In case you missed the media and marketing firestorm for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Ron Burgundy and the best damn news team are back in action. The most highly anticipated sequel of the millennium follows Ron (Will Ferrell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) as they tackle the 24-hour news cycle. It’s really easy to get caught up in the hype for this one, but lower your expectations and I guarantee you’ll find it much more enjoyable.
Anchorman 2 picks up right where the first installment left off, with Ron and his wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) taking their local news act to the Big Apple. However, the outlet for which they work decides to shake things up and promote Veronica to primetime lead anchor while kicking Burgundy to the curb. When an opportunity arises at GNN, a new 24 hour news network, Ron decides to get the gang back together and take the 2a.m.-5a.m. graveyard shift by force. By coming up with a new approach to the news, which isn’t really news at all – rather just a bunch of dog videos and pro-American propaganda – they quickly rise to the top, and it wouldn’t be a Ron Burgundy story if he didn’t get too big for his britches and alienate everyone around him. So that’s exactly what happens, and in order to stage a comeback, Ron’s got to make a hefty personal transformation.
Sequels to epic comedies like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are difficult to do well and keep fresh. It’s easy to fall into the same storyline, recycle the same jokes, and leave the audience feeling just a little stale. That was one of the biggest criticisms for Hangover 2; it was the same film as the first, but with a different setting, tweaked storyline, and more extreme situations. But it stands to reason, then, that people who enjoyed the original would enjoy the sequel, right? While Anchorman 2 doesn’t exactly fall into that category, I wouldn’t go in expecting much more than you got out of the first one. Ron is still wildly inappropriate and a fountain of witty one-liners, Brian still has his secret stash of sexual accoutrements, Champ is still obnoxious, and Brick is still, well…..Brick (but now finds himself an awkward and mentally questionable counterpart).
This continued legend might not knock your socks off right away, but when has that ever been Will Ferrell’s and Adam McKay’s M.O.? When these two get together, it’s comedy genius; which means that it’s going to take at least five more times watching Anchorman 2 to appreciate all the subtle humor injected randomly (watch the headlines scrolling during Ron’s newscast). And like The Other Guys and its message calling out large corporation Ponzi schemes, McKay and Ferrell throw a few jabs toward the likes of Fox News and CNN and everything that is wrong with the 24-hour news cycle. It makes for an unending source of funny quotes, which I’m sure you’ll be sick of your friends spouting out in a matter of days. But, on a comedy scale of Schindler’s List to Big Top Pee-wee, Anchorman 2 is off the charts, and will only get better with time!
Grade: B- (A- after 3 viewings)
Review By: Jason C.