Plot: What’s it about?
In the years since its theatrical release, Anchorman developed into something of a cult classic. I will say right off the bat that I didn’t particularly care for the first film, but it has grown on me with repeat viewings. I still can’t say that I flat-out loved it, but it has its moments. Oddly enough, so much was cut from the first film that an entire feature-length film was made out of cut footage. I guess Will Ferrell and Co. figured it was time to get down to business and reunite for a sequel. I think it’s safe to say that if you enjoyed the first film then you will more-or-less enjoy the sequel. Of course, the element of surprise is gone and the film is more than a little heavy on the improv, but fans should have an idea of what to expect. At nearly two hours (theatrical cut length), the film is more than a little long and drags in a number of spots. One thing about the original film is that it was very well paced. Things nearly reach the point of exhaustion here, but I suspect many will have more tolerance than I.
The film begins seven years after the fist one and finds Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) happily married to Veronica (Christina Applegate). The two live in New York now and Burgundy is part of a very successful news channel. Burgundy learns that he is on the verge of getting fired while his wife is up for a promotion after the nightly news anchor plans on retiring. Flash forward to 6 months and Ron is back in San Diego, but gets fired from Sea World. Eventually, the opportunity comes up to join GNN (Global News Network), the world’s first 24-hour news network. Ron then decides to get the gang back together. Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Dave Koechner all return to their respective roles. One of the biggest issues I had with this sequel is that it simply takes too long to go anywhere. Actually, I’d argue that it simply meanders throughout its entire running time without going much of well…anywhere. The film is choke full of cameos left and right (I won’t spoil this part), but they’re so heavy and forced that they start to lose their impact. There’s even a small sub-plot that finds Burgundy losing his sight and having to deal with that. That isn’t necessarily funny and the gag gets old rather quickly. That’s pretty much how Anchorman 2 can be summed out. It just grows tiresome very fast and is never as funny as it could and should have been. Maybe if they didn’t wait almost ten years after the first film this might’ve been better. As it stands, there’s just not enough here that worked for me. As I mentioned, fans of the original film will like eat it up, but I found most of it to be a tiresome experience. If a third film is made then they seriously need to put more emphasis on the script and less on the improv antics.
Video: How’s it look?
Having just watched the original Anchorman on Blu-ray (getting myself prepped for this review), I found it to be a bit “overcooked,” so I was eagerly anticipating what this looked like on Blu-ray. And let me say that there are no less than three versions of this movie across this two disc set. Let me lay it out for you – it’s stunning. The 2.40:1 AVC HD image is literally flawless from opening to closing credits. From the fine detail of Ferrell’s mustache to the 80’s hair to the intricate patterns in the tweed coats. Amazing. Colors are bright and vivid and the entire film seems to have a sleekness that’s just flat out outstanding. A top notch effort here and despite what some might think about the film, this transfer is absolutely stunning.
Audio: How’s it sound?
As if the video presentation wasn’t good enough, it’s not to be outdone as this DTS HD Master Audio sound mix scores (get it)! All kidding aside, it really is an immersive mix. Surrounds are constantly active, the sub thumps and the front stage is very active. Each of the three versions sounds great and the “Super Sized Version” complete with its 763 additional jokes makes use of this uncompressed track. Suffice it to say that this makes use of each and every channel in your system. Well done!
Supplements: What are the extras?
This three disc set is packed to the gills with supplements, the most notable of which are the three different cuts of the film.
Disc One – Blu-ray (Theatrical Cut and Unrated Cut)
- Audio Commentary – Director Adam McKay, Judd Apatow and the “gang” (Ferrell, Rudd, Carell and Loechner) contribute to what is actually a pretty amusing soundtrack. All four of the main actors are experienced comics, so there are actually a lot of laughs (mainly by them) in this track. A recommended listen.
- Behind the Scenes: Newsroom – We’re treated to some behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew about the film.
- Gag Reel – As the name entails, some outtakes from the movie.
- Line/News/Kench-O-Rama – All three of these are essentially more outtakes from the various parts of the film.
- Welcome to the Dolphin Show – Even more outtakes from the Sea World scene.
- Catfight – Veronica (Christina Applegate) and Linda (Meagan Good) have a heated exchange…
- Table Read – Again, as the name entails, we get some rough footage as the cast reads through nine scenes in the movie.
Disc Two – Blu-ray (Super-Sized R-Rated Version)
Deleted Scenes – Eight in all.
Extended/Alternate Scenes – Too many to list, but suffice it to say that if you saw all three versions of the film, you essentially saw these as well.
Previsualizations – Three scenes are shown in a rough, computer-looking format: RV, Shark Attack and News Fight.
Auditions – We get a look at Meagan Good’s audition as well as two from the original: Dylan Baker and his audition for Ed Harken and Amy Poehler as she auditioned for Veronica Corningstone.
Benefit for 826LA: Spoiler Alert – He’s baaaaack! Jack Black sings a song for the movie.
Trailers – Teasers and domestic and international trailers are featured.
DVD/UltraViolet Copy – asdf
- Behind the Scenes – Broken into four parts.
Anchorman 2: The Musical – Are we ready for Anchorman on Broadway? Uh…not quite yet.
RV – A breakdown of the RV scene in the film.
Baxter and Doby – We look at the “new” Baxter as well as the shark, Doby.
News Fight – The epic battle sequence in the news room – all you wanted to know and more!