Today, in select theaters, patrons will have the opportunity to see a longer, completely re-cut and R-rated version of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Now, yes, this does seem like a bit of a cash-grab and if you’ve ever watched the deleted-scenes movie, “Wake Up Ron Burgundy,” that came with the "Anchorman" DVD, you know that not everything that was thrown on the cutting room floor from the first film is comedic gold.
Is there any reason to see this new version? Well, that all depends. Below, we answer this question for you.
Did you hate “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”? If the answer is:
Yes: Then you shouldn’t see the new version of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
No: Then you might want to see the new version of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Keep reading.
Did you love the first “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” but were disappointed by “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”? If the answer is:
I hated both of them: Then you shouldn’t see the new version of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
Yes: Then, yes, you probably should see “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
Did you wish the jokes went further and were more profane in “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”? If the answer is:
Yes: Then you should see “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
In a perfect world, should this version just have been released as the only version in the first place?
Yes. But, in a perfect world, studios wouldn’t worry about losing money because their movie is rated-R and not rated PG-13, like the original version is rated.
What makes this version rated-R?
Let’s just say that the scene where Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd) shows off his condom collection in this new version would be enough on its own to score an R-rating. Also, at one point, Ron Burgundy uses a word that starts with a “C” and rhymes with “rock.” Another also: in the lighthouse, when Ron is complaining about his inability to masturbate, the joke is taken a lot further, as Champ Kind (David Koechner) offers Ron some help.
If I like musical numbers, will I like this new version?
The one glaring negative about this version of “Anchorman 2” is that it doesn’t include Ron Burgundy’s musical ode to his shark, Doby. Doby is still certainly in the movie, but his role has been shortened. The film no longer starts with adult Doby’s attack on Ron, nor is that scene included at the end of the film. Though, in this version, while in captivity, Doby does eat a local elderly man.
Instead, however, there’s a huge musical number closer to the beginning of the movie where the News Team performs a song called “Big World,” which leads into another song called “If I Was Gay For a Day.” (The scene we see from the original trailer of the News Team asking a gay co-worker questions like “Do you sleep in a coffin?” that weren’t in the original final film are included in this performance.)
Is this version of “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” funnier than the original version?
Yes. And, look, I pretty much went to this movie out of spite, almost to prove how dumb it was to release the same movie, only with “new jokes.” Instead, I found myself sitting alone in an almost empty theater early on a Friday morning laughing out loud. It’s not just because the characters can freely use “f-bombs” throughout the film, but the jokes are given more time to develop -– hence the longer running time. Put it this way: In the original version, I didn’t find the scene in which Ron has dinner with Linda’s (Meagan Good) parents very funny. In this version, I had to cover my mouth because I was laughing too hard. The punchlines now have a much better setup.
It’s almost like this movie has the room to breathe that the first “Anchorman” had and feels much more in line with the tone of the first movie.
Did you wish that Kanye West made a Kajagoogoo reference in “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”? If the answer is:
Yes: Yes, you will want to see this new version of “Anchorman 2 : The Legend Continues.”
Other than tone and the use of expletives, what are the major differences between this version of “Anchorman 2” and the original version of “Anchorman 2”?
The structure of the two films is similar. Ron still gets fired from his New York City anchor job, returns to San Diego, then is offered a job back in New York at a 24-hour news network. (In this version, Ron is told that his team will be young reporters named Peter Jennings, Bob Costas and David Letterman. Ron calls them “jerkoffs” and demands his old News Team.)
Though, I’d guess that around 80 percent of the dialogue is different. It’s not just new “jokes” –- as the commercials advertise –- but all new lines of dialogue.
For example, in this version, when the News Team meets Linda Jackson for the first time, Ron goes on and on about how much he loves the Diana Ross movie, “The Wiz.” Brick (Steve Carell) adds that his favorite movie is “Carrot.” Later, it’s used as a pretty funny callback when Brick is hiding and they need him to come out, “Come on, Brick, we’re going to watch ‘Carrot.’”
Another example: When Ron shows back up at Veronica’s (Christina Applegate) townhouse and meets Gary (Greg Kinnear), Ron makes up a story that he, too, had a new lover and that her name is Rick Volcano.
Did you wish that Champ Kind used a throwing star to kill Amy Poehler’s entertainment reporter in the original “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”? If the answer is:
Yes: Yes, you will want to see this new version of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.