“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” hits theaters today, December 18, 2013, and faces the challenge of living up to the fans’ unbelievably high expectations. Fans of the original film have spent the past eight years endlessly quoting every line in the movie and with each mention of the pants store have raised their expectations for the sequel. And, as if eight years hadn’t built up their expectations for the sequel enough, the promotional team behind the film has done the best job marketing a movie I’ve ever seen. Ron Burgundy has become a ubiquitous character – he’s selling Dodge Durango’s left and right, he interviewed Peyton Manning, and even accepted an award from Emerson College’s Journalism school.
So, to satisfy fans of the original film, “Anchorman 2” cannot be anyting short of legendary. And, fortunately, it is absolutely incredible.
Unlike most comedy sequels, “Anchorman 2” doesn’t try to copy the formula of the original film – it boasts an engaging and original story that gives the viewers something to follow while also allowing the characters to constantly crack jokes and take liberties with the dialogue. The film cleverly satirizes the 24-hour TV news stations, while also poking fun at some of the sexist and racist attitudes that dominated the workplace in the 80s. The clear plot structure means that not every scene is sidesplittingly funny, but the movie never takes itself too seriously and keeps the more serious scenes relatively light and amusing.
As was the case with the original “Anchorman,” the film is defined by the incredible chemistry and impressive improvisational skills of the talented news team of Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner. The original news team works as well together as it did in the original, and it is now joined by a great cast of side characters including Kristen Wiig as a daft and eccentric secretary, Meagan Good as Burgundy’s extremely aggressive boss and James Marsden as Burgundy’s cocky nemesis. The side characters give the movie an added dynamic to keep it from getting stale, and they help to keep the movie from focusing too much on the improvised interactions between the film’s main stars.
The movie takes full advantage of the new decade and continuously pokes fun at the cornerstone of the film – the 24-hour news station. Complete with high-speed chases, sensationalized public interest stories and unnecessary animal stories, Ron’s new news network is immediately familiar to the audience, which makes his hilarious commentary about it significantly more appealing.
Despite the fact that the plot “Anchorman 2” continuously works to differentiate itself from the original film’s structure, it still has plenty of throwbacks to the original, including a brilliant final scene that includes an unbelievable number of cameos that can only be rivaled by those in the opening scenes of “This is the End.”
The movie clocks in at about two hours, which, to be honest, is probably 10-15 minutes too long, and one of the scenes is a bit lengthy, but the majority of the movie is packed with the silly, amusing and completely absurd humor that made the original film so memorable and enjoyable. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” isn’t quite as good as the first movie, but it offers everything fans could hope for in a sequel making it a definite must-see for fans of the original movie.