Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated Version

Movie Review #932

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Nationwide release on February 28, 2014. Comedy. This film is rated R for language, drug use, sexual material and references. Runs 143 minutes. American production. Directed by Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. Characters by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Kristen Wiig, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, and Harrison Ford.

IT’S GOOD, BUT NO MATCH FOR THE THEATRICAL CUT.

★★★
By Alexander Diminiano

As I’ve said many times, I don’t usually watch movies more than once. “Anchorman 2” is a rare movie: after seeing it in theaters, I knew I’d want to see it again. It surprises me that it’s taken me so long–an entire year–to get around to watching it again.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” didn’t need any more than its theatrical version, but there’s no harm in having the extended cut that is the “Super-Sized R-Rated Version”. If you saw the theatrical, PG-13 cut (and do, please), then it’s hard not to see this version as a letdown. The one-sheet boasts that this director’s cut, if you will, features a grand total of 763 new jokes. (Part of me wonders if that number was pulled out of a hat, or if somebody actually took the time to count. My estimate would be somewhere between 150 and 200, which is still quite a lot, regardless.)

But the poster doesn’t say “763 new jokes, no strings attached.” There’s definitely strings, because when you add 763 new jokes into the mix, you’re probably gonna take some out, as well. There’s more great musical numbers here (and they’re not always the most politically correct), but they cut my favorite out: “Doby”, the song Walter and Ron Burgundy sing to their pet shark Doby as they release him into the ocean. Then there’s the hilarious moments that I anticipated because they stayed with me so well after I left the theater the first time, but are no longer here in the extended cut. Remember that hilarious scene at SeaWorld where Will Ferrell laments about paying a hobo to spoon with him? All the dialogue in that scene is changed. Not that I don’t like the new dialogue, but I miss the old. Oh and remember that hilarious opening where the narrator explains a non sequitur image of Will Ferrell being eaten by a shark? That ain’t here either.

The good news is it’s still “Anchorman 2”, so it’s still pretty hard not to adore if you happen to enjoy Will Ferrell’s comedy. Obviously, this version is a lot raunchier than the theatrical version. It’s not always funny in that way, though. The movie pushes the envelope best when it’s choosing to present blatantly politically incorrect humor. Will Ferrell and the gang are pretty old-fashioned, so they really scratch their heads when they hear anything that seems to say, “Welcome to the ’80s.”

The “Super-Sized R-Rated Version” runs 2 hours, 22 minutes–roughly half an hour longer than the original cut. It’s a good attempt to build up the movie, but it also cuts down on the laughs a little. The changes seem akin to those that George Lucas made to his original “Star Wars” trilogy in 1997: it might be newer, and perhaps bigger, but there’s no way to find any results that are better than the original.

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