Review: Anchorman 2 and Her

Sandy Kenyon reviews the latest release
December 18, 2013 1:44:38 PM PST
The wait is over, and Ron Burgundy is back. Will Ferrell and the rest of the crew of the much-anticipated Anchorman 2 have been everywhere reminding us why we loved the first movie.

The critics have not been too kind to Anchorman 2, and perhaps that's because there's been so much hype surrounding this film, too much. But I doubt fans of the original will be too disappointed. Fans of the original Anchorman have waited a long time to welcome back Ron Burgundy and his team, 'Brick', 'Champ', and 'Brian Fantana'.

Some of the jokes serve to remind us just how funny the original was, and it's almost inevitable that this sequel would suffer by comparison.

Some of the funnest material is early on when Ron, who has lost his job to his wife, is assembling the old team again to work the graveyard shift at a cable news channel circa 1980.

This story is less than the sum of its parts, but individual bits are hilarious, especially those involving Steve Carell's 'Brick', who mourns himself at his own funeral, romances an equally dumb co-worker played by Kristen Wiig, and seems at a loss to do his job.

At two hours, the comedy is too long and lacks the signature lines that made the first Anchorman 'kind of a big deal', but all involved 'stay classy' enough to make us laugh in a season of serious films.

Her marks the return of Joaquin Phoenix in a futuristic tale about a guy who falls in love with his computer's operating system.

It's the voice of Scarlet Johannson and the effect is almost magical because the star makes the romance believable throug the sheer seductive power of her voice.

Her is a thoughtful work by director Spike Jonz that made me think about the nature of love and marriage.

It's in just a few theaters to qualify for this year's Oscar race. Come January, Her goes into wide release.

Anchorman 2 is, of course, everywhere.