‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’: Bad news

December 18, 2013

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Let’s keep this brief, sort of like the thinking that went into the actual script of this movie:

The only way I can imagine having fun watching “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is if I were drunk enough to be really funny myself, watching it with a group of friends on TV in the comfort of my living room – “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-style.

Even then, it would be 50/50 against.

The first “Anchorman,” which came out in 2004, was one of the only actually funny movies Ferrell has made – and then only in spurts. But it was popular enough to launch the endless Will Ferrell juggernaut of decreasingly funny movies. Only Adam Sandler makes movies that are less entertaining.

The new film pushes the incompetent, pompous Ron Burgundy from a network weekend news show to the global stage with the creation of the first 24-hour cable news network. That’s certainly fertile ground for comedy – if there’s anything consistently ripe for spoofing, it’s cable news.

But, to push that farming metaphor a little farther, Ferrell and longtime comedy partner Adam McKay ignore the idea of planting the seeds and reaping the laughs. Instead, they play in the manure and assume that’s funny in and of itself.

I’m sure there is a large audience who will be amused by this film. The only thing that elicited a chuckle from me was Steve Carell as Brick Tamland, the brain-damaged weatherman. Oh, and Kristen Wiig, as the one woman on the same wavelength as Carell’s Brick.

I admire Ferrell’s promotional and improvisational skills; he’s been everywhere from car commercials to local newscasts, shilling for this movie. Which only goes to show that Ron Burgundy is funny everywhere EXCEPT in “Anchorman 2,” an otherwise unfunny money-grab of a sequel.

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