Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Anchorman 2Released: December 18, 2013. Directed by: Adam McKay. Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd. Runtime: 119 min.

Staying true to the original’s colours, “Anchorman 2” starts out with absurd humour: Ron Burgundy being chased by a shark. But that’s not how the story begins, it’s just how the film begins; our story starts in New York, at the latter end of 1980. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) gets fired from his reporting gig, and, three months later, he is offered a spot on an innovative news channel called GNN, which is going to be the first ever 24-hour news channel. Ron has to get the news team back together where he reunites with Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Together, they will change the face of broadcast journalism without even realizing it.

“Anchorman 2” is another very good collaboration between director Adam McKay and star Will Ferrell. It might not be as good as the original, but it still brings about some very successful and consistent laugh-out-loud moments. It isn’t as great as the original because it follows a storyline that is similar to the first one. Very similar, it seems to me. Ron gets too big of a head sometimes and the story teaches that important people can re-route his life and show him the way. These certain people are his ex-wife Veronica Corningstone (whom he splits up with when she gets a promotion), and his son Walter (Judah Nelson) who is annoying and cheesy. He gets a few chuckles, but that doesn’t make up for his crappy presence.

It seems to me Walter is in the film so it doesn’t feel so familiar to the first, but the truth is, he just bloats the plot too much. The film is a minute shy of two hours, and it’s too long. He is an okay intention from writers McKay and Ferrell, but it’s a misstep – because there shouldn’t be cuteness in a film that has so much bizarrely funny humour. It’s still fairly friendlier than an average comedy as it’s PG-13 and it has only one use of the F-bomb. The film has some great satire of the over-saturated news market because of all the stations it has, which allows enables the flick to have a lot of cameos that are alone worth the admission price.

James Mardsen portrays the villain of this film, practically being the new rival, one who replaces Vince Vaughn of the first. Ron’s ego is also an enemy to himself. His relationships with others is funny, like his African American boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good). If you thought it was challenging for him to have a woman co-anchoring with him in the first; now he’s working for a female black person! Sweet Odin’s raven! Suffice to say, racism is featured here and there, but it’s handled lightly and in comedic ways. Anyway, Ron is consistently funny, even when his ego is huge, because Ferrell is great at being a cocky asshole. The supporting characters are still pretty awesome. Brian Fantana is still the sex fiend he has always been, and Champ Kind is pretty good, he’s hit and miss for me. Brick Tamland  is freaking awesome and so very funny. He is random and I love it. He gets a love interest this time around found in Kristen Wiig which is comedic.

Of course it’s comedic, since it is a comedy. This might not be the greatest comedy of 2013 but it’s consistently funny and even funnier if it is your type of humour. I would probably place this in my top 5 favourite comedies of 2013, however. I’d really like to see this again sometime soon, because it is quite entertaining, if too long. It’s also exciting to see the news men make news so entertaining for once, because I’d actually watch the news if it were more like this. The wait was also too long for this sequel, so if they make another involving ageism this time, it better come soon.

Score77/100

Hop – A film review by Daniel Prinn

Hop

Release Date: April 1, 2011

Director: Tim Hill

Stars: Russell Brand (voice), James Mardsen, Kaley Cuoco

Runtime: 95 min

Tagline: Candy, Chicks and Rock ‘n’ Roll

The creators of Despicable Me give us Hop, a blend of CGI-animation and live-action. While it is a tastier film than Despicable Me, it doesn’t have a better plot, charm, or characters.

E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand) is the teenage son of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Hugh Laurie) and he will soon have that job passed down to him. Though, he doesn’t want to deliver Easter baskets to the children of the world, he really wants to become a professional drummer. He heads for the city where dreams come true, Hollywood (through a magic bunny hole). Fred O’Hare (James Mardsen) an out-of-work slacker, hits E.B. with his car. The bunny begs if he can stay with Fred for a while, and he reluctantly accepts, in hopes of it being just a dream that he’ll soon wake up from. In the process of them finding each other, they will have to find their own ways to become mature.

Hop is definitely a film that most children can enjoy, and even gave me a few laughs at the age of seventeen. The Playboy Mansion joke was pretty funny. It isn’t all charming, because I really only liked a few characters. I didn’t mind E.B., but his voice is just a little annoying – but he does offer a good message for kids, to follow your dreams and be yourself. Phil is pretty funny, though, he’s a fairly adorable little dancing chick. Fred was okay, too. The extended cameo by Hasselhoff was alright – and there was a nice pop culture reference to Knight Rider for adults, that most kids won’t understand.

The antagonists offered here make some scenes a bit crowded. There’s Fred’s family who doesn’t really believe in him (except his sister, Sam [played by Kaley Cuoco], who believes in him a little); and there’s the three Pink Berets who are the now Easter Bunny’s personal bodyguards, and are chasing after E.B. to bring him home; and then there’s a character who wants to take over as the Easter Bunny, I won’t reveal the character’s name for spoiler alert purposes, but it’s fairly obvious that they’re an antagonist from the get go.

There’s a bunch of silly rabbit play-on-word character names, like E.B. (acronym for Easter Bunny) and Fred’s last name, O’Hare.

The film stars James Mardsen, Kaley Cuoco, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, Tiffany Espensen, Chelsea Handler, David Hasselhoff; and with the voice talents of Russell Brand (which I couldn’t dub a talent, personally), Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria and Django Marsh (as Young E.B.).

Hop offers a predictable plot, but a fairly good message for children; and many hit-and-miss characters, with some jokes even adults will enjoy. I would have liked to have enjoyed it more, but it was fairly bearable. It’s a little unfortunate that the biggest laugh for me was even before the film began, with two minions from Despicable Me doing a brief hilarious antic. It’s a film that I wouldn’t recommend to go out of your way to see, but it may be worth the watch if you caught it on TV. And it could make for a good Easter basket stuffer if you have kids.

55/100