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Review: By the beard of Zeus, Ron Burgundy’s return is a crowd pleaser

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

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America’s most beloved anchor and his trusty news team are back in action and on the big screen as of Dec. 18 when "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" storms into theaters. We find Ron Burgundy living the high-life in New York with his co-anchor, and now wife, Veronica Corningstone. But with a new decade--the 80s--dawning, Burgundy seems to be a man falling farther and farther out of his own time.

Soon enough, a rift separates the two lovebirds and Ron finds himself wallowing in despair and failure--that is, until he’s offered the chance to get in on the ground floor of the world’s first 24-hour news network. In classic Burgundy style he quickly rounds up the news team--who have each gone their own way over the preceding 7 years--and rallies his determination to get back on top of the ratings and repair things with his lady love.

Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner have triumphantly reteamed to serve up this sequel to the cult favorite. “Anchorman 2” may not be a sequel that we ever needed, but it is without a doubt one that so many wanted. Fortunately, the team behind the news team didn’t rush into a sequel and took their time to do the thing properly. “Anchorman 2” has everything fans could ever want in an “Anchorman” sequel.

The returning cast members slip back into their roles like an old, favorite pair of jeans and the chemistry that was originally used to such great effect remains in full force. Fortunately, however, the characters have not been standing still this whole time; the creative team found a way to advance their respective worlds and develop them beyond mere carbon copies transplanted from the first film.

As is the case with the overwhelming majority of comedies, not every joke hits. Some moments are greeted with crickets; however far more of them are met with chuckles, guffaws and even the occasional roar of laughter. For the most part the script does an admirable job of not relying on jokes and turns of phrase from the predecessor; however, the number of variations of “Great Odin’s raven” and “By the beard of Zeus” are so great that the scent of catchphrase desire is unmissable at certain moments.

Still, in the larger sense, “Anchorman 2” does an admirable job of standing on its own merit. It’s all too easy to forgive the presence of another epic news team battle, as it was the most desperate wish of many to see another installment, and the assembled star power is almost overwhelming (read: incredible). Even if your patience is tested somewhat in the less successful moments of the film, that epic battle will prove worth the wait.

“Anchorman 2” is not without its miscues or missed jokes, but it delivers on every front we expect it to, creating a crowd-pleasing experience for super fans, casual fans and first-time Burgundy watchers alike.

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