. During these portions, which make up the bulk of the overlong 119-minute runtime, the movie barely edges into tolerable.
Will Farrell returns as Ron Burgundy, the worst newscaster in history (circa 1980). As the story opens he loses his job and his marriage simultaneously, but gets a second chance at the then-new enterprise of television news broadcast 24/7.
Relegated to the wee hours of the morning, he and his crew of nitwits (Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner) soon make a splash by giving the audience exactly what they want – car chases, cute critters and jingoistic patriotism.
As a critique of TV news, “Anchorman 2” is pretty weak tea, hitting all the obvious notes without much originality or flair. So the movie has to rely on its characters and humor, which are the very definition of scattershot.
Director Adam McKay, who co-write the script with Ferrell, favor an ad-lib approach in which actors do take after take, and (supposedly) the best stuff is used for the movie. Ferrell & Co. stand there, barking out absurd dialogue until something sticks.
Their comedy mantra seems to be “Try, try again.” But is one hit to every 20 misses worth your time?
This zany M.O. does, however, allow them to try something truly audacious for the video release. They are giving us three different versions of the film, including a “Super-Sized R-Rated Version” that reportedly includes 763 new jokes.
It’s essentially an alternative edit of the theatrical version (also included), with different lines swapped out. It also includes an unrated version with even filthier gags and language.
Is the “new” version of the movie better than the one we saw in theaters? You’ll have to decide for yourself.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack also includes a making-of doc, gag reel, table read by the cast, deleted and extended scenes, audition tapes and more.
You have to spring for the Blu-ray pack to get all these goodies, though; the solo DVD contains only the theatrical version of the movie, and that’s it.