I remember reading a review of this movie in Empire Magazine at the time of its release which concluded "it needs a good edit." TheMilkmanConspiracy has now provided this!
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.
A wonderful edit that keeps the pace just as smooth as the first Anchorman and makes a lot of intelligent, well-thought out trims in order to keep it close to the spirit of the original. I love Anchorman 2 as is, but I think I love this one even more.
Personally, I enjoyed the theatrical cut – so this edit technically wasn’t for me. Having seen the theatrical twice, my feelings towards it have been that the film is messy and overblown, but ultimately still pretty funny. I laughed a lot both times during my watches, but there were certainly moments of cringe and points where jokes were milked too hard. Unnecessary sub-plots dragged the film down, and at nearly 2 hours it really felt like a bit of a slog. Given that the editor didn't like the film at all, I wasn't sure what to expect with this - but I was curious to see what had been done to improve things.
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.
Owner's replyJuly 14, 2019
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 is a classy edit of Anchorman 2. The reduction of racist and sexist material not only makes this a less offensive film, it also enhances the satirical ridicule of contemporary news coverage.
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!