It's benignly absurd with likeable characters and no intricate plot. It'll help you through winter.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Director: Adam McKay (Step Brothers)
Screenplay: Will Ferrell, McKay
Cast: Ferrell (The Internship), Christina Applegate (Hall Pass)
by John DeSando
“I'm not trying to be funny, but are you sure he's not a midget with a learning disability?” Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)
When I realized Sacha Baron Cohen was playing a BBC reporter in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, I realized Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay were imitating Cohen’s Borat from 7 years ago. “Imitation” in the sense that anything goes, especially political correctness being foolishness in the right comedic mouths, such as the quote above addresses little and mentally-challenged people while Burgundy references his own child.
Anchorman 2 beats comedies of 2013 by a length, even my favorites, The Internship and Identity Theft. If it’s going to be funny, then best to go all out as Sacha and Ferrell do, where race relations and media harmony are decimated by exposing their inherent hypocrisy. On the world scene, Champ Kind (David Koechner) has the best line: “I believe in two things: Chicken, and that the census is a way for the UN to make your children gay.”
But sometimes it’s just low humor, for example as Ron says, “Who the hell is Julius Caesar? You know I don't follow the NBA!” or “I'm so lonely, I paid a hobo to spoon with me.” What makes it funny is the sincerity with which Ron believes he is insightful when he really misses the whole point. Yet, he and the rest of his news team are actually likeable so that the base humor comes off as nonsense rather than bigotry or worse, idiocy. When Ron exclaims, “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!” not only is the burst absurd, but it is also somehow dear.
“Absurd”: That’s what appeals to me. The utter foolishness captures cultural foibles while it entertains: In all sincerity Ron says, “The Tooth Fairy's exposed breast made the child uncomfortable.” So much of what is said in this film is uncomfortable and hilarious at the same time. That’s satire at its best.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com