As a whole, "Talladega Nights" couldn't match the zany wonder or whacked-out originality of "Anchorman," but the 2006 send-up of the NASCAR circuit featured Ferrell still operating in his post-'SNL' prime, dominating nearly every scene with his clueless twang. Maybe the world isn't begging for a "TN2," but the crash-obsessed, product-placement-heavy, Dubya-inflicted world of NASCAR deserves a cinematic opus that "TN1" wasn't quite up to becoming. And hey, at least "Talladega 2" would be better racing-themed follow-up than "Cars 2," because most things are better than "Cars 2."
We, as a society, need to embrace "Step Brothers" more readily than we have thus far. The Chewbacca masks. The scrotum on the drumkit. The Catalina Fucking Wine Mixer! Few comedies released in the past half-decade understand and revel in absurdist humor as fully as "Step Brothers," with Ferrell and John C. "I Was Nominated For an Oscar" Reilly rapping about boats and ho's in one scene and presenting us with a vocal combination of Fergie and Jesus in the next. For a filthy seminar on guys who grow up three decades too late, "Step Brothers" delivered an onslaught of gonzo set pieces -- i.e., the scene where a bunch of middle schoolers beat the shit out of our two heroes -- and well-crafted supporting roles (a pre-"Parks and Recreation" Adam Scott slays as Ferrell's mega-asshole brother Derek). "Step Brothers 2" doesn't really need any underlined plot points; it just needs to return Ferrell and Reilly to their comfortable thrones of immaturity.
"Old School" Like "Anchorman 2," the idea of "Old School 2" has actually been kicked around since the original became a hit in 2003, but Ferrell and Vince Vaughn turned down a script in 2006, and in 2009, director Todd Phillips (who went on to have some success with this movie called "The Hangover" that year) said that no sequel was in the works for his frat comedy. Like "Step Brothers," "Old School" showcased inspired comic characters like Ferrell's Bluto-past-his-prime Frank The Tank, but unlike "Step Brothers," the college romp was steadier in its plot development than in its profanity-laced dialogue; Luke Wilson made for a solid if unspectacular straight man, for instance, but was elevated by singular scenes like the KY jelly wrestling match and Beanie's son's birthday party. Therefore, "Old School 2" would absolutely need to have a plot as cohesive as "OS1," and give Frank The Tank -- in many respects, a terribly sad character -- enough gloriously messed-up hoops to once again jump through in order to preserve the brotherhood. "Old School 2" can't just be "Old School 1, on spring break"; it has to be a logical progression of events, as in, "Mitch, Beanie and Frank become too old/uncool for the fraternity, so they get kicked out and have to find a way to once again prove their party cred and irresponsibility." With the right script, this puppy could sing.
Okay, so technically "Wedding Crashers" had Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the starring roles and looking goofy on the posters. But as Chazz Reinhold, the unstoppably hard-partying zero who, bored by the wedding circuit, starts picking up chicks at funerals, Ferrell concocted one of his most unique, generally weird characters to date. Whether Chazz's character is spun off in his own movie or he continues acting as a the Hook-Up Yoda to John and Jeremy in "WC2," we'd be down to watch Will Ferrell continue snagging models in strange models -- maybe he moves on from funerals to Bar Mitzvahs! -- and keep wondering what his mom is doing back in that kitchen.
Ferrell has delivered a whale's vagina full of inspired performances, but no other role has become as iconic as Buddy The Elf, the blissfully unaware star of Jon Favreau's 2003 holiday blockbuster. Seriously, good luck flipping through the channels the week before Christmas and not seeing "Elf" pop up on about a dozen different channels. "Elf" has become a Christmas staple because Ferrell so adroitly hopped between clueless charm and earnest emotion over its 90-minute running time, in a way that no other actor could have handled (imagine Adam Sandler turning Buddy The Elf into a jabbering dweeb in order to really appreciate Ferrell's work, if you want). Sadly, "Elf 2" will probably never happen -- in 2006, Ferrell claimed to have turned down $29 million (!) to return to the franchise -- but if any Ferrell character deserved a revisit, it's the one that smothers spaghetti in syrup and lovingly chews sidewalk gum. Maybe if we big-up Santa Claus enough and sing some Christmas carols on local New York news, "Elf 2" will go into pre-production.