They're at it again. The creators of one of the best movies of the early 2000s and one of the least exciting sequels of the early 2010s have decided to continue the legend once again, with a re-released version of Anchorman 2 with 763 new jokes, no less. Adam McKay, who co-wrote the film with Will Ferrell, said that this would be "a stitched up, Frankenstein version," a phrase that adds colorful commentary on the amount of new and "alternate" material. As it turns out, it does, in fact, seem like Anchorman 2.5 will embody all of the terrifying things about Frankenstein: the stitches, the sickly green pallor, and most of all, the reanimation of something that should stay dead. Why can't they let the poor Anchorman franchise die?
The green color of this Frankenstein Anchorman 2 inevitably comes from the money that will be grossed from even a limited, week-long rerelease. Even though the critics (rightly) shredded the original version of Anchorman 2 to bits, it has grossed over $125 million so far, and in some out-of-the way bargain theaters, it continues to rake in the dough. Even though some have said that the new version is not motivated simply by profit, the past fiscal success suggests otherwise. Plus, McKay said that he didn't think the new version would be "any better" than the old one.
And honestly, he's probably right. Although some extra footage has been exciting for fans of action franchises like Indiana Jones and Star Wars, comedy depends on timing, and a gag that goes too long generally turns into a bad joke. Also, the problems that critics had with the original Anchorman 2 were structural: for instance Wesley Morris of Grantland argued that the first Anchorman had not only great improv, but a "couple of funny ideas," and these ideas are missing in the sequel. And many critics have pointed out that Anchorman didn't need a sequel. It stood on its own.
Well, now the sequel has a sequel, and Will Ferrell has shown us that instead of letting Ron Burgundy die with dignity, he wants to reanimate him until he's a grotesque, unfunny giant.