CPH Post

Film reviews

Cut the anchor and throw him into the Hudson


All shades of dumb lining up to do the impossible: being funny

February 2, 2014
10:54

by Kasper R Guldberg


Remember Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? – the 2004 co-effort from partners-in-comedy Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Other Guys). I must say I wasn’t aware that I needed a sequel, but ten years after the smash hit, here it is.

All in all, Anchorman 2 is a perfectly adequate saga installment. Although it takes not a few liberties with its overall plausibility, it tells the story of the ridiculous, moustachioed Burgundy getting sacked from the news network, of his wife (Applegate) getting the position she wanted, and of Burgundy getting head-hunted by a talent scout from a competing NYC network.

Suddenly in a position to show his now ex-wife he is the better anchor, Burgundy sets out to round up his old news team, dodgy screwballs and all.

But being used to San Diego, NYC proves a bit of a jungle for everyone – which allows the gags to fall neatly into the categories of racial hang-ups, professional humiliation, romantic hiccups and cosmopolitan cluelessness.

Which is all good and well., but it’s the film’s comedic leitmotif I find so tiresome. Now, we all know how hard sequels are to pull off. But though Anchorman 2’s central bumpkins are all clearly enjoying themselves (the set-pieces function and the 1980s hairstyles and sartorial fads are hilariously recalled), it remains impossible to get excited by a comedy that constantly wrings mileage out of people simply being all shades of dumb – from obtuse and provincial (Ferrell) all the way to clinically retarded (Carell – after Crazy Stupid Love, I really thought he had done with roles this shabby and sad).

Surely, for a brain-dead gag to work, the absence of brain must take us by surprise. No surprise, no joke.

I commend Anchorman 2 for relying on the cast to improvise and for steering clear of extreme gross-out in the style of the Farrelly Brothers (in terms of body functions, say, the line is drawn just the other side of erections).

Too bad we’re still left with a film I’d despair to be treated to if bored stiff on a ten-hour flight.


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (11)

Dir: Adam McKay; US comedy, 2013, 119 mins; Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, James Marsden, Kirsten Wig
Premiered January 30
Playing Nationwide




Latest Comments

As an Australian girl ,who married a Dane, reading this in Melbourne after...

(Grace Nugent on April 24, 2014 00:59)

Great... More destructive immigrants. ; )

(Alex DeGre?t on April 23, 2014 23:49)

The picture is also misleading because it depicts rape as if it most often...

(Gena Grant on April 23, 2014 22:37)

Chinese people want to see where the Danes keep their horses and goats. Its...

(Calvin Bernhardt on April 23, 2014 21:42)

Well done

(Preeti Bhan Prasher on April 23, 2014 20:33)

What about foreigners who are already here under the Greencard scheme? I...

(Hildegard Andrea Wagner on April 23, 2014 20:16)

Not worth the agrivation ?

(Tom Donde on April 23, 2014 17:14)

Hmmmm, since when is hempseed oil illegal? And since when has anyone claimed...

(Andreas Holmqvist on April 23, 2014 13:48)

Good for them, except that these young people are not immigrants. All but a...

(April 23, 2014 00:46)

Http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/4/4356 Characteristics, Perceived Side...

(Lisa Belle on April 23, 2014 00:18)