If you think back to the opening lines of the Anchorman (just about the only lines you and your friends don't quote compulsively whilst intoxicated), you will recall a vivid establishment of the film's setting:
There was a time — a time before cable — when the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news.
And on it goes, specifying the location to be San Diego and the subject of the story to be Will Ferrell's now iconic Ron Burgundy. But the 2004 comedy's sequel looks to be taking on a different time and place — as it seems, the focus of the forthcoming Anchorman: The Legend Continues will be distinctly more contemporary than that of its predecessor. Adam McKay, Anchorman and Anchorman 2 director and cowriter (along with Ferrell), recently gave The Playlist a few bits of info about his developing followup, specifying the area of interest that will be satirized this time around: the era of the 24-hour news cycle.
"It's all about the rise of the new media and 24 hour news cycle," says McKay. "And there's a lot of interesting points to make about that while being silly." It's a well-tread territory in the world of satire, that's for certain. The likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have made livings from their often scathing commentaries about today's news. And Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom jumped on the bandwagon this past summer, painting the industry in a more reverent (yet hardly flawless) light.
But beyond taking down the contemporary media, McKay is clearly interested in having fun with his movie: "We have some songs already written ... whole song sequences for sure." So, we don't have to worry about the movie shirking its silly side in favor of sociopolitical commentary. Anchorman 2 looks to revisit the charm that its predecessor gave us with rainbow rides, milk-fueled hobo tantrums, and dog/bear conversations through the gift of music. And cameos! "We're talking about for Anchorman 2 ... having every single one line or three line role, just be someone we just love. Someone like Ian Roberts or Rob Huebel or Paula Killen." They got Tim Robbins the first time, so I imagine we're in for some pretty quality bit players in Round 2.
[Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures]
'Anchorman 2' Has a Pants Party! — POSTER
'Anchorman 2' Plot Hints Dropped by Adam McKay?
Watch Both 'Anchorman 2' Teasers Here
'Anchorman 2': A History of Sequel Rumors and Why It Will Work
From Our Partners:
’Twilight’ Red Carpet: Rob and Kristen’s Awkward New Pics (Moviefone)
Ryan Gosling Birthday; 32 Reasons Why ‘The Notebook’ Kiss Is Greatest
Will Ferrell is back on-target in the dumb movie sweepstakes as Brennan Huff an over-grown overly sensitive son who has never bothered to move out of single mom’s (Mary Steenburgen) house even though he’s 40. When she meets falls in love with and marries an older doctor (Richard Jenkins) all before the opening credits are over Brennan must move into his new stepfather’s home where--you guessed it--39 year-old loser and would-be musician Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) has been living with Dad all these years as well. The new siblings who give stunted growth a whole new definition bunk together like 10-year olds with an instant rivalry that causes havoc in the household. Soon they find themselves birds of the same feather when fed-up dad announces he is selling the house and going on an around-the-world cruise with his new bride. The hapless pair are ordered to find decent jobs and a new place to live--a prospect neither relishes. After an earlier misstep this year with the inane Semi-Pro Ferrell is back in his comfort zone and finding new sparks opposite Reilly who despite the failure of his recent starring comedy Walk Hard continues to show natural comedic abilities. The two are fun to watch as they mine a lot of laughs playing imbecilic but lovable adolescent middle-aged men--Peter Pans who just never grew up. Still it’s the supporting cast that really shines. Jenkins--enjoying the best year of his career especially with his stellar turn in The Visitor is now complementing it with his riotous portrait of a put-upon dad dealing with a couple of morons who have overstayed their welcome by about 20 years. Steenburgen manages to invest the rather colorless mother role with dignity even earning a couple of laughs on her own. Adam Scott as Ferrell’s real-estate mogul brother is consistently fun particularly in leading a family sing-a-long while driving to bro’s house. Also of note Kathryn Hahn as his mousy but extremely kinky wife who tries to get down and dirty with Reilly.
Ferrell’s writing partner Adam McKay is not only co-scripting again but back behind the camera guiding Ferrell’s and Reilly’s on-screen nuttiness. Adam McKay an SNL veteran who was responsible for two of Ferrell’s biggest hits Anchorman and Talladega Nights knows from experience exactly how to take these over-the-top situations and wring every last laugh out of them. Movies like this are hit and miss so give McKay credit for hitting more than he misses. Each actor even the lesser-billed ones have their moments to shine and it’s a nice tribute to McKay’s laid back direction that none of them bellyflop. The premise of Step Brothers clearly presented some potentially rich comic possibilities and McKay and company uncover most of them. Certainly the film should strike a responsive chord with those faced with grown kids either coming back home to live or never leaving in the first place--if not quite to THESE extremes.