Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Value-Sized Version)
Along with some crude humour, the editor has cut Brick's (Steve Carell) romance, Brian's (Paul Rudd) criticism of Koala Airlines and Ron's (Will Ferrell) fling with his boss, Linda (Meagan Good). The removal of these sub-plots doesn't harm the film. Instead, these changes accentuate Ron's poor parential skills and his troubled marriage with Veronica (Christina Applegate).
When I first watched the sequel, I felt that Veronica had been relegated to a minor character. In this version, she is integral to Ron's character development, which now becomes the central narrative. Also, her desire to broadcast important news is juxtaposed with Ron's wish to entertain the masses. Their contrasting styles provide a topical commentary on contemporary news.
It is a shame that Judah Nelson, who plays Ron's son, Walter, is so wooden. Unfortunately, if his screen time was minismised it would probably affect the climax.
As for the technical aspects; the sound editing is flawless and the mixing of higher and lower resolution footage is excellent. Please note that the MKV format played far better with VLC software than through other media players.
This version of the sequel does not raise the comedic standards to the same hilarious levels as the first film. Some mediocre one-liners remain, but sacrificing them would have spoilt the story. Fortunately, there are enough amusing antics to make this version a pleasurable experience. Unlike with the original film, it is worth watching again!
SD footage blended really well with HD. I think the only time I actually noticed the shift in quality was with the deleted scene with Jack Lame in the pub. I didn’t really think about it during the scene, but I noticed how much crisper the following footage was.
Audio sounded great.
Visual editing was very good. I noticed maybe 2 cuts..? One of which was after Ron is explaining himself after falling from the light. These were minor nitpicks though, and I’m not really sure if it was that the cuts were slightly rushed or if it was simply that I knew a joke was meant to go on longer.
I did notice that the fingers counting down at 31:19 seem to have a pretty jittery slowdown effect on it. I wasn't sure if this was how it was on the footage or if it was something the editor had done.
I didn’t notice a single audio cut, and I was watching this in 5.1 on a pretty decent system. There was a bit of re-scoring done as well, so hats off to the editor for pulling that off so slickly.
The main reason I watched this edit was to see how the narrative was improved. I already thought the film was fairly funny, but I knew the story and pacing were all over the place. I can say with confidence that it was well worth the watch. The film is both funnier and tighter. I did feel the length a little bit at about the hour mark, but ultimately what has been cut has improved things vastly. 2 of the things I disliked the most about the theatrical was the Linda/Ron relationship and the Koala airlines sub-plot. Koala Airlines I think was cut out of necessity, but it really does make sense. It isn’t funny or interesting and it just fills the film out unnecessarily.
I remember quite enjoying some of Brick’s romance sub-plot, but I understand why it was cut, and the pacing benefits as a result.
I marked narrative down by a point for 1 reason – I felt that the scene in which Linda meets Veronica was unnecessary and out of place. It wasn’t jarring, and I think it just about worked, but the atmosphere/tone of the scene clearly alludes to a relationship that is no longer included in the film. It looked to me like the scene could have worked with just Veronica, so I thought it odd that it was kept the way it was.
I really enjoyed this. There were a couple of things I found funny that didn’t make the cut (I actually like Ron feeling the need to remind people that he’s blind, particularly when it related to things that blindness in no way affects), but this is subjective.
Despite having watched the theatrical twice, I couldn’t really tell most of the time which lines were new and which weren’t - all I know is that this felt far more satisfying than the original. The narrative and pacing was much tighter and the humour was more consistent, so I believe the editor has achieved their goal.
Would I watch again? Yes.
Would I recommend? Yes.
Excellent work, Milkman.
Thank you so much for the kind review, the-scribbling-man!
The jittery slow-down effect at 31:19 is, indeed, present in the original footage; I did not alter that in any way.
While constructing this edit, I shared your concerns about Linda meeting Veronica, and tried my best to remove Linda from that scene entirely. Visually I was able to do it, but unfortunately there are bits of foley from Linda's presence on top of Veronica's dialog that I could not remove (i.e. the movement of Linda's leather jacket and the door opening and closing as she exits). In the interest of keeping my cuts as clean and unnoticeable as possible, I decided to keep Linda in the scene while doing my best to remove any allusions to her excised relationship with Ron. With these edits, what was originally a joke about Ron wanting to see two of his lovers kiss now becomes one that simply plays into Ron being a bit of a pervert. While screening this edit for my girlfriend who had never seen Anchorman 2, this moment got a big laugh out of her, which alleviated almost all of my concerns when it came to leaving Linda in the scene. Not only does this provide a joke where there wouldn't have been one had I removed her, the joke itself acts as enough justification for having Linda walk out in the first place. After the screening, I even asked my girlfriend if that scene in particular gave her any impression that a relationship had been going on between Ron and Linda, and she said no. Still, if I had been able to cleanly remove Linda from that scene, I would have, just to avoid any questions entirely, even if it came at the expense of a laugh.
Thanks again for your review, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the edit!
This “Value sized edition” is a vast improvement on the theatrical release – funnier, snappier and with some of the tedious sub-plots (e.g. Brick’s romance) removed altogether. It flows very well and I didn’t notice any jumps or edits. Even the alternate/deleted scenes that have been added back in are seamless.
This edits is the perfect follow up to the original.
Firstly, technical bits: audio was great, new song edited in seamlessly. Video crops and trims were done very well, and only on one occasion did I even notice any difference in the fidelity of the video footage. Really well done on converting that to be near-seamless.
So now it comes down to a matter of taste. Comedies are highly subjective, and while I admit that a great many of the jokes in Anchorman 2 didn't land with me, some did. And a few were hysterical. Unfortunately, pretty much everything is cut out of this one. Which might be okay if it were replaced with other awesome jokes, but mostly it isn't. We lose most of the horrible stuff and most of the great stuff and are given mostly mediocre stuff. So the overall film is indeed tighter, but nothing new was really that funny, so the end result is entirely inconsequential and disposable. I actually think I might prefer the original, just for those few highest of highs.
The description of the edit is to cut bits that "went on far too long", and admittedly that's an issue with the original. On the other hand, it's part of what made the first Anchorman (and Ferrell in general) so funny. Sometimes a bit isn't that funny at first, but then the player keeps working it until it becomes so ridiculous that it comes back around to being funny again. No scene is given the time to develop in that way here. Replacements also don't work. The shark bit (and Ron's son in general) are actually stupid and annoying. It's the song that pushes it so far that it comes back to being funny. Walter is trimmed too much here and is just back to being annoying. Everything at the lighthouse is cut down until it's dull. Brick is mercilessly cut (including his romance sub-plot, arguably the funniest scenes of the film) leaving him with only one-liners. But there is no "I love lamp" here. His one-liners are mostly horrible.
Rudd comes off the best in this edit with additional material as Fantana, because, well, Rudd is just always great. He becomes almost a believable character in this. But that's not the movie I wanted to see. I missed the big RV scene. I missed some Greg Kinnear stuff. I actually didn't realize how many bits of Anchorman 2 worked for me until I saw the alternate takes they didn't use! It's a comedy, so this will be entirely subjective, but for me this becomes less of a broad comedy and more of a satire. And hey, it's Adam McKay, the satire of CNN and Fox is on point! But it's just not interesting enough to sustain the film, which just presents a few chuckles now. I wanted guffaws.
So: if you HATED Anchorman 2, you might like this. It's that different. I guess I would've preferred more of just a trim to what was already there. All thanks to the editor besides...this was very well done, just not to my taste.
Fair enough! It definitely sounds like it comes down to a difference in taste here, and that's beyond my control. Like you said, comedy is highly subjective, and there were bound to be differences of opinion when it came to what jokes stayed and what jokes were removed. All the same, I appreciate you checking it out and taking the time to write a review. Thank you!