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December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For a film that has received a load of two- and two-and-a-half-star reviews, the website Rotten Tomatoes has been extraordinarily generous to Anchorman 2, starring Will Ferrell. The film, which opens today (Wednesday) has received a 76-percent “Fresh” rating from the website, which aggregates dozens of movie reviews. But some of those “Fresh” reviews fall quite short of endorsements. “The film is all impulse, making sudden but unpredictable moves only in the vague direction of a point,” writes Peter Hartlaub in the San Francisco Chronicle, who nevertheless concedes, “It’s very funny.” In another “Fresh” review, A.O. Scott in the New York Times calls the movie “a hit-and-miss affair” and comments that it “feels like old news” but nevertheless remarks that the “sheer density of the jokes guarantees a few laughs for every taste.” Michael Phillips writes in the Chicago Tribune that the movie “isn’t much, compared with the more compact and nimble Anchorman 1. All the same, I’ll take it over such tidy soul-suckers as We’re the Millers or Identity Thief.” And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star. while assuring his readers that “if you loved the first Anchorman, you’ll at least like the sequel. But it’s gone from being kind of a big deal to being kind of a bloated deal. Much of what was great about the first movie has been blown up to the point where hilarity turns to head-scratching silliness.” There are also several outright rotten reviews. Kyle Smith in the New York Post scowls that it “is like watching [the original] Anchorman being reenacted by semi-professionals trying to cover up their lapses by being extra-emphatic, super-doofy: 2013 Steve Carell does a lousy impression of 2004 Steve Carell.” And Joe Neumaier concludes in the New York Daily News, “Like the bloated channels it parodies, the movie stretches to find something to say, then settles for stupid.”