Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

“Anchorman 2” – Original vs R-rated (2013, 2014)


Synopsis: Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his team are back, now working for the 24-hour news network GNN.

Review: It took ten years, but Ron Burgundy is back. After his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) becomes the first solo news anchor, Ron is fired and ends up back in San Diego working at Sea World. He then gets a job offer from Global News Network, the first 24-hour news channel. He re-assembles his team of Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is much more outlandish than its predecessor, but boasts a much stronger supporting cast including rival news anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden), Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), who is the manager of the network, and Chani Lastnamé (Kristen Wiig), a love interest for Brick.

The film parodies what news does today, and focuses on interest pieces over hard news, and puts Ron in conflict with some of the other people at GNN until they realize how much it brings in for ratings. Anchorman 2 also shows some growth to Ron Burgundy, as he realizes that he is drifting further away from his son, Walter.

The breadth of cameos ranges from Harrison Ford to returner Vince Vaughn as well as Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Liam Neeson, and others. They are all involved in one of the most surreal moments of the film, which feels like it belongs more in This Is the End than the Anchorman sequel. However, it was nice to see who would show up next.

Overall, Anchorman 2 felt more like a comedy-drama, and seemed unsure of itself. For fans wanting something that compared to the original, it missed the mark a bit. As comedy films have become more absurd and outlandish, it seems like the people behind Anchorman 2 tried to fit that, rather than just being the slapstick comedy the original was.

The regular version of the film had a lot of one-liners that seemed to fall a bit flat, or even seemed out of character. Adam McKay, the director, has been known to either let his stars improvise lines or use a line and try it different ways or tweak them. That is how the R-rated director’s cut started taking form.

However, unlike most director’s cuts, the extended R-rated version adds over 750 new jokes – and a musical scene -that seem to fit better or work better in the film. You can definitely see the difference the PG-13 and R-rated versions differ and how much funnier the new jokes land in comparison. However, unlike the first Anchorman, there are still no, “Stay classy San Diego” or “I love scotch” like catchphrases. But overall, the film is a nice sequel and a love letter to the fans.

Anchorman 2: 7.0/10

Anchorman 2 – R-rated: 8.0/10

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