Directed by: Adam McKay
The problem with sequels tends to be that the people who produced the original see what they believe to be a winning formula for a successful film, and then simply try to recreate it. (The psycho-crazed killer slashing teens to death, sweet! Have him slash up more teens…the superhero fighting a bad guy,, great! Have him fight that same bad guy again…the funny guy in a funny situation, outstanding! Let’s have him do that same thing again!) Only what tends to happen is that once was funny, twice is repetitive, and three times is well, ho-humm, sleepy-time boring. Well, that is sort of what has happened to the very funny Ron Burgundy. Instead of the inane wit, and goofy antics of Ron and his team getting sharper, they have merely gotten blunter and broader. Unfortunately this made for a very uneven film that was funny in spots, but the funny simply didn’t hold up and made for a very uneven film.
As the film opens up, the ‘70s are behind Ron (Ferrell), and his crew, and they really aren’t so much San Diego’s top rated newsman any more. To be sure, Ron and his wife and co-anchor, Veronica Corningstone (Applegate), are still on the air, but when they get tapped for a national anchor spot by Mack Harken (Harrison Ford) Ron is dismayed to learn that Harken only wants Corningstone. Needless to say the log-headed Burgundy objects causing a rift in his marriage, sending Burgundy spiraling into chaotic depression. Fortunately for him, soon after this Burgundy and his crew of zanies get tapped for the overnight slot at one of the fledgling 24/7 news channels that now seem to fully occupy our TV dial.
So, buoyed by this validation of his existence, Burgundy, returns to the news desk along with weather man Brick Tamland (Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (Koechner). all of whom won’t make it so easy to remain classy. Well, as it turns out, they aren’t the main attraction, (much to the dismay of Burgundy and co.) that would be Jack Lime (James Marsden) and his crew of actual newsmen. Well, not ones to take that kind of insult sitting down (even at the news desk), Burgundy throws down the gauntlet and ups the ante in order to give America not so much what it is looking for, but what it really wants — thus changing the entire dynamic of the news.
Still, while the first film was broadly funny/stupid, this one is just stupid/funny. Ferrell’s brand of over-the-top farce can by bitingly funny; unfortunately here it is just broad slap-dash uncomfortable as the clueless Burgundy and crew stumble their way through their jobs. Doing all the truly stupid things that they did the last time, which would be Okay, except that we’ve been there and seen that, thus there is really nothing new to see here, giving us more of the same, and wondering why. Ferrell is truly a funny guy, and for him to just toss out more of what he’s already given us is akin to him simply phoning it in, and truthfully, as his fans and paying public, we really deserve better than that.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.0