Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Film Crit Hulk Smash: ANCHORMAN 2 And The Inherent Problem With Comedy Sequels

Can a comedy sequel ever be successful? 

Film Crit Hulk Smash: ANCHORMAN 2 And The Inherent Problem With Comedy Sequels

LIKE MOST OF YOU, HULK SAW ANCHORMAN 2 A FEW WEEKS AGO AND HULK... HAD SOME THOUGHTS. BUT HULK WANTED TO LET SOME TIME PASS FOR REASONS THAT WILL SOON MAKE SENSE. AND NOW THAT ENOUGH TIME HAS PASSED... HERE'S AN ESSAY IN TWO PARTS.

PART 1 - EXPLAINING THE JOKE

QUESTION: WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR COMEDY SEQUELS TO BE GOOD?

IT'S A LEGITIMATE QUESTION, OR A QUESTION THAT RECOGNIZES A VALID TREND OF SEQUEL INFERIORITY. BUT WHY DOES THIS TREND EXIST? WHY DO EVEN THE FUNNY COMEDY SEQUELS HAVE THIS WEIRD WAY OF FALLING AWAY FROM OUR CONSCIOUSNESS? WHY DOESN'T IT STICK? WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD FOR THE CREATORS TO RECONNECT ALL THE WIRES AND MAKE SOMETHING JUST AS GREAT? OR HECK, EVEN IN THE SAME BALLPARK? WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING HERE? HULK WOULD ARGUE THAT TRUTH AT THE HEART OF THIS QUESTION (AND MAYBE EVEN THE TRUTH AT THE HEART OF COMEDY IN GENERAL) IS ROOTED IN A SIMPLE PHRASE RECENTLY UTTERED BY THE GREAT BILL WATTERSON:

"REPETITION IS THE DEATH OF MAGIC."

GRANTED, THE PHRASE MAKES THE MOST SENSE IF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT ACTUAL MAGIC TRICKS. FOR INSTANCE, IF HULK WAS TO STAND IN FRONT OF YOU AND START PERFORMING SOME CRAZY NEW CARD TRICK, YOU'D PROBABLY BE AMAZED AT TWO THINGS: 1) THE SURPRISING RESULT OF THE TRICK AND 2) THE SKILL IT TOOK TO PULL IT OFF. BUT WHAT IF, IMMEDIATELY AFTER HULK FINISHED, HULK JUST PERFORMED THE EXACT SAME TRICK ONCE AGAIN? SINCE THE VISCERAL ELEMENT OF THE INITIAL SURPRISE WAS SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR FIRST REACTION, IT STANDS TO SAY THAT THE EFFECT OF THE TRICK WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE LESS IMPACT THE SECOND TIME, RIGHT? THAT'S NOT EXACTLY A REAL LEAP OF LOGIC, RIGHT? GOOD. AND THE REASON THIS OCCURS IS THAT YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT MAGIC TRICKS AS AN EXPERIENCE. THERE IS THE DELIGHT, THE AWE. OR TO USE A CERTAIN MOVIE'S EXAMPLES, THE PLEDGE, THE TURN AND THE PRESTIGE. BUT THE EMOTIONAL FUNCTION OF THOSE SPECIFIC EXPERIENCES IS INHERENTLY DEPENDENT ON THE "NEWNESS" OF THE EXPERIENCE. AND IF IT'S ALL ALREADY OUT OF THE BAG? EVEN IF THE SAME SKILL AND CRAFT IS ON DISPLAY? THEN THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE CAN'T HELP BUT BE DIFFERENT. IT MAY BE A POSITIVE REACTION, BUT IS DEFINITELY NOT THE SAME REACTION. AND HECK, EVEN IF THERE IS A SLIGHT VARIATION ON THE MAGIC TRICK TO MAKE IT ALL SEEM A BIT DIFFERENT, THERE IS A PART OF OUR BRAIN THAT CAN'T HELP BUT SEE IT AS THE SAME ESSENTIAL TRICK AT ITS CORE.

AND THIS MATTERS BECAUSE COMEDY WORKS IN A VERY SIMILAR WAY TO MAGIC.

THINK OF THE FIRST TIME YOU HEAR A JOKE, OR SEE A GAG, OR, HELL, JUST ANYTIME ANYTHING FUNNY HAPPENS. THINK OF HOW THAT THING IS SO FUNNY THAT THE SECOND IT HITS YOU OR THE SECOND YOUR EYEBALLS SEE IT, YOUR BODY INSTANTLY ERUPTS WITH LAUGHTER. ISN'T THIS KIND OF REMARKABLE? YOU'RE NOT IN CONTROL OF IT. IT'S A PURELY VISCERAL THING. LAUGHTER IS BOTH IMMEDIATE AND INVOLUNTARY. AND NOT ONLY DO WE NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHY WE ARE LAUGHING, BUT OUR BRAINS WILL OFTEN GO SO FAR AS TO BE AFRAID TO THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE ARE AFRAID TO LOSE THAT LOVELY VISCERAL ELEMENT THAT IS HAPPENING. WE ARE AFRAID OUR UNDERSTANDING WILL RUIN IT. AND WHAT IS A PROLONGED LAUGH BUT A DESPERATE ATTEMPT FOR YOUR BODY TO FIGHT THE REGAINING OF CONTROL? LAUGHTER IS INSANE. IT'S ILLOGICAL.

AND THIS ALL JUST SPEAKS TO THAT OLD ADAGE ABOUT "NEVER EXPLAINING THE JOKE," BUT IF OUR QUEST IS ONE OF GENUINE UNDERSTANDING THEN EXPLAINING THE JOKE WE MUST DO. AND THE TRUTH IS COMEDY ISN'T REALLY ALL THAT DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER MODES OF DRAMATIC STORYTELLING. FOR IT TOO IS COMPLETELY ROOTED IN THE PRINCIPLES OF CAUSE AND EFFECT, WHICH HULK WILL ARGUE IS REALLY ALL ABOUT EXPECTATION. FOR EXAMPLE, WITH HORROR MOVIES YOU BUILD UP TENSION AND THEN DELIVER A SCARE, RIGHT? AND IN ROMANTIC COMEDIES YOU BUILD A RELATIONSHIP AND DESIRE AND THEN DELIVER A KISS (OR MORE!). AND IN ACTION MOVIES YOU BUILD UP THE THREAT OF THE HERO DYING AND THEN THEY OVERCOME THE THREAT TO THE AUDIENCE'S DELIGHT. IN ALL THESE CASES YOU'LL NOTICE THAT THE OPERATING MECHANISM ON THE BACK-END OF CAUSE AND EFFECT IS REALLY THE IDEA OF RELEASE. YOU BUILD UP AN EXPECTATION OF A CERTAIN EMOTION, THEN YOU MAKE IT SEEM LIKE THAT EMOTION IS IN JEOPARDY, AND THEN RELEASE THE TENSION / EMOTION WITH THE DESIRED EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. THIS IS CAUSE AND EFFECT. THIS IS CINEMA. AND PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CAUSE AND EFFECT MECHANISM IS SO COMPLETELY TRUE OF COMEDY TOO. IT'S JUST THAT THE WORDS WE USE TO DESCRIBE THIS MECHANISM ARE USUALLY "SET-UP" AND "PUNCHLINE."

THE THING TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT COMEDY IS THAT IT'S ALMOST ALWAYS ABOUT DEFYING YOUR EXPECTATIONS. WHICH MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM ROMANTIC MOVIES WHERE YOU BUILD UP ALL THE REASONS YOU WANT A SEXUAL CATHARSIS TO HAPPEN. OR WITH HORROR MOVIES WHERE IT CAN ACTUALLY GO TWO WAYS: SOMETIMES YOU ARE HOLDING THE KNIFE OVER A BELOVED CHARACTER AND WE WANT THEM TO GET AWAY. SOMETIMES YOU ARE HOLDING THE KNIFE ABOVE AN ASSHOLE CHARACTER WE WANT TO SEE OFFED (BAD HORROR MOVIES OFTEN DON'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND WHICH IS WHICH). THESE ARE ALL ABOUT THE WAYS WE DELIVER WHAT IS REQUIRED AND THUS OFTEN ARE UTTERLY RELIANT ON CREATING DRAMA WITH THOSE GOALS. BUT WITH COMEDY IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT GOING IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION THAN WHAT YOU'RE THINKING. IT'S ZIGGING WHEN YOU EXPECT A ZAG. AND OFTEN THEY PLAY ON OUR FAMILIARITY AND UNDERSTANDING. (THERE'S AN OFFENSIVE JESELNIK JOKE THAT HIGHLIGHTS THIS DYNAMIC COMPLETELY: "My girlfriend always complains 'I'm a chocoholic! I'm a chocoholic!' So I took her down to skid row and showed her all the drug-addled crack addicts stumbling about and said to her, 'See? Why can't you be that skinny?'"). PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE MAGIC. IT'S DISTRACTION. SUBVERTING LOGIC. IT'S BUILT ON A TURN.

AND OFTEN IT'S NOT QUITE AS MECHANICAL AND "JOKEY" AS THAT. SOMETIMES COMEDY IS ABOUT HITTING YOU WITH A WITTY RETORT BEFORE AN AUDIENCE MEMBER CAN EVEN THINK OF THEIR OWN RESPONSE (CUE: PRESTON STURGES, WHICH IS AKIN TO WATCHING VERBAL TENNIS). YOU'RE REALLY JUST PLAYING A GAME WITH THE AUDIENCE'S BRAINS. AND IT'S A REALLY, REALLY COMPLICATED GAME. BECAUSE SOMETIMES THE BEST COMEDY ISN'T SO MUCH ABOUT DEFYING EXPECTATION, BUT STAYING TRUE TO THE OBVIOUS ANSWER, WHICH IS ITS OWN WAY OF DEFYING EXPECTATION. SOMETIMES IT'S ABOUT PROMISING A ZIG AND DOUBLING-DOWN WITH AN EXTRA ZIG IF THAT MAKES SENSE (THINK NORM MACDONALD: "The UFC just announced the expansion of its new sport, MURDER!"). WE JUST ALL HAVE DIFFERENT SETS OF COMEDIC EXPECTATIONS AND THAT'S REALLY WHY WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT SENSES OF HUMOR. YOU JUST NEED THE COGNITION TO RECOGNIZE THE JOKE. (PLEASE NOTE HOW THE MOST POPULAR COMEDIANS OF EACH ERA TEND TO BE THE KIND THAT LIKE TO DOUBLE-DOWN ON THE REALITIES OF LIFE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT-SO-COINCIDENTALLY TRYING TO TALK ABOUT THE MOST UNIVERSAL TRUTHS AMONG US ALL). AND WHILE WE MAY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT FORMS OF COMEDIC RELEASE, THE THING TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS VISCERAL. WHICH IS REALLY THE COMMON TRAIT OF EVERY OTHER STORY MECHANISM TOO. HORROR WANTS TO MAKE YOU JUMP. ROMANCE WANTS TO MAKE YOU SWOON. PORNOGRAPHY WANTS TO GET YOU AROUSED. AND COMEDY WANTS YOU TO MAKE YOU LAUGH.

WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE THE GREAT THING ABOUT LAUGHING IS THAT WE KNOW WHEN WE'RE LAUGHING. THERE'S HONESTY THERE. AND SINCE THE VISCERAL EFFECT OF LAUGHTER IS SUCH A CONCRETE THING, IT MAKES COMEDY-WATCHING SOMEWHAT EASY TO HAVE AN OPINION ON. WE CAN SAY WE THINK SOMEONE IS FUNNY WITH COMPLETE CERTAINTY. WE CAN ALSO SAY WE DIDN'T FIND SOMEONE FUNNY WITH CERTAINTY. AND WHEN IT COMES TO EVALUATING COMEDY MOVIES WE TEND TO JUST DO A SIMPLE THING AND ADD UP ALL THE TIMES WE LAUGHED VS. THE TIMES WE GROANED AND IT COMES TO A SUM TOTAL. AND THAT SUM TOTAL BASICALLY REFLECTS HOWEVER THE HELL WE FELT ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR COMEDY. IT MAKES FOR AN INTERESTING COMPARISON TO OTHER KINDS OF STORIES, WHICH OFTEN WORK ON US IN MUCH MORE MYSTERIOUS AND CONFUSED WAYS. BUT COMEDIES ARE REALLY KIND OF ABOUT THAT BASIC MATH. THE ONLY REAL FACTORS FOR DISAGREEMENT SEEM TO BE THE AFOREMENTIONED MATTER OF HAVING DIFFERENT SENSES OF HUMOR OR WHATEVER OUR INDIVIDUAL CRITERIA IS FOR THE NEEDED SUM TOTAL OF LAUGHS.

NOW, IF THIS EVALUATION OF "HOW COMEDY WORKS" SEEMS RATHER NEAT AND TIDY, WELL, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. AFTER ALL, WE'RE JUST TALKING BASIC FUNCTIONALITY.

BUT WHERE COMEDY BECOMES REALLY INTERESTING AND COMPLEX IS THE MATTER OF LASTING EFFECT. IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS THE KIND OF COMEDY THAT LASTS FOR YEARS WITH US? WHAT RESONATES BEYOND THE INITIAL LAUGHTER? WHAT GOES ON TO BE LONG-RUNNING JOKES OR GREAT CINEMA CLASSICS? MANY WOULD ARGUE THAT TRULY GREAT COMEDY GOES BEYOND THE NECESSARY NEEDS OF TIMING AND CRAFT AND IS REALLY ABOUT ARTICULATING A TRUTH. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT THE CURRENT FUNNIEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE, LOUIS C.K., (BIASED OPINION) DOESN'T REALLY TELL JOKES IN A CONVENTIONAL SENSE. HE JUST ZEROES IN ON THE MOST PAINFULLY WEIRD TRUTHS AND IRONIES OF LIFE AND SIMPLY EXPLAINS THEM WITH THE UTMOST URGENCY. YEAH, IT'S MADE MORE WONDERFUL BY HIS DELIVERY, WHERE THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO MITIGATION OF THE CORE IDEA AND NO OTHER HINTS OF HUMOR BEYOND AN OCCASIONAL WRY SMILE (INDICATING HE KNOWS HE'S ONTO SOMETHING). BUT WHAT LOUIS C.K. IS REALLY DOING IS EXPLAINING THE PLAIN TRUTH OF SOMETHING. OFTEN HE'S TAPPING INTO OUR COLLECTIVE SENSE OF EMPATHY AND SADNESS AND RELAYING IT BACK TO US THROUGH PAIN. HE'S NOT BEING ABSURD (WHICH A LOT OF HIS OLD COMEDY WAS DOING), HE'S PAINTING A PORTRAIT OF THE ABSURDITY OF LIFE ITSELF. WHICH, IN EFFECT, MAKES HIM THE ULTIMATE "DOUBLE-DOWNER." HECK, HE CAN EVEN EXPLAIN SOMETHING AS SILLY AS "WHAT FARTS ARE" WITH NO REAL EMBELLISHMENT AND MAKE IT HILARIOUS:

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THIS IS IMPORTANT TO HULK'S POINT.

BECAUSE IT HELPS HULK ARGUE THAT THE MOST RESONANT COMEDIANS IN THE WORLD AREN'T "MAKING UP" FUNNY IDEAS. THEY ARE JUST THE BEST AT FINDING THE FUNNY IDEAS IN LIFE, THE ONES THAT AN AUDIENCE CAN INSTINCTIVELY UNDERSTAND, AND THEN REFLECTING THEM BACK YOU. TO WIT: HULK ONCE ASKED PATTON OSWALT SOME NONSENSE ABOUT THE ROLE OF COMEDIAN AS BOTH A CRITIC AND A STORYTELLER AND HE ZOOMED RIGHT PAST THAT DILEMMA AND BEAUTIFULLY CLARIFIED THAT THE AIM OF BOTH CRITICISM AND COMEDY IS TO "UNVEIL AN ACTUALITY." AND HULK AGREES THAT IS BY FAR THE MOST POWERFUL THING THAT THAT THEY BOTH CAN DO. AND THINK ABOUT HOW THAT WORKS. IT'S MORE THAN A CEREBRAL CONNECTION. IT IS AN ACTUALITY OF TRUTH THAT IS SO CLEAR THAT IT CAN REACH DOWN INSIDE OF US AND RESULT IN THE VISCERAL BELLY LAUGH. IT REVERBERATES BACK UP TO OUR BRAINS WHERE IT THEN LINGERS ON IN PERPETUITY. IT IS THE MOST AMAZING KIND OF LAUGH IN THE WORLD.

AND THE LAST THING YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THIS KIND OF LAUGH IS THAT THE "IDEA" INVOLVED DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SOME CLEARLY ARTICULATED PHILOSOPHY (LIKE "TO ALCOHOL, THE CAUSE OF, AND SOLUTION TO, ALL OF LIFE'S PROBLEMS!"). IT CAN INSTEAD BE A KIND OF COMEDIC APOPHASIS. A DIAGNOSIS OF EXCLUSION. OR PERHAPS, BETTER PUT, A WAY OF DEFINING THE THING BY THE THING THAT IT'S NOT. THINK OF THE WAY THAT WOLF OF WALL STREET CRITICIZES MASCULINITY BY SHOWING MASCULINITY AS THE MOST OVER-THE-TOP RIDICULOUS THING EVER. AN EXAGGERATED REVERSAL OF TRUTH IS REALLY JUST ITS OWN KIND OF TRUTH. AND SOMETIMES THERE IS NOTHING BETTER AT HIGHLIGHTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS KIND OF COMEDY WE OFTEN USE THE WORD "ABSURDITY," WHICH IS A WORD THAT MOST PEOPLE USE AS A SYNONYM FOR RIDICULOUSNESS. BUT HERE WE'RE ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING CLOSER TO THE ACADEMIC DEFINITION OF ABSURDISM, WHICH CONCERNS HUMAN KIND'S PENCHANT FOR TRYING TO FIND MEANING IN THE WORLD WHERE THERE ACTUALLY IS NO MEANING: HENCE LIFE ITSELF IS AN "ABSURD" QUEST. AND WHILE YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE TO CALL IT "COMEDIC ABSURDISM," (BECAUSE THERE'S SOMETHING NATURALLY & DARKLY FUNNY ABOUT THAT IDEA), IT HELPS TO THINK OF COMEDIC ABSURDISM AS WHEN THE EXPECTATION OF SOMETHING LOGICAL IS MET WITH A NON-LOGICAL REALITY, WHEREIN THE GULF BETWEEN THE TWO IS ACTUALLY A FUNNY REPRESENTATION OF THE HUMAN CONDITION... OKAY, THAT MAY SOUND REALLY COMPLICATED, BUT THINK OF HOW THIS IS THE SET-UP / PUNCHLINE WRIT INTO THE FABRIC OF LIFE. IT CAN BE SOMETHING OBVIOUS LIKE "How could my life get any worse!" *IT STARTS RAINING*. BUT A BETTER POPULAR EXAMPLE WOULD BE THE CINEMA OF COEN BROTHERS. SOME PEOPLE SEE THEIR WORK AS BOTH HILARIOUS AND TRUE. SOME DON'T LIKE THE WAY IT "PUNISHES" ALL THE CHARACTERS WHO STRIVE FOR HUMAN HAPPINESS AND UNDERSTANDING. OR FOR A MORE EXTREME VERSION, THINK OF THE ABSURDITY OF THE MARX BROTHERS, WHICH IS BASICALLY NOTHING BUT AN ATTEMPT TO THROW THE SOCIAL RULES, MORES, AND TABOOS OUT THE WINDOW IN A FIT OF DELIGHTFUL CHAOS. THE THING HULK WANTS YOU TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT ALL THESE ABSURDITIES IS THAT THEY OFTEN HAVE A POINT. YEAH, SOMETIMES IT'S FUN AND PLAYFUL, FULL OF VERBAL PUNS OR VISUAL GAGS AND WHATNOT, BUT COMEDY ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING IT'S POINTING AT. IT'S TRYING TO SAY THAT THESE SOCIAL RULES THEMSELVES ARE RIDICULOUS. WHEN THE MARX BROTHERS GO IN AND TORTURE SOME PEARL-CLUTCHING SOCIALITE, THEY'RE HAVING A GO AT SOCIETY ITSELF. AND SOMETIMES, IT POINTS TO THESE THINGS IN THE TRUTHY DOUBLE-DOWN WAY TOO. LIKE WHEN GROUCHO SAYS "I'd never belong to any club that would have me as a member," HE'S LITERALLY TALKING ABOUT THE ABSURDITY OF THE HUMAN CONDITION. AND THERE'S A REASON THAT QUOTE LIVES ON YEAR AFTER YEAR. BECAUSE THE IDEA BEHIND THE JOKE IS SOMETHING THAT RINGS INCREDIBLY TRUE.

WHAT HULK IS TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU OF IS THAT GREAT COMEDY, WHETHER DIRECT OR INDIRECT, IS ALWAYS STILL ABOUT THE IDEA. AND WHEN A FUNNY IDEA / GAG / WHATEVER TRULY STRIKES US, WHEN IT UNVEILS AN ACTUALITY, IT THEN HAS THE FUNNY HABIT OF STICKING WITH US FOR WEEKS, MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS TO COME. IT FEELS LIKE A MAGICAL PROCESS, BUT IT IS ALL BUILT ON VERY CONCRETE UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE UNIVERSE. WHICH JUST MEANS THAT AS "SILLY" AS THE MARX BROTHERS MAY SEEM, THEY'RE STILL "ABOUT" SOMETHING THAT IS VERY REAL TO US.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE'RE REALLY BAD AT UNDERSTANDING ALL OF THIS.

NOT THAT HULK BLAMES ANYONE. WE HAVE NO REAL REASON TO UNDERSTAND OUR LAUGHTER, AFTER ALL. BUT IT'S STILL CURIOUS. FOR AFTER THAT INITIAL, VISCERAL LIGHTING-STRIKE HAS HAPPENED AND WE HAVE LOSE OUR INITIAL GUT REACTION, OUR BRAINS EITHER LET THE HUMOR GO OR BECOME CONVINCED THAT WE MUST EVOLVE OUR UNDERSTANDING IN ORDER TO KEEP IT RESONANT. MAYBE WE BEGIN APPRECIATE THE INHERENT IDEA OF WHAT WAS SO FUNNY ABOUT IT EVEN MORE. MAYBE WE KICK OUR BRAINS INTO OVERDRIVE AND WE GROW TO UNDERSTAND THE THING ITSELF. MAYBE THAT THING WORKS ITSELF INTO OUR OWN SENSE OF HOW COMEDY WORKS AND IT HELPS SHAPES US. MAYBE IT INSPIRES US TO LOOK AT THE CRAFT AND SKILL OF COMEDY AND SO MAYBE THE WHOLE "EXPLAINING OF THE JOKE" IS NOW WHAT BECOMES INTERESTING OR "FUNNY" TO US. REALLY, IT'S NO DIFFERENT THAT TRYING TO LEARN A MAGIC TRICK. YOU GET FAR PAST THE EMOTIONAL NATURE OF THING AND ZERO IN ON THE CRAFT. AND DESPITE ALL OF THESE QUALITIES BEING "GOOD" THINGS, THERE IS AND OVERLAP OF BEHAVIOR THAT HULK THINKS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM OF DRUG ADDICTION IS THAT WE ARE ALWAYS JUST "CHASING THAT FIRST HIGH" OVER AND OVER AGAIN, BUT ALWAYS TO DIMINISHING RESULTS.

AND WHAT IS COMEDIC REPETITION BUT AN ATTEMPT TO CHASE A HIGH?

GONE IS THE THRILL OF COMEDIC DISCOVERY (I.E. THE VISCERAL BELLY LAUGH) AND SO WE REPLACE IT WITH THESE OTHER MEANINGFUL APPRECIATIONS THAT HULK JUST ARTICULATED ABOVE. OR FAR MORE LIKELY, THE JOKE GOES ON TO BECOME A SERIES OF REFERENCES AMONG OF GROUP OF FRIENDS. BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THE VISCERAL ELEMENT OF WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IS NOW LESS ABOUT THE JOKE ITSELF AND MORE THE CAMARADERIE WITH WHICH YOU ARE RE-SHARING IT. IT BECOMES A SOCIAL OR CULTURAL THING. THE FEELINGS TURN TO A COMMUNITY SENSE OF BINDING, LOVE AMONG FRIENDS, THE TRADITION AND ROUTINE OF THE TELLING, OR EVEN THE PURE NOSTALGIA OF FONDLY LOOKING BACK AT THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF. IT IS IN THIS SPECIFIC WAY THAT OUR FAVORITE COMEDIES GO ON TO LIVE IN OUR LIVES (AKA OUR INDIVIDUAL COMEDIC CONTEXTS), NO DIFFERENT FROM THE WAY THAT THE FUNNY REAL-LIFE STORIES WE EXPERIENCE GO ON TO TAKE THE SHAPE OF LEGENDS. BUT EITHER WAY, THE POINT IS THAT THE JOKE NOW DEPENDS ON THAT FAMILIARITY, CULTURE AND TRADITION. AND THEY HAVE BECOME INSEPARABLE. AND IF WE TAKE THAT REALIZATION AND BRING IT ALL TOGETHER WITH ALL THE THINGS WE'VE DISCUSSED THROUGHOUT THIS ESSAY, YOU CAN SEE THE OBVIOUS PROBLEM:

THERE'S NO UNVEILING ANYMORE.

THING ABOUT IT. WITH THE ADDITION OF TIME, FAMILIARITY AND OUR LOVE OF THE THING ITSELF, WE ARE FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING WHAT THE JOKE IS AND HOW IT WORKS. EVEN IN A PURE MECHANICAL SENSE, YOU CANNOT DENY THAT FAMILIARITY IS AWFUL FOR SET-UPS AND PUNCHLINES. WHEN YOU UNDERSTANDING HOW IT WILL ZIG OR ZAG, THEN THERE IS NO SURPRISE. NO INSTANTANEOUS VISCERA...

NO MAGIC.

PART TWO - WHAT THE HELL THIS HAS TO DO WITH ANCHORMAN 2

IF HULK TELLS YOU THERE'S NO MAGIC IN COMEDY SEQUELS, YOU MAY HAVE A LOGICAL RESPONSE: "But Hulk, aren't we still laughing?"

YES. SOME OF THE TIME YOU ARE INDEED LAUGHING. BUT GOING OFF EVERYTHING WE'VE TALKED ABOUT, HULK WOULD ARGUE IS THAT WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF LAUGH ALL TOGETHER. SIMPLY PUT: IT'S A NOSTALGIA LAUGH. IT'S A FAMILIAR LAUGH. IT'S A CULTURAL LAUGH THAT ISN'T AWAKENING THE THING INSIDE US, BUT INSTEAD MERELY PICKING UP THE WORDS THAT ARE ALL ALREADY ON THE TIP OF OUR TONGUES. WE AREN'T LAUGHING AT COMEDY SEQUELS BECAUSE THEY ARE UNVEILING A NEW ACTUALITY. WE LAUGH AT COMEDY SEQUELS BECAUSE WE ARE EATING COMFORT FOOD.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH EATING COMFORT FOOD, METAPHORICAL OR OTHERWISE. BUT THE THING IS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT COMEDY AND ITS PROLONGED EFFECT HERE, WHICH IS SOMETHING PEOPLE INHERENTLY DON'T WANT TO UNDERSTAND. THEY JUST WANT TO FEEL IT. WHICH JUST MEANS OUR ACTUAL PROBLEM WITH COMEDY SEQUELS IS THAT WE GO INTO THEM AND WE DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND OUR MOTIVES, OR HOW OUR LAUGHS WILL ACTUALLY BE DIFFERENT. WE TEND TO JUST UNDERSTAND THE DEGREES. THUS, WE JUST END UP CONFUSING BOTH OUR EXPECTATIONS. THE "WHAT WE WANT" AND THE "WHAT WE ARE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING" GETS ALL MIXED UP IN OUR BRAINS AND BODIES AND IT RESULTS IN A SERIES OF COMPLICATED (AND OFTEN SUBDUED) REACTIONS.

PUT IT LIKE THIS: WHEN HULK WATCHES ANCHORMAN FOR, LIKE, THE 1432TH TIME, HULK KNOWS ALL THE LINES AND BEATS ALREADY, SO REALLY IT'S LIKE SINGING AN OLD SONG. THE DELIGHT OF THE UNVEILING IS GONE SO YOU ARE RE-WATCHING TO ENRICH THE DETAILS. OR MAYBE EVEN JUST CHASE THE HIGH. EITHER WAY, IT'S ABOUT HULK'S RELATIONSHIP TO THAT THING. BUT WHEN WE GO TO SEE THE SEQUEL (OR REMAKING) OF SOMETHING HULK LOVES AS MUCH AS ANCHORMAN, THEN THE EXPECTATION INHERENTLY CHANGES. THEN YOU AREN'T ACTUALLY RE-WATCHING THE SAME THING. YOU ARE GOING TO SEE SOMETHING THAT WE CAN'T HELP BUT HOPE WILL RECAPTURE THE EXPERIENCE OF THE ORIGINAL. AND THAT DIFFERENCE OF EXPECTATION IS EVERYTHING. IT MEANS YOU ARE HELPLESSLY APPROACHING THE COMEDY IN THE WAY THAT YOU WOULD WATCH ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS "NEW." WHICH JUST MEANS YOU ARE INHERENTLY CRAVING THE UNVEILING MECHANISM THAT COMES WITH HOW WE CONSUME NEW THINGS. YOU WANT THE VISCERAL DELIGHT OF IT ALL BACK. YOU WANT THE SURPRISE. THE DISCOVERY. THE PLEDGE. THE TURN. THE PRESTIGE. THE SET-UP. THE PUNCHLINE. THE MAGIC. WHICH IS ALL JUST A WAY OF SAYING YOU WANT A NEW IDEA THAT IS SO FUNNY YOU WILL REACT WITH LAUGHTER.

UNSURPRISINGLY, IT NEVER SEEMS TO QUITE WORK.

WHICH IS MORE TO ARGUE THAT IT CAN'T EVER WORK. THE NUMBER OF COMEDY SEQUELS THAT HAVE MANAGED TO "LIVE UP TO" THE CLASSIC ORIGINAL IS A BIG FAT ZERO AND IT IS THAT WAY FOR A DAMN REASON. IT'S THE TWO-PRONGED REALITY THAT THE MOVIE WILL BE REPEATING TO SOME DEGREE AND KILLING THE MAGIC GETTING CROSSED WITH THE AUDIENCE'S INABILITY TO REQUIRE THAT THESE SEQUELS RECAPTURE THAT MAGIC (WHICH AGAIN, IS FORMED FROM THAT SPECIFIC IDEA-UNVEILING-BASED LAUGHTER THAT'S BUILT ON SURPRISE) AND IT SIMPLY CANNOT BE RECREATED USING THE SAME PARTS. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. THE AUDIENCE ALREADY UNDERSTANDS HOW THE TRICK IS DONE.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT THE REAL KICKER IS? THAT BOTH CREATIVE PEOPLE AND THE AUDIENCE INSTINCTIVELY KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE. BUT BECAUSE THEY CAN NEVER QUITE ARTICULATE IT IN THE PLAIN LANGUAGE HULK'S TRIED TO USE HERE, WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF IT ALL. SURE, WE'VE ALL BEEN DOWN THIS PATH BEFORE. THERE'S A REASON CREATIVES TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM COMEDY SEQUELS AND THERE'S A REASON AUDIENCES WORRY OVER THE FACT THEY MAY BE BAD. IT'S BECAUSE WE'VE ALL DONE THIS ALL SO MANY TIMES BEFORE... SO WHY DO WE STILL MAKE THESE MOVIES? AND WHY DO PEOPLE STILL GO SEE THEM? WHY DO WE FALL FOR IT?

BECAUSE, EMOTIONALLY SPEAKING, WE WANT TO CHASE THE HIGH.

WE WANT TO HOPE AGAINST HOPE AND RETURN TO THE SAME THING THAT WE LOVED. BECAUSE WE JUST WANT TO LAUGH. BECAUSE WE DON'T LIKE TO THINK ABOUT IT. BECAUSE WE'RE ACTUALLY PRETTY BAD AT DIAGNOSING THE KIND OF LAUGHTER WE'RE EXPERIENCING IN THE MOMENT AND THEN WONDER ALOUD WHY WE CAN'T REMEMBER A SINGLE MOMENT FROM THAT "FUNNY MOVIE" WE SAW THREE DAYS AGO. IT'S BECAUSE WE KEEP FORGETTING THAT REPETITION IS THE DEATH OF MAGIC... AS FOR WHY THE CREATIVE PEOPLE COME BACK? WELL, 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 IT'S MONEY.

AND SO THESE MOVIES HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT.

AND THUS WE CONSIDER OUR OPTIONS OF STORY APPROACH, WHICH ARE IMMEDIATELY HIT BY A CATCH 22 OF DIFFERING EXPECTATION. IF WE ASK THAT THESE MOVIES TO "BE NEW!" AND YET WE ALSO REQUIRE THAT THEY "STILL BE THE SAME THING!" FOR NOSTALGIC PURPOSES, THEN HOW CAN THAT BE ACCOMPLISHED? LOGICALLY, THE ONLY PLACE TO GO IS "UP." IT'S EXACTLY WHY SO MANY BROAD COMEDY SEQUELS JUST END UP DOING THE SAME KINDS OF JOKES, JUST WITH A CRAZIER BUILD UP AND BIGGER RELEASE. SURE, YOU CAN CHANGE SOME THINGS OR ADD NEW CHARACTERS. BUT AT ITS VERY CORE, THE FILM WILL INEVITABLY BE USING THE SAME LANGUAGE. EVEN WHEN IT INVERTS THE TROPES OF EXPECTATION (THINK OF THE MOMENT WHERE INDY SMILES, BUT IT TURNS OUT HE DOESN'T HAVE THE GUN IN TEMPLE OF DOOM). IT'S ALL JUST ELABORATED INTER-TEXT. IT WORKS, BUT THERE'S NOTHING ACTUALLY "NEW" IN THE JOKE, WHICH IS WHY THE ORIGINAL GUN / SWORD JOKE IN INDY IS THE ONE THAT STILL MAKES US LAUGH. WE CAN'T HELP BUT TURN COMEDY SEQUELS INTO NOTHING MORE AN ESCALATING GAME OF JENGA.

BUT ENOUGH PRETENSE, LET'S GET CONCRETE WITH THE MOVIE OF THE HOUR: WHEN HULK THINKS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL FIGHT SCENE IN ANCHORMAN, YES, SO MUCH OF IT IS DEPENDENT ON THE PERFECT COMIC EXECUTION, BUT REALLY IT'S THE THREE BASIC IDEAS OF THE JOKE ITSELF, RIGHT? FIRST OFF, THE FIGHT ITSELF, WHICH IS SO COMPLETELY OVER THE TOP AND SILLY TO THE POINT THAT IT BECOMES SURREAL (COMPLETE WITH A SERIES OF INSANE CAMEOS). BUT, THE SECOND FUNNY IDEA IS THAT THE FIGHT IS A COMPLETE NON-SEQUITUR. IT'S TRULY OUT OF NOWHERE. ONE GIANT ZIG THAT ISN'T EVEN BEING BUILT OFF A ZAG. AND BECAUSE IT WAS A COMPLETE NON-SEQUITUR, IT ALLOWS FOR A FULL PUNCH OF A THIRD JOKE WHERE THEY FOLLOW UP THAT ABSURDITY BY DOUBLING DOWN WITH A LEVEL-HEADED CONVERSATION OF ALL THE SURREAL EVENTS THAT JUST TOOK PLACE (STARTING WITH THE NOW IMMORTAL LINE OF "BOY, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY!"). THEY EVEN TALK OF TRIDENTS AND BRICK LYING LOW BECAUSE HE MURDERED SOMEONE. IT'S A PERFECT BACK AND FORTH AT EVERY MOMENT... NOW HULK WANTS YOU TO THINK ABOUT THE SEQUENCING AND THE MEANING OF THE JOKE HERE. THE SCENE IS A COMPLETE, MEANINGLESS LARK. AND THEN IT JUST HIGHLIGHTS THE ABSURDITY OF THAT LARK BY TALKING ABOUT IT AS IF IT WAS A REAL THING. BUT INSTEAD OF GETTING INTO SOME DIEGESIS ON FIGHT SCENES IN MOVIES, HULK WANTS YOU TO NOTICE A DIFFERENT FACT: THAT THERE'S NOWHERE LEFT TO GO WITH THE JOKE. THE JOKE OF THE RUMBLE HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE TO THE POINT OF INFINITY. AND THERE IS A REASON THE SCENE BECAME A CLASSIC. IT'S BUILT OFF THE PERFECT EXECUTION OF DELIGHT AND SURPRISE. IT WORKS OFF EVERY LITTLE BIT OF UNDERSTANDING AND PRECOGNITIVE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT HOW MOVIE VIOLENCE WORKS. EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT IS A GENUINELY FUNNY IDEA THAT HARKENS BACK TO OUR MOST BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF COMEDY ITSELF... IT'S THE ULTIMATE MAGIC TRICK.

AND NOW, ANCHORMAN 2 RETURNS TO THE SAME WELL YET AGAIN WITH ANOTHER GIANT RUMBLE, THIS TIME AT THE FILM'S CONCLUSION. IT'S THE CLASSIC SOLUTION OF TRYING TO GO "UP." THE FIGHT IS BIGGER. THE WEAPONS ARE CRAZIER. AND IT'S FILLED WITH SO MANY IMPOSSIBLE LARGER-THAN-LIFE CAMEOS, BUT HULK IS SORRY: THERE IS NO DENYING THAT EVERY SINGLE BEAT IS STILL THE SAME EXACT JOKE. UPPING THE ANTE? SURE. BUT THEY WOULD HAVE HAD TO DO SOMETHING LITERALLY UNBELIEVABLE, LIKE DIGGING UP RICHARD PRYOR'S CORPSE TO ACTUALLY SURPRISE HULK ON THIS ONE BECAUSE THE IDEA HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN TO INFINITY. THIS FEELS MORE LIKE THE CHILDISH SCHOOLYARD RETORT "INFINITY PLUS ONE." AND THAT'S NOT EVEN TO COUNT THE WEIRD WAYS THEY ACTUALLY TRY AND CHANGE THE COMEDIC LANGUAGE OF THE BRAWL, BUT NOT TO THE RIGHT KIND OF EFFECT. THE POINT OF THE ORIGINAL FIGHT WAS THAT IT WAS A LARK AND THEN IT WAS A LARK TAKEN SERIOUSLY. AND IN THIS ONE, THE BRAWL IS TURNED INTO THE FAMILIAR THIRD ACT BATTLE WITH DRAMATIC STAKES OF PREVENTING RON FROM SEEING HIS SON'S RECITAL. HULK GETS THE IMPETUS OF THE CHANGE, AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN A RIPE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FUN OF THOSE KINDS OF MOVIE HYSTERICS... BUT THE SCENE ISN'T ACTUALLY PORTRAYED LIKE THAT. INSTEAD, IT'S A REGURGITATION OF THE FIRST, WHICH JUST MAKES IT UNDERCUT ITS OWN COMEDIC INTENTION. PLUS, DOESN'T THE "LARK" NATURE OF THE FIRST ONE ALREADY MAKE THE ULTIMATE JOKE ON FIGHT SCENE HYSTERICS AND THEIR RELATIVE OBLIGATORY NATURE? DOUBLE PLUS, DOESN'T THE MERE APING OF THE THIRD ACT RUNNING-TO-THE-ONE-YOU-LOVE TROPE FEEL A BIT... SMALL FOR THE HUMOR OF AN ANCHORMAN MOVIE? IT'S THE ESSENTIAL PROBLEM OF COMEDY SEQUELITIS ALL HIGHLIGHTED: THE THING THAT MADE THE FIRST SCENE SO MEMORABLE AND IMPORTANT IS ESSENTIALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO RECREATE. THE SECOND SCENE JUST PROVIDES A CHANGE OF WINDOW DRESSING, BUT NOT ONLY DOES IT FEEL LIKE AN ENCORE, IT ACTUALLY CREATES PROBLEMS FOR MEANING OF THE PORTRAYAL. IT ACTUALLY HURTS "THE IDEA" THAT MADE IT FUNNY TO BEGIN WITH.

BEYOND THE MERE COMPARISON OF THE RUMBLES, WHAT HULK WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST IS THAT THE FIRST ANCHORMAN IS A CLASSIC IS BECAUSE THE ENTIRE MOVIE IS FILLED WITH SUCH AMAZING AND DIVERGENT IDEAS ON STORY AND COMEDIC APPROACH. IT'S NOT JUST THAT THERE IS SO MUCH ZIGGING IN PLACE OF ZAGGING, BUT REALLY IT'S JUST THAT ENTIRE FILM IS COMPLETELY FUCKING INSANE. VIRTUALLY EVERY SCENE IS COMING OUT OF LEFT FIELD. EVERY CONFLICT IS A JOKE IN AND OF ITSELF. EVERY BIT OF PERSONAL STAKE AND BELIEF FOR RON BURGUNDY IS COMPLETELY LUDICROUS. EVERY SERIOUS PLOT-POINT IS DOUBLED DOWN ON (THINK EVERYONE'S REACTION TO "GO FUCK YOURSELF SAN DIEGO"). AND IN THE END THE MOVIE DOESN'T MAKE A LICK OF LOGICAL SENSE, BUT EVERYTHING MAKES PERFECT SENSE IN TERMS OF CHARACTER CONSISTENCY OR AS A REACTION TO THE MOMENT BEFORE IT. PUT IN GRAND TERMS: THE MOVIE IS BOTH A SEND-UP AND EARNEST EMBODIMENT OF STORYTELLING ITSELF. AND AS A RESULT WE GET INSPIRED DIVERSIONS LIKE PLEASURE TOWN. THE JAZZ FLUTE INTERLUDE. MILK BEING A BAD CHOICE. THESE ABSURD MOMENTS MEAN SOMETHING BECAUSE THEY WERE NEW COMEDIC IRONIES, BROUGHT TO LIFE WITH FULL COMMITMENT. AND THE EFFECT OF ALL OF THIS WAS QUITE REAL. THERE'S A REASON THIS FILM WAS BELOVED IMMEDIATELY AND SLOWLY MADE ITS WAY THROUGH EVERYONE WHO MISSED IT IN THE THEATER. IT KNEW EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY WITH OUR SPECIFIC SET OF COMEDIC EXPECTATIONS AT THE TIME. IT PERFECTLY UNDERSTOOD FERRELL'S ABILITIES AND HE WAS COMING OUT GUNS BLAZING. IT ASSEMBLED A MURDERER'S ROW OF YOUNG TALENT. MCKAY WAS PURE AUDACITY UNPOLISHED. AND BECAUSE OF ALL THIS, IT CAME FROM NOWHERE TO IMMEDIATELY WORK ITS WAY INTO THE PANTHEON OF GREAT COMEDIES. IT WAS A ZIG TO OUR ZAG. A PURE UNVEILING.

... IT WAS MAGIC.

AND NOW WE KNOW THE TRICK... NOW WE KNOW ANCHORMAN FAR TOO WELL. NOW, ALL THE ABSURDITY AND LEFT FIELD SCENES HAVE BECOME THEIR OWN LANGUAGE WE UNDERSTAND. NOW WE KNOW ALL THE SETS-UPS AND PUNCHLINES OF THIS PARTICULAR INSANE WORLD. AND IF FAMILIARITY IS THE ENEMY OF A GOOD SET-UP AND REPETITION IS THE DEATH OF MAGIC, THEN HOW WOULD ANCHORMAN 2 EVER HAVE A CHANCE? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A MOVIE THAT BECAME FAMOUS BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T LOCK IT DOWN. BECAUSE IT WAS PLAYING WITH ALL OUR EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT COMEDIES SHOULD BEHAVE LIKE AND UPHOLDING THE FINE TRADITION OF TURNING IT ON ITS HEAD. SO WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO RETURN TO THAT WORLD TO RE-TELL THOSE JOKES? HOW COULD THIS MOVIE EVER WORK AS COMFORT FOOD? HOW COULD THE REVEAL OF A JAZZ FLUTE SEQUENCE EVER FEEL AS SILLY OR DELIGHTFUL AS IT DID THE FIRST TIME?

IF IT SOUNDS LIKE HULK IS BEING A LITTLE TOUGH ON ANCHORMAN 2 HERE, HULK WANTS TO CONVINCE YOU THAT HULK'S NOT. FOR WHATEVER IT'S WORTH HULK COUNTED ONLY FIVE MOMENTS OR SEQUENCES WHERE THE FILM ACTUALLY TRIED OUT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KIND OF JOKE THAN WHAT WAS IN THE FIRST FILM (AND PLEASE NOTE THESE ALSO GOT THE FIVE BIGGEST LAUGHS IN HULK'S THEATER). THE FIVE MOMENTS ARE:

1. THE RUBBERY PRACTICAL BAT.

2. THE SUDDEN CUT IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYONE LAUGHING AFTER A DUMB KITTEN JOKE.

3. RON JUST YELLING "BLACK!"

4. PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING INVOLVING RON'S BLINDNESS.

5. DOBY'S SONG.

THOSE FIVE MOMENTS WERE GENUINELY FUNNY, BUT JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE FILM SEEMED TO BE DIRECTLY ROOTED IN EITHER THE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE OF, OR THE DIRECT COMEDIC MECHANISMS OF THE FIRST MOVIE. THEIR PURPOSE? TO SERVE THE NOSTALGIA LAUGH FUNCTION, WHICH, AGAIN, IS FINE ON LIKE A MORAL LEVEL OR WHATEVER, BUT THE REASON IT MATTERS SO MUCH HERE IS BECAUSE HULK WOULD ARGUE THAT A NOSTALGIA LAUGH IS ACTUALLY A HUGE DISSERVICE TO THE INTENT OF THE ORIGINAL MOVIE... HOW TO PUT IT... HULK WOULD ARGUE THAT THE ONLY WAY TO THEORETICALLY GIVE US A TRUE ANCHORMAN SEQUEL IS TO ACHIEVE THE MIND-BLOWING EFFECT THE FIRST ANCHORMAN HAD ON US. BUT THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT WOULD REQUIRE! IT MEANS THAT IT WOULD HAVE TO ESSENTIALLY DEFY EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT ANCHORMAN IS EVEN ABOUT AND THE KINDS OF JOKES THAT ARE FOUND WITHIN IT. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? IF WE ALREADY EXPECT A CERTAIN ZIG FROM A ZAG, THEN THOSE EXPECTATIONS WOULD THEORETICALLY NEED TO BE INVERTED AGAIN. IT'S NOT EXACTLY IMPOSSIBLE, AS THE FIVE MOMENTS LISTED ABOVE REALLY DO DELIVER A DIFFERENT ENOUGH KIND OF COMEDY, BUT OTHER THAN THOSE MOMENTS THE FILM RARELY TAKES THE TIME TO EXPLORE NEW KINDS OF GAGS IN AS EFFECTIVE A WAY (LIKE THE RV CRASH IS TECHNICALLY NEW, BUT IT HONESTLY JUST FEELS KIND OF UNINSPIRED). AND AGAIN, FOR A WEIRD AMOUNT OF THE FILM'S RUNNING TIME, WE'RE SETTLING FOR EITHER THE NOSTALGIA LAUGH OR THE "UP" MANTRA (GOOD LORDY, DO THEY TRY TO DO FAR TOO MUCH WITH BRICK AND LADY BRICK).

NOW. WHERE THIS GETS EVEN MORE COMPLICATED IS THAT HULK GETS THE SENSE THAT THE GREAT COMEDIC MINDS RESPONSIBLE BEHIND ANCHORMAN 2 UNDERSTOOD THIS PROBLEM AND SET ABOUT CHANGING THE FILM IN SOME REALLY TANGIBLE WAYS. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THESE NEW CHOICES WITH REGARDS TO THE FILM'S PLOT... WELL... THEY DON'T QUITE WORK EITHER. NOW, HULK KNOWS THIS IS THE KIND OF COMPLAINT YOU SEE OFTEN FROM MOVIE GOERS, WHERE PEOPLE WILL COMPLAIN WHEN A MOVIE REGURGITATES THE SAME JOKES, BUT EQUALLY COMPLAIN ANY TIME IT TRIES TO BE DIFFERENT (WHICH JUST SPEAKS TO THE AFOREMENTIONED CONFUSED EXPECTATIONS AND MOTIVATIONS GOING IN) BUT HULK SWEARS HULK'S RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT AND HULK WILL MAKE A CASE FOR WHY:

THE FIRST IS A CHANGE IN THE STYLE OF SOME OF THE JOKES. ANCHORMAN SPENDS MOST OF ITS RUNNING TIME DEALING WITH THE SEXUAL POLITICS OF THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT AND HAVING THE BOYS IN THE FILM EXHIBIT THE MOST CHILDISH, OUTLANDISH, AND ABSURD BEHAVIOR EVER (THINK THEIR PUERILE COMPLAINTS AT FRED WILLARD'S DESK AND THE WAY THEY KEEP LINING UP IN FRONT OF IT). INSTEAD OF TREADING THIS SAME GROUND, ANCHORMAN 2 WISELY SETS ITS SIGHTS ON SOMETHING NEW: RACISM JOKES. THEY TOTALLY WORK AT FIRST WHEN RON AND HIS TEAM ARE INTRODUCED AND TERRIFIED AND HE JUST NONSENSICALLY YELLS "BLACK!" BECAUSE IT HIGHLIGHTS AN ABSURDITY... BUT THEN YOU GET TO THE DINNER TABLE SCENE AND IT JUST STARTS DOING THE COMEDY OF OFFENSIVE DISCONNECT. WHICH JUST MEANS IT'S ENGAGING IN A SIMPLER DEVICE AROUND A CHARACTER'S BEHAVIOR BEING MORE SHOCKING INSTEAD OF NAIVELY LUDICROUS. TO PUT IT IN WEIRD TERMS: IT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SWEET AND STUPID HOMER SIMPSON OF THE GOLDEN YEARS AND THE ASSHOLE HOMER SIMPSON THE LATER YEARS (OR WORSE, IT KIND OF FEELS LIKE "PETER JUST SAYING THE MOST OFFENSIVE THING POSSIBLE" IN THE FAMILY GUY WAY). REALLY, IT JUST DOESN'T FEEL QUITE RIGHT IN TERMS OF BEING IN LINE WITH ANCHORMAN HUMOR. RON BURGUNDY'S SOCIAL DISONNECTS SHOULD BE BATSHIT. THE WAY HE VIEWS WOMEN IN THE ORIGINAL FILM IS A LARK. PURE ABSURITY. BUT MOST OF HIS COMEDY WITH REGARDS TO THE RACE THING JUST FEEL MUNDANE. HULK COULD CHALK IT UP TO BEING UNINSPIRED, BUT IT JUST PERPETUATES A COMEDY OF VICTIMHOOD INSTEAD OF TRANSCENDING IT.

BUT IT'S NOT JUST THE RACE HUMOR. THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER LITTLE THINGS THAT JUST FEEL "OFF." HULK DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY WEIRD ABOUT SEEING A DRAKE CAMEO. IT JUST FEELS OUTSIDE THAT WORLD. IT DOESN'T ADD ANYTHING. IT'S JUST DOESN'T FEEL LIKE WHAT ANCHORMAN MOVIES SHOULD BE TRYING DO. THE SAME THING GOES WITH HOW MUCH TIME THE MOVIE SPENDS WITH BRICK. IT'S JUST SO OBVIOUSLY AGAINST THE INTEREST OF WHAT THAT CHARACTER DOES FOR THE ENSEMBLE. THE SCENE WHERE HE HIDES BEHIND THE COUCH? PERFECT. BUT PAIRING HIM WITH A FEMALE BRICK AND GIVING IT A RUN-ON SERIES OF THREE SCENES OF LOVE STORY? ABSURD OR NOT, IT DOESN'T WORK. TO HARKEN BACK TO ANOTHER WEIRD ANALOGY, IT WOULD BE LIKE IF THE GOLDEN AGE OF LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN DECIDED TO GIVE THE THIRD MAX WEINBERG GAG AN ACTUAL "A" PLOT (LIKE FIVE PEOPLE ARE VIGOROUSLY NODDING THEIR HEADS RIGHT NOW). IT'S A COMPLETE MISUSE OF A CHARACTER'S STRENGTHS AND ABILITIES. AND REALLY, IT'S ALL INDICATIVE OF A LARGER PROBLEM WITH THE FILM'S APPROACH...

THERE'S THIS CURIOUS THING THAT YOU'LL SEE POP UP IN AGAIN AND AGAIN IN COMEDY SEQUELS WHERE THEY APPROACH THE THING WITH TOO MUCH OF A LEVEL-HEADED ATTITUDE TOWARD STORY INTEGRITY. THAT MAY SOUND LIKE A WEIRD STATEMENT, BUT THINK OF HOW MANY CLASSIC COMEDIES WILL ESTABLISH A COMPLETELY BONKERS WORLD IN THE FIRST FILM. BUT THEN THE RE-CREATORS WILL GO BACK LOOK AT THAT BONKERS WORLD AND THEN MAKE TWO KEY MISTAKES:

1) THEY WILL EITHER "CORRECT THEM" BECAUSE THEY NOW SEE THAT MADCAP NONSENSICAL PLOTTING AS A MISTAKE ITSELF AND THUS THEY TRY TO INCORPORATE THEM INTO A MORE SERIOUS, COHESIVE MOVIE. AND / OR...

2) THE BONKERS ELEMENTS THAT EXIST WILL ALSO BE MISTAKEN FOR "RULES" OF THAT WORLD THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED.

YOU CAN SEE THE PROBLEM WITH BOTH, RIGHT? THE UNINTENTIONAL EFFECT OF BOTH OF THESE DECISIONS IS THAT THEY WILL INHERENTLY BOX IN THE POSSIBILITIES FOR A MOVIE THAT WAS ORIGINALLY DEFINED BY BEING LIMITLESS. IT IS, EFFECTIVELY, THE LEGITIMIZATION OF THE ILLEGITIMATE. AND HULK IS CERTAIN IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW MUCH ANCHORMAN 2'S PLOT FEELS LIKE A WEIRD ATTEMPT TO BE LEVEL-HEADED.

EVEN ON A PURELY TACTILE LEVEL, THE FILM FEELS COMPLETELY WRONG ON AN AESTHETIC LEVEL. HULK HATES TALKING ABOUT CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR THE MOST PART BECAUSE IT ALWAYS BECOMES A WEIRD CONVERSATION FULL OF MISUNDERSTANDING OF WHAT HULK IS REALLY SAYING (ESPECIALLY W/R/T FILM VS. DIGITAL). BUT WE CAN FORGO ALL THAT AND JUST RECOGNIZE THAT SHOT SELECTION, COLOR, FRAMING HAVE A CERTAIN EFFECT ON US, RIGHT? COOL. WELL, FOR THAT VERY REASON CERTAIN COMEDIES ARE FILMED IN A VERY SPECIFIC WAY. THEY USE HIGH KEY LIGHTING WITH LOTS OF FILL AND A BIG DEPTH OF FIELD TO KEEP THE LOOK AS HAVING A FLAT, BRIGHT SURFACE. IT GIVES THE PROPER GLOSSY, CARTOONISH EFFECT TO EVERYTHING AND EFFECTIVELY HELPS MAKE IT "UNREAL." WHICH IS PERFECT FOR ANCHORMAN, WITH ITS STANDARD FRAMING AND ROOM TO SEE THE DETAILS OF THESE LIVE ACTION CARTOON WEIRDOS. IT FITS EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

ANCHORMAN 2 IS FILMED WITH WIDESCREEN FRAMING, A LOT OF PASTEL COLOR TEXTURING, A LOT OF USE OF SHORT DEPTH OF FIELD. IT HAS A LOOK OF MORE CLASSIC 70'S STYLE, WITH DARKER DARKS AND SOMETHING MORE BEFITTING OF A DRAMA. NOW, THIS IS NORMALLY WHERE HULK WOULD LAUNCH INTO A RANT ABOUT THE CAPABILITIES OF THE RED AND ALEXA AND WHY THEY CAUSE PEOPLE TO KEEP MAKING THESE "CHOICES" WHEN REALLY THEY'RE JUST SELECTING THE LESS PAINFUL-TO-EXECUTE OPTION AND EVERYONE IS JUST PRETENDING LIKE THIS ISN'T HAPPENING AND DIGITAL CAMERAS ARE PERFECT AND IT'S THE FILMMAKER NOT THE TOOL AND EVERYONE STARTS YELLING AT HULK ACCORDINGLY. SO HULK'S NOT GOING TO GO THERE. THE MORE IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT THIS CHOICE FOR THE FILM'S AESTHETICS DOES NOT HELP IT CAPTURE THE TONE IT WANTS TO IN TERMS OF CINEMATIC EFFECT AND THAT MATTERS. WHAT SUCKS IS HULK COULDN'T FIND GOOD SCREEN CAPS THAT PERFECTLY EMPHASIZE THIS AS YOU REALLY HAVE TO SEE IT IN THE THEATER (PLUS STILLS RARELY COME FROM THE PROPERLY FORMATTED SOURCE), BUT LET'S LOOK AT TWO SCREENCAPS THAT SORT OF EXPLAIN WHAT HULK'S TALKING ABOUT.

THE DIFFERENCE IS SUBTLE, BUT THERE. ONE IS FLAT, CARTOONY. UNTEXTURED. PERFECT FOR COMEDY THE OTHER? THERE'S THAT BLUE, SOMBER, QUIET QUALITY TO IT. THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF THESE AESTHETIC CHOICES IS A MOVIE THAT DOESN'T "FEEL RIGHT."

WORSE, IT MAKES IT SEEM LIKE ANCHORMAN 2 IS TRYING TO TAKE PLACE IN THE (SLIGHTLY MORE) REAL WORLD. A FEELING THAT IS MADE ALL TOO REAL BY THE FILM'S CURIOUS PLOT DECISION. LOOK. THE INCREASINGLY-POLITICAL MCKAY ACTUALLY HAS A GREAT MESSAGE FOR SATIRIZING THE RISE OF CABLE NEWS AND CORPORATE SYNERGY WITH THIS FILM AND HE GOES FOR IT WITH DEAD SERIOUSNESS. AND THERE IS EVEN AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT THIS MESSAGING IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF UNEXPECTING THING THAT AN ANCHORMAN MOVIE NEEDS TO RECAPTURE THE MAGIC OF A SURPRISE. IT'S A ZAG, IF YOU WILL. AND IT'S ONE THAT COMPLETELY FITS THE INTENDED THEME OF THE FILM IN TERMS OF GIVING PEOPLE WHAT THEY NEED (A DIRECT UNDERSTANDING OF OUR INSANE NEWS CULTURE) INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY WANT (MORE LAUGHS).

BUT WHILE THAT CHOICE WORKS IN THOSE CAREFUL TERMS, IT IS ALSO A CHOICE THAT COMPLETELY UNDERMINES THE TONE AND FUNCTION OF THE MOVIE. REALLY. IT ONLY SERVES TO MAKE THE ABSURD ELEMENTS OF THAT WORLD MORE JARRING. IT RENDERS THE THIRD ACT BATTLE THAT FOLLOWS COMPLETELY INERT. IT IS DEFYING EXPECTATION, BUT DRAMATIC MOMENTS HAVE TO BE BUILT ON DRAMATIC GROUND. HEARTFELT PLEAS FOR SANITY ARE NOT LARKS AND IT IS HARD FOR THEM TO EXIST AS LARKS. THE AUDIENCE'S REACTION, IF HULK WERE TO CHARACTERIZE IT CORRECTLY, WAS MORE OF "WAIT... ARE THEY BEING SERIOUS, RIGHT NOW? ... OKAY." IT'S NOT AN INDICATOR OF THE AUDIENCE'S LACK OF UNDERSTANDING (AS IT IS VERY GETTABLE THING). IT IS THE REACTION OF AUDIENCE THAT IS SUDDENLY HAVING TO PLAY WITH A REDUCTIVE APPROACH. TRYING TO TURN "THE LARK" INTO SOMETHING SERIOUS HAS PRECEDENT, BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT TAKES A REAL DEFT TOUCH. IT TAKES GROUNDING CHARACTERS AND WEAVING THINGS IN A WAY THAT MAKES THE EARNEST MOMENT FEEL REAL AND EARNED IN WAYS WE NEVER EXPECTED. HULK HONESTLY BELIEVES IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IT IN THIS MANNER, BECAUSE THIS MOVIE NEVER DOES THE WORK. IT JUST WANTS THE RESULT... MAYBE IT JUST NEEDED TO FIND AN IRONIC WAY TO GET ALL THESE POINTS ACROSS. WHICH SHOULDN'T BE UNHEARD OF BECAUSE THE FIRST ANCHORMAN MAKES FUN OF ALL THE BLUSTER OF 70'S SEXISM JUST BY SHOWING IT AS RIDICULOUS.

REALLY, IT JUST HIGHLIGHTS WHY A DRAMATIC STORY AND A COMEDIC STORY ARE DIFFERENT IN SO MANY WAYS. IN DRAMAS OUR CHARACTERS CAN GROW AND EVOLVE. NEW THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO THEM AND IT WILL SHAPE THEIR OUTLOOK AND THE FUNCTION OF THE MOVIE BECOMES MUCH MORE ABOUT THEM AND HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCE OF AUDIENCE RESPONSE. HECK, SOME DRAMATIC OR ACTION SEQUELS HAVE DOWNRIGHT ADVANTAGES. BUT COMEDIES WORK IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND SERVE A DIFFERENT FUNCTION. WE NEED THE LAUGH.

IT IS HERE THAT HULK WILL SUGGEST THE ONLY REAL WAY TO BREED DISTINCTION WITH A COMEDY SEQUEL IS TO REALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE ORIGINAL. IN FACT, THE ONLY GOOD SEQUELS WERE TO MOVIES THAT ORIGINALLY TOOK THEMSELVES MORE SERIOUSLY. GREMLINS 2 TOOK A FUNNY HORROR MOVIE AND TURNED IT INTO A LIVE ACTION LOONEY TUNES (HULK SAID WHILE EVEN COMPLETELY FORGETTING ABOUT THE BOOKEND). EVIL DEAD 2 TOOK A CABIN IN THE WOODS HORROR MOVIE AND TURNED IT INTO A MADCAP FUNHOUSE. BAD BOYS 2 TOOK THE ORIGINAL AND... WELL... ALLOWED MICHAEL BAY TO GO FULL MICHAEL BAY. THE LESSON IS CLEAR: IN ORDER FOR US TO MAKE A COMEDY SEQUEL, THE VERY IDEA OF FULL-ON COMEDY MUST BE A REVELATION IN AND OF ITSELF. OR TO BE MORE FAIR, IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NEW COMEDY DISTINCT, IN ORDER FOR IT TO UNVEIL A PROPER ACTUALITY, IT MUST BE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED.

BUT GOOD LUCK GETTING THE STUDIOS TO AGREE TO THAT.

BECAUSE HULK ASSURES YOU, THEY ARE QUITE HAPPY TO TAKE A ROOM FULL OF LESSER NOSTALGIA LAUGHS. IT'S THE CLOSEST THING YOU CAN FIND TO A SURE THING IN THIS BUSINESS. GET THE STARS AND CREATORS TOGETHER AND IT'S A PAY DAY FOR EVERYONE. THEN GO SO FAR AS TO SELL THE FILM OFF THAT EXPECTATION. BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT SELLS WELL? EXPECTATION. IT'S THE SAME REASON TRAILERS GIVE AWAY THE WHOLE STORY. IN PURE BUSINESS TERMS, WE NATURALLY CAN'T HELP BUT PREFER THE SHORT-TERM CERTAINTY OF SEQUELS THAT PROMISE EXACTLY WHAT THE LAST ONE GAVE. AND ALL HULK IS TRYING TO ARGUE IS THAT IN ESSENCE THAT'S NOT REALLY WHAT THE LAST ONES GAVE US. IT CALLS RIGHT BACK TO HULK'S CONTINUOUS EXAMPLE THAT OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM IN HOLLYWOOD IS MISTAKING FORM FOR FUNCTION. WE CREATE SEQUELS THAT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE THING. BUT EXACTLY AREN'T THE SAME THING AT ALL. AND OUR REACTIONS REFLECT THAT. BUT THERE'S A SMALL IRONY TO THIS FACT BECAUSE IT WEIRDLY RUNS AGAINST THE PREACHED ETHOS OF ANCHORMAN 2 ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS AND WHAT THE PUBLIC NEEDS - THE BROAD COMEDY SEQUEL'S COMFORT FOOD REPETITION IS WHAT WE WANT, BUT THIS REPETITION IS NOT WHAT WE NEED.

THAT BITTER IRONY OF THE BUSINESS END BRINGS US RIGHT BACK TO THE CRUX OF ALL THIS. IT SUCKS. BUT ALL HULK CAN DO IS PROVIDE WHAT HULK SEES AS THE KEY AWARENESS OF THE DYNAMIC AT HAND AND MAKE ONE LAST DESPERATE PLEA.

THE BEST COMEDIES ARE THE ONES THAT SURPRISE US. WE OFTEN HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY WILL BE WHEN WE WALK INTO THEM. THEY ALMOST ALWAYS FEEL LIKE HAPPY ACCIDENTS. NEW IDEAS AND MODES OF COMMUNICATION THAT COME TO LIFE IN FRONT OF OUR EYES. IT'S LIKE BOTTLING LIGHTNING. AND THERE IS NO DOUBTING THAT THE ORIGINAL ANCHORMAN WAS ONE OF THOSE MOVIES. PEOPLE FORGET WE WERE COMING OUT OF A GENERATION OF COMIC-STAR VEHICLES WITH SIDE-KICKS. AND THEN THESE GUYS SHOWED UP WITH THEIR NON-INDULGENT TEAM-FIRST ATTITUDE THAT BECAME THE STAPLE OF APATOW'S WORK, WHICH MATCHED PERFECTLY WITH THE ABSURDISM OF MCKAY AND FERRELL. IT WAS JUST SO UNPRECEDENTED IN MOVIES AT THE TIME (WELL, NOT UNPRECEDENTED. IT HAD JUST BEEN AWHILE). IT WAS LIKE "WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL THESE YEARS?!?!" IT WAS SOMETHING THAT TRANSFORMED US. AND BECAUSE OF THAT...

HULK HONESTLY CONSIDERS MCKAY AND FERRELL AS PERSONAL HEROES.

HULK MEANS THAT. THEY ARE ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. PEOPLE WITH INCREDIBLE ABILITY AND UNDERSTANDING FOR THE CRAFT OF COMEDY, AND SEEM SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR PROVIDING HULK WITH THAT WONDERFUL THING KNOWN AS THE VISCERAL BELLY LAUGH. HULK'S ENJOYED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR PAIRINGS IN DIFFERENT WAYS (HULK THOUGHT THE WAY MCKAY TURNED ACTION HYSTERICS INTO REAL LIFE COMMENTARY ON OUR DISCONNECT WITH WHITE COLOR CRIME WAS BRILLIANT). BUT NOW THIS JUST PROVES THE SIMPLE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRUTH THAT MAKING A GREAT SEQUEL TO CINEMATIC MAGIC IS, BY ITS VERY NATURE, COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE.

WE COULD GET MORBID ABOUT THIS. WE COULD OUTLAW COMEDY SEQUELS FOREVER. BUT THE THING IS THE REAL ANCHORMAN SEQUEL IS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE IN THE ETHER. IT WON'T BE CALLED ANCHORMAN OR BE ANYTHING LIKE IT. BUT IT WILL BE HILARIOUS. IT WILL STRIKE A CHORD. IT WILL HAVE THE KIND OF TALENT WHERE WE WILL LOOK BACK AND SAY "MAN, ALL THOSE ACTORS WERE TOGETHER IN THAT SAME MOVIE?" IT WILL REACH DOWN INTO OUR HEARTS AND BRAINS AND MAKE US LAUGH FOR DAYS. IT WILL BECOME A PART OF OUR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS WITH FRIENDS. WE WILL QUOTE IT ENDLESSLY AND MAKE T-SHIRTS. AND IT WILL EVEN INSPIRE SOME YOUNG SCHMUCK TO GET INTO COMEDY, WHO JUST MAYBE, WILL START THE PROCESS ALL AGAIN.

CLICHE AS IT SOUNDS, THESE ARE VERY HUMAN THINGS. WE PERPETUATE CYCLES OF BEHAVIOR AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY HAPPEN. BUT MORE THAN THAT, EVEN AFTER ALL THESE THOUSANDS OF WORDS ABOUT WHY COMEDY SEQUELS ARE INHERENTLY WRONG, HULK CAN'T TRULY COME DOWN ON THEM. WHY? BECAUSE IT'S JUST SO HUMAN. WE CAN'T HELP BUT HOPE THAT MAYBE SOMEDAY A COMEDY SEQUEL WILL FIGURE IT OUT. WE CAN'T HELP BUT TRY AND REPEAT THE MAGIC TRICK. WE CAN'T HELP BUT CHASE THE HIGH. IT'S OUR OWN ABSURDITY... OUR OWN ONGOING COMEDY.

AND FUCK IT... IF THERE'S ANYTHING IT'S OKAY TO BE ADDICTED TO, IT'S LAUGHTER.

<3 HULK

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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