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DVD review: 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

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'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

Rating:
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The theatrical release was heavily promoted and it was long-anticipated by fans of the original, but 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' finally arrives on DVD.

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Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (ChristineApplegate) have moved on from San Diego, as married New York co-anchors of a prime time news show. A decision comes from the network to promote Veronica and fire Ron which sends his life and marriage into a tailspin. They separate and Ron retreats back to San Diego, leaving their son Walter (Judah Nelson) behind.

As expected, Ron can't keep it together and is on the verge of suicide before being approached by GNN (Global News Network) which has the revolutionary idea of being the first 24 hour news network. To lure Ron to the network, they agree to take on his old comrades Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). This makes everyone happy until they realize that they are to be on late at night while egotistical hotshot Jack Lime (James Marsden) is on at prime time.

Thus begins a series of events which sees the old news team trying to recapture their swagger, to overcome their inter and intra-network rivals, and for Ron to get his personal life in order. It's seriously a mess, people.

There is a lot more that happens and more characters that figure heavily, but those are the bare bones of the plot.

This sequel is extremely aware of what came before it. Elements that worked before are brought back bigger than before. It's not essential to the experience, but this really does reward fans of the first film with copious amounts of callbacks. Brick, was a fan favorite character and Carell's career has really taken off since then, so he is much more prominently featured in this film. Say what you will about that safe approach, but it's also giving people what they expect/want.

Anyone who has watched any of the 24 hour news networks will recognize a lot of what this film is commenting on: the relentless pandering, the lack of substance, the quest for ratings over substance. Even fictionalized and exaggerated, the general idea likely very true.

On the slight downside, there isn't that much of a plot. The movie is really just a series of things that happen to Ron that he and his news team overcomes. He meets a rival and that mostly resolves itself very quickly. He becomes romantically involved with his boss and that eventually seems to be forgotten. Over halfway through the story, Ron is forced to spend quality time with his son who he realizes that he has been ignoring this whole time. Later, Ron goes blind and....you'll see. Many of the big events in the film seem to simply be an excuse to continue the silliness and to get us to the next chapter.

This is probably Ferrell's defining character, as good as many of his other movies have been. He owns the movie and almost every line that Carell offers is worth at least a chuckle. Once again, Koechner and Rudd are shoved into the background, a few scenes aside. Kristen Wiig has a nice little role and some of the biggest actors/figures in Hollywood stop by to have some fun.

Special features include: nothing on the bare-bones DVD edition. If you spring for a special Blu-Ray pack, you get numerous deleted scenes, alternate takes and an extended cut of the film, along with a host of other goodies.

To fans of the first film, 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has a good idea about what you liked before and delivers it again. That doesn't make for a groundbreaking classic, but it does make for a fun movie to watch with your friends and laugh at on repeat viewings.

Add an extra half star to this.

Rated R 119 minutes 2013

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