San Diego’s Channel 4 News team is finally back. Nearly 10 years after the original, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and Champ Kind (David Koechner) have returned in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues for a new chapter in cable news. The 70’s are over and the 80’s are here. Ron Burgundy and his now wife Veronica Corningstone-Burgundy (Christina Applegate) have left San Diego for the news desks of New York City. They are on-top of the world until Veronica gets promoted to head anchor, and Ron gets fired. Unable to deal with Veronica’s success, Ron leaves his marriage only to hit rock-bottom hosting a dolphin show at Sea World. His luck begins to change when a producer from New York’s first 24-hour news channel pays Ron a visit. San Diego’s number one anchorman might have the chance to be back on top in the Big Apple.
Let’s start by saying Anchorman 2 is not as good as the original. That is undoubtedly the question everyone is going to ask the moment you announce you’ve seen the movie, so we might as well get that out of the way: it is not as good or as funny as Anchorman 1 (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy). It would be good advice to hold on to that thought when you do see the movie as to not be disappointed. The good news is Anchorman 2 is not a disappointment. All the ignorance, stupidity, egos and jokes are there just where you left them. If you found out the movie literally jumps the shark at one point, would you be surprised? Of course not. That is the beauty of Anchorman; the conviction of ridiculousness is constant.
It is tough to make a sequel to a movie like Anchorman. Just about everyone you know can quote at least one line from the film, even if they haven’t seen it. A cult-classic as it is known cannot be duplicated or re-made or made better. Army of Darkness, Shaun of the Dead, 40-year Old Virgin, The Big Lebowski (to name a few), are not going to show up on many industry lists of greatest films-of-all-time, but they will show up on personal “favorite”” lists like on your Facebook profile or on Rottentomatoes.com. Those films have a following of their own that cannot be measured by number of stars or percentage ratings. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is one such a movie. Topping that film is nearly an impossible feat; even for seasoned comedic writers like Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay. Anchorman 2 doesn’t top Anchorman 1, but it does make a valiant effort. While it has comedic lows that will leave you scratching your head or furling your brow. It turns around with scenes and lines that will surely make you laugh louder than the guy next to you. For example (no spoilers I promise): the film almost lost me when Ferrell starts to sing, but then I remembered the opening. Going in I could not imagine Will Ferrell could top Ron's warm-up mantras from the first film that include him yelling "AUDREY!" and reciting "The human torch was denied a bank loan," but he does. The film has weird twists and turns, but reins you back in with its humor. That is Anchorman in a nutshell; predictability in the unpredictable.
Bottom Line: If you go in to Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues thinking it is going to blow your mind or top the original, then you are in for a mediocre night. Let's be honest and say that Anchorman 2 could have been better. It has a lot of head-scratching “What’s going on?” type of moments, but the good news is the film has enough hilarity and obscurity to leave you satisfied. Ron’s too classy to leave you any other way.
(As a side note: There are no outtakes at the end of the film. No need to stay for the credits.)
Director: Adam McKay.