However, I think the upcoming Anchorman sequel will prove to be half, or even a quarter, of the original and will leave behind a pungent, undesirable odor — think Sex Panther without the bits of real panther — as its own legacy.
The wait for this movie has been too long and, as a result, the expectations are too high for its release.
Mix those ingredients in with recycled, decade-old jokes and a bloated cast that will interfere with the repertoire of the original and you get a deadly concoction that has produced failures in the past (see: Comedy Sequels Suck below).
I’m sorry to say it, but this Scotch-less, 1970s-less setting will drown Ron Burgandy’s return to the screen next weekend.
Now, for those of you who want to unleash unarticulated backlash, go right ahead with your blind faith of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay movies.
For those of you looking for an objective viewpoint, here are 10 reasons why Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues won’t satisfy your appetite for comedy:
Comedy Sequels Suck
I’d hope that this statement can go undisputed, but if anyone needs examples, there are plenty, ranging from the notorious Ghostbusters 2 and Caddyshack 2 (yes, both of these disasters were made and are horrible for those who havent’t seen) to the less-notorious Weekend at Bernie’s II and Fletch Lives (also awful and not worth your time) to the more recent Hangover sequels and the entire Scary Movie franchise.
One of Anchorman’s cast members knows this all too well. Just ask Steve Carrell how Evan Almighty did at the box office.
The Unnecessary Media Blitz
I might be alone, and probably am, in being 100% fed up with the recent Anchorman 2 advertising campaign. I feel like every other commercial this past weekend was Anchorman 2 related. I never thought I’d say this but I really don’t want to see Ron Burgandy on the TV screen that much.
I get the in-your-face humor behind it, and if there is one actor in Hollywood suited for this type of blitz it’s Will Ferrell, however, it’s so outlandish and over-the-top that I can’t abide by it anymore.
Plus, any movie that has to spend this much time and money promoting itself is definitely trying to hide some deficiency.
What made This Is The End a classic comedy earlier this year? It was the prototypical guy’s movie. Dudes were being dudes and no chicks were present to break up the dialogue or shift the storyline— minus the great Emma Watson scene, which was just sublime. Now, back on track with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, where no such chick-free environment exists. Christina Applegate, who is reprising the role Veronica Corningstone, is listed as the second lead and figures to play a heavy role in the sequel’s plot.
This creates a blatantly glaring hole to me — the Ron and Veronica love storyline will play a vital role in the movie and put the news-team storyline on the backburner, to some extent. Those who want to look away from this beforehand can, but it will only make it worse in theaters when it happens. And trust me, it will.
Too much star power
Yes, this can actually happen and whenever you see a cast as big as the Anchorman sequel has in place, it’s usually a precursor for disaster. Cameos expected, per the International Movie Database, include: Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Kayne West, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kirsten Dunst. Where do all these people fit into the story? It’s like the Expendables on a comedy steroid. And this doesn’t even factor in James Marsden’s character Jack Lime, who will fit in as an antagonist of sorts, and Vince Vaughn’s Wes Mantooth, who is back for a second serving after a delightful turn in the original. John C. Reilly — no, he doesn’t play Champ Kind, you idiots — is also supposed to pop up somewhere along with Amy Poehler, Meagan Good and Greg Kinnear.
What’s most problematic here, besides way too many personalities being on one stage at the same time, is the fact that some of these stars aren’t even comedians. Liam Neeson? Harrison Ford? James Marsden? If these are the people that we are supposed to chuckle with when Ferrell is off screen or Carrell is burning a waffle in the toaster, then we should all expect not to laugh very much.
Leaving sunny California for grey-coated Manhattan will prove to be the worst decision the Anchorman producers ever made. On the outside looking in, the change of scenery looks nice and makes a lot of sense considering we are ten years removed from the original and we must assume a lot has changed in this fictional world. However, it hasn’t, or at least I hope it hasn’t — otherwise it wouldn’t be funny.
If the characters, and the humor they generate, are all going to be the same, then the flipping of the setting won’t accomplish much of anything other than putting them in an unfamiliar setting that they, along with the audience, will have to spend the first hour getting adjusted with. By that time, half the movie will have gone by and there won’t be enough time left to convince the people watching in the seats that this sequel was worth making.
Big ego news team
Besides the dude who plays Champ Kind, the three other members of the Channel 4 News Team have gone on to become leading men in Hollywood over the past decade, headlining comedies and indie dramas alike. Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell all have an individual brand name to protect, which mean they won’t be as loose as they were in the original and now will always be thinking about Numero Uno anytime they’re in front of the camera. I don’t know if this will actually affect their individual comedic performances, but it the fact that they’re all stars has to dilute their group effectiveness and cohesiveness.
This may be nit-picky, but doesn’t the timing for this movie seem off? Ron Burgandy is a summer personality, not a Christmas one. I’d almost rather see Ferrell in an Elf sequel this time of year than an Anchorman reprise — not that Elf needs a sequel.
Nonetheless, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues comes out a week before the holidays, which means that roughly 25% of us bros will be catching it with our respective families, and that’s a low-ball estimate. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging in the American tradition of going to the multiplex over Christmas break, however, it does become problematic when your seeing one of the all-time legendary bro characters make his 10-year-long-return to the big screen next to your little sibling or your mom.
Does this movie even have one yet? Not according to the Internet. If it’s not rated R, then that could only add to the potential problems.
I didn’t want to include this because it’s never a good way to pick on a movie you haven’t seen based on its trailer, but I have to ask aloud — does the preview for Anchorman 2 ruin all the potential funny parts? If not, does it reveal something more valuable to potential moviegoers? Maybe that the movie isn’t funny at all.
Look, I’m just saying another trip to Paul Rudd’s colgne cabinet and Steve Carrell playing dumb again in front of a weather map doesn’t necessarily seem like groundbreaking humor to me. I hope I’m wrong but looking at this movie’s trailer I have my concerns that are entirely separate from the eight aforementioned reasons it will be a let down.
‘The Legend’ didn’t need to continue
I couldn’t avoid writing this soapbox paragraph to conclude my pessimistic outlook of one of Hollywood’s great goof-ball comedies becoming an unnecessary sequel. Why couldn’t Ron Burgandy ride off into the sunset with his previously pristine legacy? We’ll never know the real answers to that broad question, but the common denominator in any explanation would have to start and end with greed. Because a Hollywood studio and a group of actors wanted to make more money, we now have to sit through a two-hour long, painful reminder that all great movies should be wrapped up and permanently sealed in the original film.
Anchorman’s legend was already written in stone — a nice epitaph that read something along the lines of “funniest movie in the 21st century.” Now, this sequel leaves room for an unfriendly epigraph that reads like so many comedy returns have in the past, “A movie that should not have been made.”
Let’s hope I’m wrong.