Friday, 20 December 2013

Anchorman 2

 Still Classy

Just as it was for Elton John, Jimmy Carter and the Osmonds, the 1980s were a tough time for Ron Burgundy. Will Ferrell’s most beloved creation returns to cinema screens to chart another rise and fall of his legend.

Despite largely being overlooked by audiences when released in 2004, Anchorman has since become a phenomenal sleeper hit. No casual conversation is safe from frequent references to jazz flute and rich mahogany bookshelves. This sequel closely replicates the same winning formula to the certain delight of its many loyal fans. Anyone who can remember the real translation of ‘San Diego’ will be happy with Burgundy’s comeback to cinemas. Never mind the Avengers, what audiences have really been craving for is “News-team Assemble”.

Ron, Champ, Brian and Brick: their reunification will live longer in the memory than that time the racoon got in the photocopier.

After another bout of personal and professional disaster, Ron and his pals are hired by the world’s first 24 hours news channel. 24 hour news? I know, it’s crazy... I mean, who would watch that rubbish, right? However the team’s unique coverage changes the way current affairs is presented to the public forever.

Despite some irritatingly invasive pre-release publicity, there is no pretension to Anchorman 2. The script unashamedly parades its silliness and calls on an audience of all ages (except perhaps under 11s) to abandon their inhibitions while enjoying a surfeit of wacky material.
Ferrell is the undisputed king of character comedy; his creations always connect with good-natured humour that is never intentionally cruel or demeaning. Could any other actor get away with singing a saccharine ballad about a shark? I doubt it. No other star could even garner the same sympathy towards a character as obnoxious as Burgundy.

Confirmed fans will enjoy the return of many familiar faces and some unexpected additions to their number. Don’t worry; I won’t spoil any of the cameos, needless to say they are perfect examples of celebrity name-dropping at its most brazen - but also most effective.

Relentless the gags may be but the plot still makes some serious points about news coverage in the process. That is, the saturated reporting of human interest stories and corporate interference in the media. Anything that squares up to Rupert Murdoch has my backing (e.g. Tomorrow Never Dies). It isn’t subtle but if it had been the message probably would have passed over my head unnoticed.

Naysayers will inevitably scoff at what they deem ‘juvenile’ comedy. Well, I like it and I’m sure plenty of other pundits will strain themselves chuckling at men being struck by bowling balls and scalded by deep fat fryers.

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