I’ll admit I never really got the insane appeal of Anchorman. It’s the most consistently and overblown quotable movie in Ferrell’s filmography and is constantly brought up by movie buffs and simpletons alike in a aura that I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Sure, I saw the first movie and enjoyed it, in fact seeing it in theatres all these years ago with my mom, that was kind of weird. It’s a fine comedy movie, but I’m not entirely sure why it has separated itself so much from Ferrell’s other movies to stand out. Not that he has an amazing collection of films, we all know what he’s good at, stupid comedies, and he does them pretty well. It’s the quotes, of course, that everybody always brings up in regular conversation to an increasingly annoying extent that makes this movie live on in our culture. Now here we are nine years later with a sequel that didn’t need to be made, but I guess the fans “demanded” it and so it has been.
Eh, it’s actually not that bad. It’s an expected mix of ridiculousness, off-the-wall and stereotypical mix of comedy and Apatow-ness that we’ve all come to expect from the films that he produces (rather than fully helms himself). To be fair, the gags and jokes are spread across several levels, from easy racial/stereotype stuff, sight gags, noises (yeah, I know, ugh), lines geared to try and get viewers to quote them, and just such out of context stuff that is funny 50/50 of the time because of how dumb it is. I understand Steve Carell’s character of Brick as an idiot and some kind of mentally challenged person who says the most random and meaningless things, but he consistently gets laughs. It’s literally the easiest “jokes” in the movie, just making him spew random stuff that is supposed to be funny because it’s not funny. But, it works, where I can’t recall a single line of his that didn’t elicit a laugh from the audience I saw it with. Of course, I’m guilty of laughing at the occasional line of his, but it’s just so eye-rollingly dumb 90% of the time, like Two And A Half Men quality of humour.
Also, with a movie of this stature and following in line with the first one, there’s a ton of cameos. I’m not going to spoil them, except to say that they’re all pretty much rolled out in one scene, that you can probably guess if you’re a fan of the series. Again, an easy way to get a reaction and laughs, from some pretty great and fun cameos, but easy nonetheless. I never really laughed out loud throughout the whole movie, but rarely finding myself doing that with even my favourite comedic movie/TV show. I did very much though warm to the movie as it went on, and found myself in groove with everything. I don’t really have a place to put this, but the film in numerous scenes was edited really weirdly and abruptly. I know for certain that this was supposed to back up a humorous effect, or create a joke within the editing of a film, or cut to and from a joke through the editing motion, but it didn’t work at all. It just kind of fell limp and looked amateurish, rather than creating any kind of layered joke.
So, yeah, I’m shitting on it kinda, but I really did enjoy it a lot, especially the latter part of the film where it went full overboard with stuff that doesn’t make sense at all, but was funny because of it. It really makes me want to revisit the first one, which I haven’t seen in awhile and take a look to see if I overlooked something or what, I doubt it, but it’s an honourable goal. Really for comedy movies these days I really only gauge it by how much I laughed and if I was entertained, and increasingly the sequel did it for me, even when I thought it had lost me.