Release Date: December 18, 2013
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Josh Lawson, Kristen Wiig, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Harrison Ford, Bill Kurtis, June Diane Raphael, Tom Clark, Jennifer, Gullick, Aubrey Graham, Pearl McKay, Axel Ferrell
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 119 minutes
By: Paramount Pictures, Apatow Productions
For the most part, every time I walk into a theater it’s not to judge the film based off my expectations. I go in as a film fan, wanting to clock out for a while and be entertained. In the year 2004, Director Adam McKay graced us with a surprise hit that we’ll all be quoting for quite some time. For years the masses were asking for a sequel. We all wanting to know when we could tune in for another episode of the legendary channel 4 news team. I wanted to know the next time I could join in for random sing-alongs like, ‘Afternoon delight’, or take a wiff of Fantana’s vast collection of fragrances. I just wanted more Ron Burgundy and company. My expectations were so high, that I couldn’t help but walk into the theater with a checklist. I unconsciously made the decision that if I don’t see what I want to see, I probably won’t have a good time. One should never do this. I’m proud to say that the sequel to one of the greatest comedies out there not only hit nearly everything on my checklist, but even possibly top the first film. Which is an extremely tall order and all I want to say is thank you to everyone involved.
A little time has passed since the early 70’s and our news crew have all gone their own separate ways. Champ Kind is off running his new chain of fast food restaurants and his main dish is quite hilarious. Fantana has branched off to a world of photography and is making quite a name for himself. Ron Burgundy is living the good life with his wife Veronica raising their son Walter, and Brick is somewhere faking his own death or truly believes he has passed. It makes absolutely no sense but is part of the film that makes it so great. That’s just it about his character and everyone else. Usually in situations like this the sequel doesn’t come close to the first, but not here. Everyone stepped their game up with their performances bringing all these characters back to life. With all being fictitious I think we all know someone that has a little Brick inside them. I know do. He’s so random and ridiculous and I love everything about him. He’s the respectable pet of the group. He has a connection with the rest of the crew that only they can understand like Stewie and Brian’s relationship on Family Guy. Ron Burgundy is so bold and confident that whatever idea he has cooking up in his head he automatically assumes it’s gold. He’s daring pushing the envelope on what’s a smart decision or not. Drug use in front of your boss, raising a wild animal at sea, his choice of a toothbrush, and new forms of masturbation, that will leaving you scratching your head and crying with laughter all at the same time.
Some characters that I didn’t care for too much was Megan Good’s Linda Jackson. While she’s extremely nice on the eyes and usually delivers with her past work, she missed the mark this time. In this silly comedy where the acting shouldn’t stand out too much it does with her case. Her performance just seemed over the top at times and didn’t fit into the context of the film. That’s one thing about McKay movies, Will Ferrell’s character, and everyone else’s. I know they have a script to follow, but I’m sure at least half of the performance it random adlib. I feel all the characters are in part being themselves in costume and there just happens to be a camera in the room recording. I don’t feel this way with Good’s performance. I feel that the tension got to her on set, from her wanting to do a great job and she wasn’t able to relax on set and have a great time in front of the camera. Burgudy’s son Walter was a bit of a pain towards the end as well. I liked him more than the Linda Jackson character but some of his presence on screen I could’ve done without.
Another great addition to the film is, it’s look back in time and how we in the world receive our news and other information. What works today didn’t always work in the past of course and they touch on that heavily but with a comedic approach that’s brings us our story. The idea of a 24-hour news team comes to light and today that’s standard. In the past it was as smart as placing foil in your microwave on high and waiting to see what happens. Not a good idea by the way. Though Burgundy takes it all in stride and tackles the near impossible task and changes the news game forever. While you can imagine when our heroes are taking on this task the jokes and banter continue on non-stop like Niagara falls. There are so many references to the first film with jokes, but it isn’t a carbon copy of comedy. It’s all changed just a bit to give you a fresh take, but also honoring the past. I have to wonder how they come up with some of the comedy because it’s so outlandish and random that only Ferrell and company can pull it off.
I can’t wait until I see this again. I will be buying on Blu-ray first day it’s released. I can’t wait to view all of the special features, with all the deleted scenes left on the cutting room floor. I’m sure there are tons. I can say that, that is one of my only frustrations about the film is showing us clips in previews that aren’t in the movie. Those previews are what drives us to theater and build up our expectations. So when they’re not there I feel somewhat cheated and view it as a form of false advertising. It’s not a major complaint because I didn’t realize those scenes were missing until I wrote this review and I saw the film two days prior. I still left with a smile on my face, quoting the movie on my ride home still laughing at key scenes. My expectations were so high and I am a bit surprised they were met. I can easily tell that the cast and crew took their sweet time to make this as enjoyable as they possibly could. Great comedy, story, characters dishes out a more than worthy sequel and I can’t help to only say it’s one of the best comedies I’ve seen in quite some time.