Anchorman 2 is on a hiding to nothing

anchorman 2 poster

A strong argument can be made that Anchorman (2004) is the biggest cult classic of the last 20 years. A film so popular it can cannot be considered just a fringe cult classic anymore. But I think it definitely has to be considered a cult film though, because it fits in perfectly with two of the criteria for that vague term. Firstly, it was not particularly successful upon initial release. I can’t recall the exact numbers, but the box office was around $90 million. Not particularly dire, but pretty underwhelming, especially when you consider the place in pop-culture the film now holds. Secondly, people just don’t like Anchorman, they are obsessed with it. People watch it every time they have a hangover (ok that’s just me). But people have a seemingly insatiable ability to re-watch the film ad-nauseam.  I think that speaks to the brilliance inherent in the film. The mixture of script and ad-lib never gets old (if you liked it in the first place that is). As my film tastes continued to refine, as I began to study film, I kept assuming that I would grow out of my love for Anchorman. Nope, it still works exceedingly well for me. Many others too, as the Anchorman love is so vociferous that those who don’t like the film (and these people do exist) are almost scared, timidly decaling they just don’t get the hype.

applegate anchorman posterAll this adds up to what I see as an almost impossible task for Anchorman 2 (2013) which opens next week in many parts of the world. From the very beginning, an in-character announcement by Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy on the Conan show that the sequel had been green lit, the hype train has been a runaway one. This, coupled with existing expectations that could not possibly met, will most likely see a somewhat anticlimactic reception for the film. I am pretty confident in saying that Anchorman 2 will be a really well made film and probably a hilarious one too. It will most likely equal the first film in both of those aspects. Unfortunately though, that won’t be enough to win over critics (who didn’t particularly like the first one at the time) or indeed fans, who will opine that everything is better the first time.

It is not possible for a film to be as beloved as the original Anchorman straight away upon release. More than love, that film is an object of such endearment to too many people as it has slowly seeped into our lives. Anchorman 2 may do that eventually, but it will take years. I fear that people won’t be able to see the impossible expectations that have been put on the film, by themselves and by their mates who they have watched it dozens of times with. Hopefully we can see the film for what it is. No film is iconic instantly, so don’t expect Anchorman 2 to achieve that. Do expect it to be one of the better films of the year though and a hilarious, quotable ride.

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15 responses

  1. Haven’t seen the first (I know, I know . . . how?), but I would agree the second itself up for seemingly inevitable disappointment. Ferrell’s oversaturation of the Ron Burgundy character on every news outlet he can find isn’t helping.

    Hopefully the movie is good enough to fulfill these added expectations, but it seems at least somewhat unlikely.

    1. Cheers for commenting man. And I definitely agree, I think the marketing strategy for the film was way off. I don’t really understand why they approached it that way either. The film presumably had a massive ready made audience.

      1. And now I have seen both.

        And so I know: I still completely agree. 🙂

  2. Good post!

    Oh my gosh… I can’t believe I am going to say this but… I have never watched this. 😐

    I really should get around to it at some stage…

    1. Haha, that’s fair enough. There are rather a lot of films out there. Hard to have seen them all.

      1. Yeah sheesh sometimes it is difficult to stay on top!

  3. No thanks, please! I think it’s rubbish..

    1. That’s fair enough. It is one of the few comedies of the last decade or so that I can handle.

  4. I actually hated this movie and I have no plans to watch the sequel.

    1. It is looking like there are more who were not at all fond of the first film than I thought. Fair enough.

  5. I’m looking forward to this, getting fed up of all the overkill with the build-up, either they have a runaway hit, or it will be a let down. the trailers have me everytime. only time will tell I guess. Great post.

    1. Thanks for commenting. Totally agree with you on the marketing though. It was just massively overdone.

      1. Your welcome, saw it at the weekend, i forgot all about all the criticism and just laughed myself silly. Definitely getting it on DVD later next year.

  6. I would so love it to be as good as the original but I don’t think it’s possible. I’m actually really worried about being let down so I need to change my expectations

    1. Thanks for commenting man. Read your review earlier. Looks like you still got a fair kick out of the film despite your massive expectations.

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