Every now and then a movie is so horrifically horrible that you want to scream it from the rooftops so other people won’t squander their hard-earned money. This is my scream. Terrible doesn’t begin to describe “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
I love comedies. I like to laugh…honestly, I do. I laughed my head off at “This is the End,” “Bad Grandpa“…even “The Millers.” I do find Adam McKay’s and Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die website just that…funny. I didn’t go into “Anchorman 2” expecting Oscar-winning writing. I expected low-brow “stay classy” laughs. What I didn’t expect is material below sea-level.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll know that “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is the return of that loveable San Diego news team from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” In this sequel, again written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and directed by McKay, the now disbanded group reunites to take on the challenge of televising news 24 hours a day, with them initially working the grave yard shift. Hilarity ensues…NOT.
Initially the film has a fun feel to it in the form of Harrison Ford’s early appearance. It’s an amusing, well-delivered performance. But then reality begins to creep in, and you start to think, “This is going to be terrible.” What’s unfortunate is that the acting isn’t bad…it’s the material that is surprisingly and shockingly awful. Will Ferrell’s Burgundy is pretty much as he was last go-round and that’s ok. James Marsden, as Burgundy’s rival, Jack Lime, is actually good. Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana; David Koechner as Champ Kind; and Christina Applegate as Veronica Corningstone…all are fine. Even some of Paul Rudd’s lines are humorous, but two minutes out of 119 minutes isn’t worth the price of admission. And those two minutes are negated entirely by the awfulness that is the pairing of Steve Carrell’s Brick Tamland and Kristen Wiig’s Chani. Did people not watch the dailies while making this film? Did they actually laugh? These are two outstanding comic actors and perhaps this material might bring a smile to one’s face in a three-minute sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” But the two of them together over and over and over again in this film without any relation to the rest of the movie makes absolutely no sense. And worse, it isn’t funny.
As bad as everything is, a special bark-out must be given to Baxter, the dog. He is adorable and seems to have acting chops. He really looks as if he’s listening to what is being said. And watching him drink from a straw is very funny. He deserves his own movie.
“Anchorman 2” manages to bring in some terrific actors and comics in its last ten minutes… even one of my favorite comedic actors on the planet makes a last-minute appearance, but by then it is way too late. The ship for salvation has long since sailed.
It’s never good when you look at your watch and realize there’s another hour left in a movie. I found myself saying, “Oh, Lord, please let this be over.” But I realize that some movies are review-proof and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” might be one of them. You have been warned. Go at your own peril.