Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Movie Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (PG13 - 119 minutes)

The first Anchorman, the Legend of Ron Burgundy, came out in 2004.  Yes, hard to believe, but that move is 9 years old already.  It essentially allowed Will Ferrell to play a character that was perfectly suited to him:  The pompous, over-confident, 70s news-anchor Ron Burgundy.  If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a long time, watch it again – it’s funny.

In the first one, Ron and his news team, weatherman Brick Tamland, reporter Brian Fantana, and sportscaster Champ Kind, struggled to accept the introduction of a female co-anchor, Veronica Corningstone.  The movie is fairly hilarious, and is exceptionally quotable.  “I’m kind of a big deal.”  It was directed by Adam McKay, whose collaborations with Ferrell go all the way back to Saturday Night Live.  He also directed Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and most recently, The Other Guys – all of which are equally quotable and silly.

The Anchorman Sequel finds Ron and Veronica now married and living in New York, where they co-anchor the news, exactly where the previous movie left off, now in the early 80s.  However, the prime-time anchor is quitting, and has decided that Veronica will replace him, and that Ron will be fired, because Ron is terrible at his job.  Ron demands Veronica choose him or the job, she chooses the job, and he leaves.  Dejected, Ron heads back to San Diego, where he drunkenly works at Sea World, until offered a job at a new station – prepared to try something never done before – 24 hour news.  He re-assembles his news team, and they set out to get decent ratings.  The ploys that they come up with in order to get ratings during the graveyard shift, well...you can draw your own conclusions about what the movie is trying to say about 24 hours news stations.  I will leave that entirely up to you!  
That’s really all you need to know about the plot.  After all, you’re not going to see this movie because of the plot, you’re going for the laughs, and believe me, there are plenty!
  • Will Ferrell plays Ron again, and yes, while the marketing campaign for this movie seems to have been all-emcompasing, it’s well worth it.  He’s in top form again, and if you can get by his bottom teeth (they are terrible), he is hilarious in this role.  Again, it’s the side characters that make the movie funny, and I found there to be less Ron and more of them in this one, which I appreciated.  In case you missed the marketing blitz that Ferrell was on for this movie (I really don't see how that would be possible), Burgundy showed up in several Dodge commercials, anchored an entire newscast in Bismarck, North Dakota, did a bit on ESPN, and opened the Curling Olympic trials:

  • Steve Carell plays Brick Tamland, who really is dumb.  There’s just no other way to say it.  Carell plays him just right, making him sweet and stupid, and loyal to his friends, instead of a one-note dumb joke.  Yes, there are jokes about how dumb he is, but there is always the underlying tenderness.  They made a smart move in this movie in bringing in Kristen Wiig to play a co-worker that Brick falls for.  And yes, that bit about him worrying that his legs are gone is as funny as you think.

  • Paul Rudd is always great, and he’s great in this.  Brian Fantana had been making an excellent living taking photos of cats when Ron comes to collect him.  He commits 100% to all the nonsense happening around him, and is hilarious.

  • Dave Koechner who was on SNL just as will Farrell was arriving, plays Champ Kind, who is really a horrible person.  He has opened a fried chicken franchise in San Diego and has been working there when Ron comes to collect him.  Koechner is always someone I prefer in moderation, and he’s at just the right level of crazy in this movie. 

  • Christina Applegate returns as Veronica Corningstone.  She and Ron have a 6 year old child, and she starts dating a psychologist after she and Ron split.  This is really just an opportunity for Greg Kinnear to show up and act silly as the psychologist, but I certainly appreciate it.  Applegate gets a little more to do in this, which is nice.  She is an exceptional comedienne (I really liked Up All Night), and in the first one, really played the ‘straight guy’ to all the crazy characters.  In this one, she gets to have some moments of her own.

  • Meagan Good, who was also in Think Like a Man and Deception on TV, stars as Linda Jackson, the no nonsense boss of the team at the new 24 hour news station.  She’s funny, but one-note, not that anything more is required of her.  She’s really pretty, and while she doesn’t get a chance to be hilarious in this, I hope to see  her in more comedies.
  • James Marsden continues to remind you how underrated he is by playing Jack Lime – Ron’s competitor at the station, and the anchor for the primetime news slot.  Marsden is hilarious whenever he’s allowed to be, and the best parts of him in this one are his non-verbal reactions.
  • Josh Lawson plays Kench Allenby, the Austrailian mogul who is funding the station.  He gets some pretty funny flip-out sequences.
  • Dylan Baker – the original Dr. Curt Conners – plays Freddie Shapp, the guy who recruits Ron and team into this new setup.  He basically plays off Ferrell, but does a good job at that.

There is another large news team fight in this one, and it tops the scene in the first one, which I have to say, was my favorite part of the first one.  Unsurprisingly, it is my favorite part of this one.  The amount and quality of the cameos has been raised, and it is well worth the price of admission just for that sequence.  Brick gets his trident again, and ups the stakes by having a ray-gun from the future.

All in all, the movie is exactly what you expect.  It’s a dumb comedy, and should make you laugh most of the way through – especially if you enjoyed the first one.  This one is more of the same, and in this case, that’s a benefit.  Something else that I really appreciated is that the final version of this movie used almost none of the jokes that you saw in the commercials.  Usually with a comedy, especially one that is this heavily marketed, you have seen all the funny parts in the commercials.  It looks like the majority of those were all from an earlier cut, because almost none of them were in the final cut.  Smart.

7 out of 10.  Gained points for Marsden, Lost points for Champ claiming that bats are “chicken of the cave”, gained points for Lawson’s complete Australian nonsense when he first shows up.  Lost points for the slow motion Winnebago crash, which was funny and disturbing.  Gained points for the “let’s all get perms!” moment.  Lost points for the shark subplot – what?  Gained points for the news-team fight, particularly the teams from the history channel, the up and coming all sports network, and the entertainment news.  Awesome.
Bonus Video 1:  The news team fight from the first.  And I do mean it when I say the one in the second is even better.

 Bonus Video 2:  Stranger than Fiction.  In case you forgot about this movie, you should check it out.  Proof that Ferrell is better than you think.  Also, he brings her flours.

Bonus Video 3:  The cast on the Daily Show

1 comment:

  1. Like the original, this is a very goofy movie. There are plenty of ridiculous moments that occur in this movie