Monday, December 30, 2013

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Directed by Adam McKay and written by McKay and Will Ferrell, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is the sequel to 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy that explores Burgundy and his cohorts in the world of 24-hour news. Set in the 1980s, the film has Burgundy not only deal with changing times but also the conflict he faces as not just an anchorman but also a father to a young boy with his wife Veronica Corningstone. Will Ferrell reprises his role as Ron Burgundy as he’s joined by Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Fred Willard who all reprise their roles from the first film. Also starring James Marsden, Meagan Good, Greg Kinnear, and Kristen Wiig. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a very funny and exciting film from Adam McKay.

The film is about Ron Burgundy taking on the world of 24-hours news as he is asked to be part of the new medium after he had lost his job that his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) had gotten. With the help of his old news team in field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner), and the dim-witted weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Burgundy does something outrageous to get ratings for the channel where he would eventually lose sight of what he was meant to do as he neglects his son Walter (Judah Nelson) and alienate his friends only to find redemption later on. It’s a film that sort of satirizes the idea of 24-hour news but also about what news channels had become where they give news on what people should see rather than tell more important stories.

The film’s screenplay by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay does have some elements of satire as well as jokes that play into Burgundy’s clueless nature as he has no idea about how much times have changed since the 1970s. Even as it relates to what Veronica wants as well as his relationship with his new boss in Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) who is African-American. Though some of the jokes about Jackson’s race as well as a few others go on for too long where there’s parts of the stories that makes the film uneven at times. Still, there’s some nice subplots that involve Burgundy trying to be a parent to his son Walter as well as a story where Brick falls for an equally dim-witted typist named Chani (Kristen Wiig) that manages to bring in some laughs.

McKay’s direction is a bit more extravagant this time around in not just the way the 80s sort of look but also how out of step Burgundy and his gang are in this new world. Even as McKay would create scenes early in the film about where the rest of the news team had been since the first film as much of the humor is still loose and vibrant. Many of the compositions are straightforward with some exception that includes a scene of the news team crashing inside a RV with all sorts of objects. There’s also another news team battle where it’s much bigger than the first film with more outrageous cameos. Though there’s some flaws in the film due to overlong jokes and some moments that aren’t well-executed. McKay does manage to craft a pretty solid and entertaining film about an anchorman dealing with his ego and role as a news reporter.

Cinematographer Oliver Wood does excellent work with the cinematography where much of it is straightforward in the film‘s locations is shot in Atlanta,New York City, and San Diego . Editors Brent White and Melissa Bretherton do terrific work with the editing where it does play into many of the film‘s humor as well as its structure. Production designer Clayton Hartley, with set decorator Jan Pascale and art director Elliott Glick, does fantastic work with the set pieces from the look of the GNN news office as well as the apartment loft that Burgundy and his team live in.

Costume designer Susan Matheson does amazing work with the costumes from the suits to the clothes the women wear. Hair stylist Monty Schuth does fabulous work with the hairstyles of the men including the perms that Burgundy and his team briefly wear. Visual effects supervisor Eric J. Robertson does nice work with some of the film‘s minimal visual effects such the RV crash scene and the moments in the all-out news team battle at Central Park. Sound editor George H. Anderson does superb work with the sound in some of the film‘s sound effects as well as the chaos in the news battle.

The film’s music by Andrew Feltenstein is pretty good for some of the themes as it‘s low-key in its orchestral setting while music supervisor Erica Weis creates a fun soundtrack that is filled with a mix of 70s/80s soft-rock music of Captain & Tenille, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, England Dan & John Ford Coley, and John Waite as well as music from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Van Halen, and Hot Chocolate.

The film’s brilliant cast includes some notable small appearances from Josh Lawson as GNN creator Kench Allenby, Greg Kinnear as Veronica’s new boyfriend Gary, Fred Willard and Chris Parnell reprising their roles as Ed Harken and Garth Holliday, and Dylan Baker as the very fun GNN producer Freddie Sharp. James Marsden is terrific as the very good-looking news anchor Jack Lime who becomes Burgundy’s new rival while Meagan Good is wonderful as Burgundy’s boss/new lover Linda Jackson. Judah Nelson is excellent as Ron and Veronica’s son Walter who just wants his dad around while Kristen Wiig is very funny as the dim-witted typist Chani whom Brick falls for.

Christina Applegate is amazing as Veronica Corningstone as Burgundy’s wife who has the same ambitions as her husband but is dismayed by his decision as well as the state of news. David Koechner is superb as Champ Kind who is still this closeted homosexual with feelings for Ron as he brings in some good laughs. Paul Rudd is fantastic as Brian Fantana as the ladies man who is also sort of the group’s conscience as he is alienated by Ron’s growing ego. Steve Carell is great as Brick in the way he falls for Chani as well as respond to certain situations in the most hilarious ways. Finally, there’s Will Ferrell delivering another marvelous performance as Ron Burgundy as this man still out of step with the times while losing himself in his own ego where Ferrell brings a lot of humor and charm that makes Burgundy one of the great characters in comedy.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is an excellent film from Adam McKay with Will Ferrell delivering another superb performance as Ron Burgundy. Along with a great supporting cast, some funny cameos, and lots of moments that will keep people laughing. It’s a film that proves to be a worthy sequel to the 2004 film despite its unevenness and a few lackluster jokes. In the end, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is stellar film from Adam McKay.

Adam McKay Films: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - Step Brothers - The Other Guys - The Big Short - (Backseat) - The Auteurs #63: Adam McKay

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