Five ZF Critics Tune In For More Ron Burgundy Comedy
DIRECTOR: ADAM MCKAY/2013
Dave Henry, Jim Tudor, Erik Yates, Victor Labrada, and ZekeFilm newcomer Paul Reynolds have collaborated for this landmark five person film review of ANCHORMAN 2! Sure, there may be what some consider a mild “spoiler” here and there, but hopefully like the movie itself, this “review” will get better upon return visits. Enjoy this exchange, and don’t touch that dial…
ERIK YATES: I’m sitting in front of a roaring fire (on my TV), about to have some hot chocolate, look at my Christmas tree and discuss ANCHORMAN 2. Where is the ZekeFilm News Team?
DAVE HENRY: “Hi, I’m Dave. People sometimes say I speak and laugh too loud. But I just like to have a good time.”
VICTOR LABRADA: “Hi, I’m Victor. I say Dave speaks and laughs too loud.”
DAVE HENRY: I’ve been shushed for laughing too loud at the movies. I was shushed for laughing at James Franco in HOMEFRONT. But come on! He was funny!
ERIK YATES: I’m Erik. I like to listen to music with a new thing called “headphones”. Years later, a doctor will tell me I’m deaf. I will simply respond, “What?”
DAVE HENRY: This stuff is gold. Gold, I tell’s ya!
JIM TUDOR: So, ANCHORMAN 2! We all just saw it. Who’d care to comment first?
DAVE HENRY: I’m just gonna put something out there… If you like it, you can take it. If not, send it right back…
PAUL REYNOLDS: Since Dave has the most visceral reaction…
DAVE HENRY: I think they could hear my viscera out in the theatre lobby!
JIM TUDOR: Yes, they could. Erik, could you hear Dave’s crazy loud belly laughing in Texas?
ERIK YATES: No. It’s not that loud.
VICTOR LABRADA: Wait, that was Dave? I thought there was a dolby surround sound Ghost of Christmas Present soundtrack.
JIM TUDOR: No, that was definitely Dave over-enjoying the movie! But I was laughing too…
ERIK YATES: I’m going to say that ANCHORMAN 2 was as advertised. It was good to get the news team back together, but not as funny as the original.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Indeed. For my money, it was funnier than the first! (I received complimentary admittance)
DAVE HENRY: Everyone was laughing so loud! This movie provoked so much laughter that we were missing entire conversations on screen, so great was the laughter!
VICTOR LABRADA: So we have a diversity of views!
DAVE HENRY: It was the funniest movie of the year, hands down. Funnier than the first? Not necessarily, but not necessarily less funny either.
VICTOR LABRADA: Well, ANCHORMAN 2 seemed to take everything ANCHORMAN 1 did and light it on fire.
DAVE HENRY: Normally I would fault a movie for repeating gags from the previous installment, but this film managed to take them and put new spins on them.
VICTOR LABRADA: EXPLOSIONS!!!
PAUL REYNOLDS: LOUD NOISES!!!
DAVE HENRY: Yeah, a lot of fire references here. A lot of references to a lot of stuff–including some pretty on-the-nose satire of the news industry!
JIM TUDOR: When I saw the original at a screening in ’05, I remember immediately thinking it will have a long future in audio drops on knucklehead radio shows. And, I was right about that one! I only saw the first movie once, but I feel like I’ve seen it a dozen times. Because yes, I listen to knucklehead radio shows.
VICTOR LABRADA: Well, one thing ANCHORMAN 1 had going for it was lower expectations
DAVE HENRY: I actually have seen the first film a dozen or more times. I could literally watch that movie once a week and never get tired of it. And now I have another one to laugh at!
PAUL REYNOLDS: I will say I thought the movie was much nicer to Fox News than I thought they would be.
JIM TUDOR: The satire was definitely right on the nose. But was this the right movie for that?
VICTOR LABRADA: ANCHORMAN 2 seems acutely aware that everyone will be judging to see if it’s MORE quotable, MORE out there.
DAVE HENRY: It’s funny, but until the epic battle in Central Park, I felt like this one was less absurdist than the first one.
JIM TUDOR: Do you all think it was trying too hard?
ERIK YATES: To me the satire was a reverse FORREST GUMP. Forrest was involved in great moments of history without really knowing it. Ron Burgundy was involved in dumbing down the news and history without knowing it. Almost pulling a Brick.
VICTOR LABRADA: I really do. I mean, I laughed, hard. But most of the movie I was just smiling pleasantly.
ERIK YATES: That was my reaction Victor. What also set this one apart was the many cameos! Warning! Spoiler area! To read click here!?
VICTOR LABRADA: But I would say spoiler alert, but so much context is needed for that that it is impossible to spoil…
JIM TUDOR: “By Gary Collins’ wardrobe, they definitely upped the cameo ante!!”
DAVE HENRY: For me, every joke landed. I barely spent a few seconds of time not laughing my ass off.
JIM TUDOR: The first movie is one that is funnier the more you watch it. Or in my case, the more you hear the bits over and over again, on knucklehead radio. I think this one will do the same.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Victor and I did note that the movie was stuffed with characters who had too little to do or changed roles (and personalities) to suit the momentary needs of the plot.
DAVE HENRY: All of those McKay-Farrell films are endlessly watchable. RICKY BOBBY was one that I wasn’t crazy about at first, and it got better every time I watched it. With ANCHORMAN and STEP-BROTHERS, I was howling from the start.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Harrison Ford’s first appearance worried me. He was the most wasted cameo to me.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Thankfully the other cameos were not wasted so much.
ERIK YATES: I would agree with you Paul.
JIM TUDOR: The character of Ron definitely upped the ante by switching from scotch to smoking crack!
ERIK YATES: It also pushed the racial lines pretty hard…..Black!
VICTOR LABRADA: I couldn’t stop thinking of Austin Powers “mole” scene during that.
PAUL REYNOLDS: And seriously, a wasted coffee joke!
JIM TUDOR: Austin also had a black girlfriend in his first sequel, didn’t he? Oh wait, that’s the third one. So I guess Ron Burgendy is more progressive than Austin Powers!
VICTOR LABRADA: Take that Mike Meyers!
JIM TUDOR: Yes it was.
VICTOR LABRADA: So where does Ron Burgundy go from here? Does Anchorman have legs for a third installment?
JIM TUDOR: As long as TV news is embarrassing, there will always be a place for him!
ERIK YATES: This film also seemed to have a much bigger female presence with Meagan Good, Kristin Wiig, and a lot of cameoing actresses, in addition to Applegate.
PAUL REYNOLDS: I think Will Ferrell has shown us that he’s thankfully not done being funny. Can’t say the same for Mike Myers.
DAVE HENRY: At the same time, I got the sense that McKay and Ferrell said all they needed to say with this one. I think it was obvious after the first film that they had other adventures planned for Ron Burgundy, but this one kind of sent him off into the sunset, to to speak… These movies are just wonderful places for great comedians to shine, if only for a moment.
JIM TUDOR: The shark should’ve killed him, then?
DAVE HENRY: Oh my gosh, that shark. What a way to start a movie.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Thankfully, this movie’s shark was not jumped.
JIM TUDOR: The shark had more screen time than Paul Rudd!
VICTOR LABRADA: And better chest hair!
ERIK YATES: Other than the Sex Panther replacement, the condom cabinet, Brian Fantana was hardly a factor. I was waiting for an “Afternoon Delight” moment with the whole news team.
JIM TUDOR: I’ll ask again, did the news business satire feel appropriate for this franchise?
DAVE HENRY: Sure, why not?
JIM TUDOR: Okay, Erik, you’re covered! But I wanna go on and on about it, dogonnit! “Afternoon Delight” was 1970s, but now it’s that awkward early 1980s time in the film.
VICTOR LABRADA: The news satire seemed plopped in. Having an Australian owner was a nice touch. But it did seem like outta right field when they started railing on cable news.
ERIK YATES: True.
DAVE HENRY: Would you buys have preferred that they kept Ron Burgundy as an anchor for a major network, and saved Cable news for a third installment?
VICTOR LABRADA: Well, maybe save the morals for another day. The first ANCHORMAN didn’t really have a moral. I guess it coulda been “don’t be a misogynist” but we love Ron Burgundy because he’s insensitive and crude.
PAUL REYNOLDS: I think it was fine, a way to give them more news teams to compete against.
ERIK YATES: No, this worked, and I’m of the mindset of leaving it alone after this. Too often studios push product because of profitability and ruin the product in the wake of it all. Anchorman grew in popularity over time because they didn’t keep rushing out more installments.
DAVE HENRY: Plus, you don’t really have much of a leg to stand on if you’re going to try and make fun of guys like Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw. Those guys are nothing but class.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Hear hear, Victor
DAVE HENRY: The chauvinist anchormen of the 70’s, and the cable news clowns today are ripe for parody. But I think it was wise to skip the national news stuff.
JIM TUDOR: I get the impression that they were pushed and pushed to make this, and finally gave in, and gave it their all, but only if they could do some media commentary as well. It didn’t ruin the movie, and was actually amusing. But still, tonally off enough for me to question it.
DAVE HENRY: The thing is, that’s not the case at all. They actually had a hard time getting this one made. At one point they even tried to do it as a Broadway musical. For a while, it looked like ANCHORMAN 2 would never happen.
JIM TUDOR: I still think you read a gag interview they did, and took it seriously. EVERYONE’S been waiting for an ANCHORMAN 2!
DAVE HENRY: I’m standing my ground on this–go back and read the Entertainment Weekly cover story from the fall movie preview. But Paul, I agree with you. Whereas I always got the sense after the first one that McKay and Ferrell wanted to to show the continuing adventures of Anchorman, that now they’ve said their piece.
ERIK YATES: What did you think of its “attack” on middle America (at least how it might be perceived) where the higher ratings are for animals, patriotism, car chases, etc. and not the hard hitting interviews of an Arafat, etc?
DAVE HENRY: It’s totally accurate.
ERIK YATES: Right, will it be perceived as an attack, or accepted as fact the way IDIOCRACY is really more true than we realize?
JIM TUDOR: It’s pretty exactly on the nose. Maybe people will see this movie, and in getting hoodwinked with that indictment (loving stupid garbage that passes for news), things will change a little?
ERIK YATES: I hope they’re smart enough for that to happen….but maybe not.
JIM TUDOR: Dave, is that the link to the interivew where these poor neglected indie film talents claim that no one would let them make their surefire hit?
PAUL REYNOLDS: I’m really impressed they didn’t put Ron in the movie as a Glenn Beck surrogate.
DAVE HENRY: Maybe that’ll be the plot of ANCHORMAN 3 after all. Ron Burgundy crying on the air.
JIM TUDOR: I thought they were going that way, making Burgundy out-and-out the original rightwing cable news blowhard. I guess he still kinda was, but they stopped short of crowning him the first Bill O’Reilly.
ERIK YATES: There’s your 3rd movie….commentators vs. news. One thing interesting about this film too is the PR that went into it with the characters showing up on real newscasts in North Dakota, ESPN, etc. to simply tell the news. Also the Ron Burgundy Dodge commercials, etc.
JIM TUDOR: They’ve probably spent more hours playing these characters outside of the filmmaking than when they were making this movie!
DAVE HENRY: So odd and random, but that’s so these guys, too. Especially if you check out their funny-or-die stuff.
ERIK YATES: True.
DAVE HENRY: I thought the FOX news parallels were pretty obvious myself, but I’m the big liberal around here, so I’m more likely to enjoy seeing them taken down a peg or ten.
PAUL REYNOLDS: I suppose if we’re looking for an overarching statement of quality, the movie is a slam dunk on the humor.
DAVE HENRY: If there was anything that didn’t work as well, I think it was the Brick Tamland stuff, and the running gag about Champ being gay. That stuff works in small doses, but I don’t know that it deserves a whole subplot. Although Kristen Wiig made up for it. So I’m okay with more Brick if it means we get to see more Kristen, I guess.
PAUL REYNOLDS: As a film that holds together, there are flaws, but who cares? You’ll pee your pants laughing.
ERIK YATES: I don’t think they attacked an ideology Dave ala Fox News or CNN as much as the self-importance and ridiculousness of what passes for news and news celebrity culture these days, as well as the people who drink it up!
DAVE HENRY: This is definitely the hardest I’ve laughed at a movie all year.
JIM TUDOR: I believe you!
DAVE HENRY: And honestly, I’m kind of impressed to see social commentary in a McKay-Ferrell movie, even if it is so broad. The broadness is appropriate in this context and for this subject matter.
ERIK YATES: Agreed.
JIM TUDOR: They couldn’t resist.
PAUL REYNOLDS: So see the movie! It’ll even make you think a bit!
VICTOR LABRADA: Parting thoughts/shots?
PAUL REYNOLDS: It was far funnier than any other comedy sequel I can remember.
JIM TUDOR: I think they captured the early eighties kitsch vibe pretty well, even if AMERICAN HUSTLE actually one-ups it with its costumes and hair styles.
DAVE HENRY: AMERICAN HUSTLE is actually sillier with the costume designs than this movie. And this movie was a lot funnier.
ERIK YATES: The music was spot-on for the times it’s celebrating.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Right on, Erik.
JIM TUDOR: Yeah, the music was funnier this time, for sure. But like AMERICAN HUSTLE, no sooner do the filmmakers drop the needle on some warmed over early 80s soft rock hit, than it fades out. EMBRACE THE NEEDLE DROP, filmmakers! Let the songs play out more!!
DAVE HENRY: The thing is, I think it’s best to go to this one as blind as possible. Just know that it’s really funny and worth your time. “I can’t see the movie!!! Can’t you tell I’m BAH-LIND?!!”
JIM TUDOR: ANCHORMAN 2 is an instant treasure trove of audio sound bites for knucklehead radio hosts, just like the first one was!
PAUL REYNOLDS: Agreed. People will end up quoting this one even more than the first, I think.
DAVE HENRY: It’s just so great, I think, to see a group of comedians like this who haven’t lost their edge or moved past their prime. And some of these guys have been in the game for twenty years or longer!
VICOTR LABRADA: Top 3 laughs in non-spoiler blurbs?
PAUL REYNOLDS: Will Ferrell bottle feeding a giant mystery animal.
DAVE HENRY: Gosh, it’s so hard to really pick one gag that I liked more than another. I’ve mentioned my least favorite ones, but I even laughed out loud at those.
JIM TUDOR: I like the stuff with Brick, actually. He finds love here, which I suppose is good for him, and the world.
DAVE HENRY: Yeah, there are a lot of great Brick gags. Maybe I spoke too soon earlier. Although honestly, the funeral wasn’t that funny… Probably the least funniest scene in the movie, in fact.
ERIK YATES: The “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” scene.
VICTOR LABRADA: 1. Brick loses his legs. 2. Brick being followed by a “black man.” 3. The History Channel.
ERIK YATES: Did you see the end-credit scene?
ERIK YATES: For Champ: The Bat discussion.
PAUL REYNOLDS: To his credit, I wanted to try one of them.
JIM TUDOR: Yeah, I’ll go have some fried bat and crack, myself. Okay, on second thought, not the crack.
DAVE HENRY: Every time a bat appeared on screen, it was hilarious. Especially when one showed up in the motor home.
JIM TUDOR: I liked when the motor home turned over, and it crashed in slo-mo longer than the van from INCEPTION did!
ERIK YATES: James Marsden as the antagonist?
DAVE HENRY: James Marsden is always welcome.
JIM TUDOR: Weird, but yeah sure, he was fine. So it sounds like ZekeFilm thinks ANCHORMAN 2 is an across the board hit?
PAUL REYNOLDS: I’ll be recommending it to everyone I know that enjoyed the first one.
DAVE HENRY: Same here.
JIM TUDOR: If anyone asks me if I’ve seen it, I’ll tell them “Yes!”
VICTOR LABRADA: I recommend it. It tries hard and it shows, for better or worse.
ERIK YATES: Agree. Not sure those who dismiss Will Ferrell’s humor already will like it, but it is solid for current fans.
PAUL REYNOLDS: It’s proof that Will Ferrell is far from done.
JIM TUDOR: So is this the ZF News Team signing off?
VICTOR LABRADA: Stay classy, Internet.
PAUL REYNOLDS: Don’t touch that back button!
DAVE HENRY: Dave, Jim, Paul, Erik, and Victor will return in ANCHORMAN 3 Review 2: The Review Continues!