Even as we eagerly await the arrival of Anchorman: The Legend Continues, we're bound to worry just how well the sequel will hold up. Some think the best option would be to vie for something new and fresh, avoiding the deep well of the original's gags for call-back laughter. But we can't expect the sequel to breeze through without at least a few scenes or jokes that are reminiscent of Anchorman. There might not be another performance of "Afternoon Delight," nor a second ride through Pleasure Town, but there appears to at least be a follow-up to the famous cameo-laden news anchor brawl. This one involves Will Ferrell friends Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Last time around, Ron Burgundy's Channel 4 News team faced off with the likes of Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Tim Robbins in a deadly battle royale. This time, new stars are joining in... to kick the crap out of other new stars.
As we can see from the below picture, snapped on the set of Anchorman 2, Fey and Poehler, both draped in news anchor attire and armed with crowbars, are beating the hell out of a similarly clad Baron Cohen (with whom Ferrell worked in Talladega Nights).
We don't know if this fight will escalate to the proportions of Anchorman's explosive melee, or if it will involve some more familiar faces... but we are excited to learn why Baron Cohen's character earned this degree of wrath from the SNL vets in question, and if the surprise guests will be popping up in any other Anchorman 2 scenes. What do you think — should we looking forward to a revival of the old Weekend Update formula?
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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After being drugged by a rival earl French nobleman Count Thibault (Jean Reno)
murders his bride-to-be Rosalind Malfete (Christina Applegate) on the eve of
their impending nuptials. While awaiting his execution Thibault sends his servant
André (Christian Clavier) to fetch a wizard (Malcolm McDowell) who can send Thibault
back in time so he can undo the night's tragic events. The spell backfires and
sends Thibault and his sidekick into the future instead of the past straight
into a Chicago museum's exhibit of medieval artifacts in the year 2000. Thibault
soon realizes that the exhibit's curator Julia Malfete (Applegate again) is
his descendant 30 generations removed after semi-convincing her of this he enlists
her help in finding the wizard who can send him back to the 12th century to save
their lineage. Meanwhile Julia's unfaithful money-grubbing husband Hunter (Matthew
Ross) throws a wrench in their plans and tries to have Thibault arrested for
false impersonation in order to hold onto the Malfete family fortune Julia stands
to inherit. Though the plot is riddled with holes the story line takes full advantage
of the 12th-century-meets-21st-century jokes and pranks including the visitors'
fascinations with modern day transportation electricity toilets and urinals
all guaranteeing good laughs.
Reno and Clavier reprise their roles in this American adaptation of the 1993 French
blockbuster Les Visiteurs. Reno brings both warmth and wit to Thibault's
character and carries the film from beginning to end. Tough chivalrous and charming
he evokes the legendary knight in shining armor. Though Clavier who plays his
subservient sidekick and brunt of all jokes elicits a few chuckles with his slip-and-fall
physical comedy he also demonstrates a tender side when he pleads with Thibault
for his freedom. Applegate puts on a believable British accent as Rosalind in
12th-century England but fares much better as Julia in 21st-century Chicago.
McDowell in the role of the blundering wizard shows that his strength may lie
more in the villainous than the comedic: his character is never really developed
leaving his portrayal one dimensional and stereotypical at best. Not much can
be said for the performances of Ross and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras either. Ross'
character is your run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter bad guy with no morals while
Wilson-Sampras overplays the made-up preening secretary.
The beginning of the film which is set in 12th-century England is done surprisingly
well from the costumes down to the cinematography; unfortunately this seems
to be where the bulk of the budget was spent. The modern day portion of the film
is sadly lacking especially when juxtaposed against the cold dark and realistically
gloomy feel of the first half. The special effects during the latter portion of
the film seem almost cartoonish and diminish the overall look of the film. While
Just Visiting retains the principal players of its French counterpart
including writer Jean-Marie Poire and director Jean-Marie Gaubert don't expect
this film to achieve a fraction of the success it had on the other side of the
Atlantic. Yet it provides good laughs from start to finish and the best moments
astonishingly enough were not limited to the ones shown in the film's trailer.