There is finally a full-length trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which revisits the characters in a 1980s setting and is due out at domestically on December 20, 2013. If you liked the original film, this trailer is going to give you a lot of what you want; if you didn’t like the original, this trailer won’t really change your mind:
Most important takeaway from the entire trailer? Ron’s dog, Baxter, is back.
The original Anchorman came out in 2004, and enjoyed an 8-week run in theaters during which it grossed $90 million worldwide for a film with a reported production budget of $26 million (BoxOfficeMojo). However, the film has gained a long second life on home video and is regularly quoted in certain circles. It (and Old School from one year prior) turned Will Ferrell into a bankable film star, and co-stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell would become film stars themselves a year later after The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Directed by Adam McKay off of a script he co-wrote with Will Ferrell, Anchorman derives its comedy from a mixture of absurdist elements (“I killed a guy with a trident!”), and the fun to be had from watching how cartoon character-like representations of 1970s male machismo react to the presence of a new women’s liberation-esque female co-worker (Christina Applegate). It’s like Man Men a decade later – if the ad executives from Sterling-Cooper-whatever-the hell-they’re calling it now randomly had a street brawl with ad execs from other agencies.
So, if sexism was the main thrust of the comedy in the original Anchorman it appears from the trailer that the sequel decided racism was an untapped resource to utilize. The sexism of the original largely worked because the true joke was on the guys, as their intolerance eventually revealed them to simply be on the wrong side of history on the issue. Plus, Christina Applegate’s character had enough screen time to give us someone who has to react to workplace gender oppression and eventually rise above it. Also, she gives back just as good as she gets, thus resulting in this infamous exchange:
The race-based jokes in the trailer feel more like an excuse to simply have Ron say jerk-like things, and will probably be but one element of the humor in the film. We also learn from the trailer that (in no particular order):
- Paul Rudd’s character will be a male model of some sort on the side.
- James Marsters is on-board as a younger, more handsome rival to Ron.
- The Channel 4 News Team is assembled by a cameo-ing Ed Helms to work at something that sounds an awful lot like CNN.
- Christina Applegate is back, although apparently in a very reduced role.
- Ron is actively dating and has a black girlfriend.
- Kristin Wigg appears to be playing a love interest for Carrell’s character, and not Ferrell’s has had been assumed up until this point.
Anchorman helped make Ferrell, Rudd, and Carrell stars, and helped David Koechner to keep getting guest spots on television and supporting parts in films. Applegate went a different direction, only starring in the occasional film while attempting (and unfortunately failing) to find success on television (Samantha Who, Up All Night) while also becoming a mother for the first time in her personal life.
The sad thing about watching the trailer for Anchorman 2, though, is just the extra baggage we have with most of the actors due to their collectively murky careers (box office and quality of film-wise) as of late. Kristin Wiig, who joins the cast as a new supporting character, is the one with the most recent huge hit to her name, i.e., the nearly $300 million worldwide-grossing Bridesmaids:
However, since Anchorman Will Ferrell has given us failures like Land of the Lost, Semi-Pro, and Everything Must Go, Steve Carrell seems to have failed (Evan Almighty, Dinner for Schmucks, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) just as often as he hasn’t (Dan in Real Life, Get Smart, Date Night, Crazy, Stupid, Love), and Paul Rudd has done a series of films which define “wait to rent it” (Admission, This is 40, Wanderlust, Our Idiot Brother-for the record, I really liked Idiot Brother) with one which bombed and should be completely avoided (How Do You Know). Now that we’ve seen them fail so frequently and been suckered into handing over our money to inferior films will we be fooled again just because they’ve combined their forces?
Yes. Duh. The original film was hilarious, and this one will be, too. Again, duh. This trailer does make the film look funny, and sequels are always better anyway. You hear me, world…always better! CNN News Team…Assemble!
So, watcha thinking? About life and stuff…but specifically about the new trailer for Anchorman and my cynical take on it. The trailer has some definite laughs – I just doubt it will recapture the magic of the original. What about you? Let me know in the comments section.