James McAvoy undergoes a bold reinvention to become corrupt, alcoholic, drug-adled Detective Sgt. Bruce Robertson in Jon S. Baird’s spirited adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel. Vying for a promotion by cracking a vicious murder case, Bruce happily plots to take down his rival officers, while simultaneously juggling numerous addictions, escalating psychotic episodes and a broken family life. Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots and John Sessions head up a strong cast of game co-conspirators, while Baird keeps things moving along at a frantic pace. McAvoy is the real star here, challenging himself to be as outrageous, debauched and disgusting as possible in a fantastically despicable role. While Bruce loses his grip on reality, the film struggles to retain its focus and clarity, but just about holds itself together, albeit it in disheveled, unwieldy fashion.
A major disappointment that just feels over worked, under developed and lazily handled by all concerned. While no one could accuse the original Anchorman of having a particularly strong script, it often feels like the sequel never had one to begin with. Not only does the film barely hang together as a series of largely unrelated skits, but even individual scenes themselves stop and start, clearly cobbled together from improvised one-liners as the cramped cast of screen comedians vie for the biggest laugh before its time for lunch. There are of course laughs to be had along the way, but the entire project just reeks of self-satisfaction, when in truth, what Ferrell and Co give us is embarrassingly sub-par to the point you can’t help but wish they hadn’t bothered.
One of the more derivative, ridiculous offerings from Brian De Palma that sees John Lithgow playing a respected child psychologist with a split personality. While his wfie gets increasingly distressed, Cain is murdering young mothers to conduct experiments on their young children. It’s all pretty ridiculous and the final trademark surprise ending is laughable but there are occasional flourishes of classic De Palma along the way.