Anchorman 2 Review: Do Not See ‘Anchorman 2,’ No, Not Even If You Are High
Here is what I assumed about Anchorman 2 before I went to see it: parts of it would be really funny, but other parts would not be funny but Will Ferrell and his cohorts would think they were funny but would have nobody around to say “this part is not actually funny, here, let us edit it out.” That is how Anchorman the first was, and most Will Ferrell movies, and that is a perfectly acceptable way to be! On your typical Will Ferrell joint, the ratio of things that work is high enough to excuse the draggy unedited parts. But oh dear was I wrong about Anchorman 2.
Here was the entirety of the conversation we had the whole way home:
“My god that was horrible.”
“No, that was hooooorrribllle.”
“Jesus Christ, that was so horrible.”
“Everybody in that theater was high.”
“Jesus Christ, that was HORRIBLE.”
“Jesus fuck, that was SO BAD.”
Did people laugh during Anchorman 2? They did. But not only were those people high, they were stupid people who were high. Do you know how I know this? Because they laughed at the trailer for Blended. I swear to fucking God they did.
So what is terrible about Anchorman 2? Besides “all of it”? Let us start with: the movie is ugly and shot poorly. You can see the pancake makeup on bloated Will Ferrell and patchy Christina Applegate and it is not a commentary on, I don’t know, the synthetic unreality of the lives of people on TV.
Let us follow that with really tone-deaf jokes about Will Ferrell trying to figure out how to deal with the blackness of his new boss, the gorgeous Meagan Good, who, unaccountably, does not immediately fire him and then permits him to do sex on her. Let us realize that these scenes are never going to end.
Let us continue with the horribleness of the child actor who plays Ferrell and Applegate’s son, more robotic than Haley Joel Osment in AI. Whose son is this? This is somebody’s son right? Whoever’s son this is should not be in charge of putting their son in movies.
Let us note that a strong premise for a follow-up — Ron Burgundy accidentally invents jingoistic Fox-style cable news in an attempt to goose his graveyard-shift ratings at the fledgling Global News Network — gets probably five minutes (maybe 10?) in a two-hour-fucking-movie about Ron Burgundy being drunk at Sea World and then eventually going blind in a figure skating accident and raising a shark.
Now let us talk about the good parts: Kirsten Wiig is funny as a love interest for Steve Carell who is more brain damaged, possibly, than he is. Paul Rudd isn’t terrible. James Marsden is pretty. Meagan Good is pretty too. The soundtrack! That soundtrack is great! The battle royale that pretty much ends the movie includes “news” people from MTV. That is pretty funny! And that is the only funny thing — great people, whom you love, show up for what should be clever cameos and then do not actually do or say anything funny — about the culminating set piece of the movie.
If you are high — scratch that: if you are a stupid person who is high, then go give Will Ferrell your $12 or $16. Otherwise, we’re guessing you should see American Hustle.