Synopsis: With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking the country’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.
Release Date: December 18, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
After 10 years worth of rewrites, false starts, and broken promises, the long awaited sequel to Anchorman (2004), the appropriately titled Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (“Anchorman 2”), has arrived. While there might be some disconnect between this current generation and the one that treats the first Anchorman as a comedy classic, this sequel performs admirably considering the circumstances.
All the key role players are back, but the stars of the show are, of course, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his channel 4 news steam. Brick (Steve Carell), Champ (David Koechner), and Brian (Paul Rudd) are all as funny as they were in 2004, but Ferrell still steals the show as Burgundy. His journey is bigger, his jokes are more out-there, and his hair is just as glorious, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Anchorman 2 is a better movie.
At the center of Anchorman 2‘s story is Burgundy’s quest to make a name for himself at GNN, the first 24-hour news network. There, Burgundy works to revolutionize (or de-revolutionize) the news industry by turning the focus on human interest pieces, car chases, and overly patriotic slogans. Basically, in his attempt to be number 1, Burgundy dumbs down the news. It’s actually a clever concept – one man transforming the news world as we know it – even if the execution is a little ham-fisted.
There’s obviously more to Burgundy’s journey/legend than simply reciting the news, but it’s better not to delve too far into the various random subplots of the film, as knowing them ahead of time will spoil their entertainment. Just know that where the first film’s journey included a tussle with a bear and a descent into drunken madness, this film raises the stakes in every way. Similarly, the film’s side characters, specifically Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland, get their own storylines to follow, although they are mostly played for laughs and not fully fleshed out.
All in all, the story in Anchorman 2 is one that’s worth following, and is mostly enjoyable throughout. Granted, at almost 2 hours long the film feels very bloated, and meanders more often than it should, but those who enjoy these characters won’t mind. However, if the Anchorman conceit, specifically Ron Burgundy, has grown even the least bit tired with you, be warned this sequel cranks all of his Burgundy-isms to 11. Anchorman 2 as a whole actually aims to outdo its predecessor in every way. From Brick’s nonsensical quips to Ron’s seemingly haphazard outbursts (“Great Odin’s Raven,” for example); everything about Anchorman 2 seeks to up the ante. It’s more of the same, but done with a bigger budget, and oftentimes a slightly different approach.
Ultimately, your feelings about the Anchorman concept will decide whether or not you see Anchorman 2 as a rib-busting comedy or a colossal waste of time. The film is funny, there’s no question of that, but a lot of its humor comes from either reusing familiar jokes or playing deeper into the Ron Burgundy character. In other words, be prepared for a film that relies heavily on the original’s formula.
That being said, Anchorman 2 isn’t a retread in the vein of, say, The Hangover 2. It carves its own path as a comedy sequel, even if it loves reminding viewers what made the first film such a success. And those who love the first Anchorman, and quote it endlessly, will adore this sequel from beginning to end, even if they won’t think this one is an improvement. But casual fans, or those viewers who expected something different, are better served skipping this one.
Anchorman 2 is a funny movie – a very funny movie, even. Sure, it’s not the funniest movie of the year, and a lot of its humor feels familiar, but this sequel delivers plenty of laughs. However, it’s best to know going in that Anchorman 2 is a careful construction built for the fans. The humor doesn’t go broader and it certainly doesn’t try to please everyone.
On the flip side, the humor in Anchorman 2 won’t feel wholly original to fans; it mostly uses the pattern deployed in the first film with some slight differences. It’s a classic case where more isn’t always better. In the first Anchorman, for example, Brian Fantana gives a brief tour of his collection of terrible cologne brands, and in this film its terrible condom brands. Still funny, but not original.
The same is basically true for the film as a whole, it’s funny but it’s not necessarily original. Some won’t mind that given the time between films 1 and 2, but others will feel the film gets a little long in the tooth after a while. And as far as being better than the first film – the jokes in Anchorman 2 are more audacious, but they aren’t better.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Adam McKay
- Screenwriter(s): Will FerrellAdam McKay
- Cast: Will Ferrell (Ron Burgundy)Christina Applegate (Veronica Corningstone)Paul Rudd (Brian Fantana) Steve Carell (Brick Tamland)Vince Vaughn (Wes Mantooth)James Marsden (Jack Lime)Harrison Ford (Mack Harken)Kristen Wig (Chani)
- Editor(s): Mellissan Bretherton
- Cinematographer: Oliver Wood
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Andrew Feltenstein
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA