I approach this review at a bit of a crossroads. Do I review Anchorman 2 as it exists on this awesome three disc set as the theatrical cut or do I dare explore the absurdity of the Super-Sized R-Rated Version? For those unfamiliar with the Adam McKay Ron Burgundy films, the actors often provide an insane amount of takes and dialogue options often with hilarious results. The original Anchorman film, for example, when released on DVD through Best Buy, included a wholly separate movie, comprised of sub-plots that were cut from the theatrical feature. It was pretty impressive. I decided to take a similar approach to one I’ve made in the past, and reviewed sections of the film at different cuts.
The results, predictably, were hysterical. Often, you’ll see a few of these takes used in commercials or in credits sequences, alternate takes, etc. One of the more obvious changes that many will remember from the trailer for the movie and the Super-Sized R-Rated Version includes a drastically different (and incredibly funny) take on Ron’s dinner with his girlfriend, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) and her family. The theatrical cut is incredibly racist as it is, but the Super-Sized R-Rated Version takes that to the next level. It’s probably the best example of how over-the-top the Super-Sized R-Rated Version is when compared to the original.
The movie’s plot remains largely unchanged, Ron and the News Team take strides to succeed in the realm of 24-hour news, essentially paving the way for the modern-day news cycle of non-stories being top stories. We live in an age where CNN reporters are playing with toy airplanes live on the air while speculating about what happened to a missing Malaysian flight.
The obvious comparison is, of course, Fox News, right down to the Australian media mogul/villain of the piece.
I enjoyed Anchorman 2 almost as much as I enjoyed the original. I ended up seeing this one three or four times in theaters, digging into the ridiculous subplots involving Brick (Steve Carell)’s quest for love, the nursing of a baby shark and Ron’s difficulties relating to his son. The amount of cameos during the film’s climactic fight sequence is unbelievable, too. I won’t give any of the cameos away, but when the Quebec News Team pops up, I remember laughing so hard, I almost lost it.
The new cut boasts an additional 763 new jokes, though honestly, I didn’t count. I’ll leave that to the platoons of Reddit nerds who will no doubt attempt that Herculean effort. I will say that while the film’s essential story structure remains the same, there’s enough new material and enough new takes to make me feel like I was watching the movie anew. That sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s accurate in my case. Considering how many times I saw the flick (it did grow exhausting by the third go) during its opening weekend, this new take was altogether fresh and fascinating.
I couldn’t recommend this cut of the flick more. Buy it immediately.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
Additional cuts of the film would normally be enough for your average movie, but there are also behind the scenes bits, commentaries, gag reels, table reads and more. The package is easily one of the better buys on Blu-ray, the table reads being the highlight of the piece in addition to the multiple cuts of the flick.
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" is on sale April 1, 2014 and is rated R. Comedy. Directed by Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay. Starring Christina Applegate, Meagan Good, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell.