ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (letterboxd review)
This review reportedly contains spoilers.
Okay, this film obviously isn't going to warrant my typical long-form, verbose review... that said, it actually does have some thematic relevance to underscore an otherwise silly parade of verbal and physical gags, which hedges it somehow into "satire' territory.
I loved the lampooning of the modern 24-hour news cycle (particularly Rupert Murdoch's Fox "News"), and this shit had me rolling for a good 45 minutes. Carrell is beyond ridiculous, Ferrell delivers, Rudd is fantastic as always and I am a sucker for anything Dylan Baker (ever since his mythic turn as the world's most forthright pederast in Todd Solondz' deviant masterpiece HAPPINESS — one of my all-time favorite films). I'm not going to recount any of the gags, because I can barely remember them — but during the viewing some of that shit had me in stitches (sitting two feet from an oft-used Volcano vaporizer also might have played a role in my enjoyment).
However, this flick had without a doubt one of the all-time lamest, shittiest, and shameless end-game set pieces I have ever laid eyes and ears on. It basically ends up in an extremely overblown, gratuitous, laborious and pandering celebrity cameo clusterfuck complete with lasers and kung fu and explosions and fisticuffs and very, very, very few laughs. Each time a celebrity appeared and uttered their ham-fisted compulsory one-liner, I found myself more and more uncomfortable. How could it be that someone, out of *ALL* of this talent, both comedic and otherwise, did not stop and just say "Wait... what in the fuck are we doing here? Is this REALLY the way to end this movie?" It was abhorrent.
I find myself feeling the same way about most comedies, which seem addicted to ending with action set pieces. Action is not what brought us to the theater or couch to see these films, yet it almost always seems to go there in the end — and laughs are sacrificed in droves. I swear, some day I am going to pull a Soderbergh and put a bunch of recut comedies up on our website... or maybe just a 12-hour long splice of all of the first acts (and first halves of second acts) of Hollywood comedies, because from midpoint on most of them feel obliged to tie up and pay-off (complete with unnecessary callbacks... ie: the shark bit in the denouement of ANCHORMAN 2) a plot we never quite gave a shit about in the first place.
Please, HW comedy writers and filmmakers, I implore you: Leave the big action set pieces to those who know what they're doing, and stories that demand it.
That is all.
SEE IT if you want some cheap easy laughs, but consider falling asleep or having to deal with an emergency electrical fire or some shit before it reaches its ungodly conclusion.
PS: Okay, I guess that was kind of longwinded after all. I have issues.