Let's get this out in the open. Comedy is subjective. Not to say that film itself isn't subjective. It is just to say that comedy is something that people can be very split on. That is one of the reasons the highest rated films of all time on a site like IMDb are primarily all dramas. It is very difficult, to say the least, to be objective on the subject of comedy. With that out of the way, I'm going to try and show you through my lens of what I experienced.
The film starts simple enough with news anchor Ron Burgundy played by Will Ferell meeting up with an icon of whom I will not name. This in turns leads to events to get his crew to an up and coming news network. There we meet Jack Lime played by the charming James Marsden who is the lead anchor. He is supposed to be the villain of sorts for the film. From then on, we are put down a road of twists and turns to get higher ratings on the news station. This is where the film has a heart and its intelligence as well. Anchorman 2 in no way feels like a film on history but it does give insightful thought on how news has evolved and where it should go. Good job writers for the willingness to go there.
With all this praise, it would appear this film is nearly flawless. This is not so. Anchorman 2 is not without weakness. While I can understand the comedies can be meandering and have subplots that have no meaning, Anchorman 2 feels as if it had way too many of them. That being said, they didn't feel as thrown together as I might make it out to be. It just lacks the cohesiveness to be invested in certain characters and events. Furthermore, I think this film is lacking a central villain. I'm not against having some villains taking away others' time if one is interesting (à la Loki in Thor: The Dark World). Though, it would be nice to understand where they're coming from first instead of having to digest their intentions with one thought.
This, however, doesn't really matter because we are there for the old characters. Ron Burgundy played by the lovable Will Ferell does an excellent job of showing an egocentric, ignorant clown that somehow always is able to be victorious. Champ Kind played by David Koecher is also in there. I've never really found him funny and I think the only really reason his character was put into the films is to add a shocking sexual edge with his jokes. Next up, Brian Fantana played by Paul Rudd. The guy is an excellent actor and adds the just right amount of charm, sleaziness, and stupidity. However, the real character that makes these films watchable and downright hysterical is Brick Tamland played by the one and only Steve Carell. Almost every moment he is on screen in my estimation was pure pleasure. I almost would want to see him exclusively as the main character but I know why they probably shouldn't (besides the fact this is Ron Burgundy's story of course). Too much of a good thing can be nauseating and tiring.
The story lies in whether these characters and their lines are funny or not as they build up to the finale. The end of the of this movie will have some of you dying from laughter, while others won't care. I won't tell you what happens but, to sum it up gently, I'll say that it takes a turn for the absurd.
Now we get to the big questions. Is Anchorman 2 funny? Is it at times downright hilarious? Yes and yes. That being said, is Anchorman 2 a great movie? Meh. . . With all of it's gags and attention grabbing humor I just can't escape the conclusion that the film feels like a compilation of skits. Some of which are incredibly hysterical. While others are just plain stupid and are weak attempts at a laugh.
My personal preference 2.5/5
How well it was made 3/5
(You can find said film at your local Redbox)