Here are five questions to ponder before taking or dropping off your middle or high schooler to see "Anchorman 2" this holiday break.
1. Have you seen "Anchorman"? It's pretty necessary to see the original – not only to get some of the jokes, but to have the experience of seeing one of the most quotable comedies of the 2000s. If you've seen the first "Anchorman," you know what to expect. If you think the first one is too much for your teen, then obviously the sequel will be too. But if you don't mind strong language, occasionally crass and always silly humor, then "Anchorman 2" should be just fine for you and your teen – but you may not want to go with your teen (some of the jokes could be embarrassing to appreciate right next to your parent/child)!
2. Do you worry about sex/language? There's only one (ridiculous and not graphic) sex scene, but there are lots of sexual references, a cringe-inducing make out scene between dim bulb Brick (Carell) and his girlfriend Chani (Kristen Wiig) against a laundromat's window, and a. There's also an ongoing joke about Champ (Koechner) being in love with Ron, who continually rebuffs Champ's advances. And as for language, it's definitely colorful, and in one long sequence, Ron proceeds to talk "jive" in front of his black girlfriend's horrified family. He says their love is "hot and nasty," etc. thinking this is an appropriate way to speak to African Americans.
3. Do crass jokes bother you? If your answer is yes, please, don't bother going to see "Anchorman 2." There are jokes about sex, violence, smoking crack, interracial romance, the blind, and of course, the news. Many of these jokes and one-liners are easy to recall (how many times have you heard "Mr. Burgundy, you have a massive erection" since the first "Anchorman"?), so if lowbrow humor is a dealbreaker for you (especially when it comes to what you are comfortable showing your kids), then forget "Anchorman 2." But if you're OK with Ferrell's brand of comedy, this is more of what you remember from the first film.
4. What do the critics have to say? The reviews are mostly positive, although no one thinks the sequel is as iconic as the original. "This is the kind of movie where most people know what they want and are pretty sure what they will get, that being 'more of the same, please'" -- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon; "It's by no means a masterpiece, but stays reasonably classy." –- Peter Bradshaw, Guardian; "See it with a crowd, laugh yourself silly, and feel slightly ashamed in the morning." –- Ty Burr, Boston Globe.
5. Who should go see "Anchorman 2"? Audiences who can't bear to change the channel when the first "Anchorman" is on cable (which is pretty much all the time), who love Ferrell, Rudd, Carell and Koechner, connoisseurs of lowbrow humor, and fans of Hollywood's biggest comedic actors who can't wait to see part 2 of the cameo-filled "news anchor rumble."