Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Review
by Daniel Rester
Director Adam McKay and actor Will Ferrell have their own special brand of stupid when it comes to the movies. The two have collaborated to make such features as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), and The Other Guys (2010). But the teamwork all began on the big screen with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), a comedy that has gained a massive following over the last nine years.
Now we get the return of the “legendary” character of Ron Burgundy with the long-awaited sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. McKay and Ferrell co-wrote the sequel, with McKay behind the cameras again as well. We also get the return of such cast members as Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Christina Applegate.
The (very) loose plot follows Ron and his news team – Brick (Carrell), Brian (Rudd), and Champ (Koechner) — as they make their way from San Diego to New York in the 1980s. Once there, they are hired by a woman named Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) to work for the Global News Network, which aims to be the first 24-hour news channel. They soon become a major success with their new ideas for giving people the news that “they need” – such as stories about car chases, outside weather, and cute puppies. Ron must also deal with issues involving his wife Veronica (Applegate), their son Walter (Judah Nelson), and a hotshot anchor named Jack Lime (James Marsden).
The story of Continues is really just an excuse for a series of ridiculous, scattershot gags. In this way, the film lacks spine and just seems like a bunch of jokes thrown together in a random mix. The movie also goes on far too long and gets incredibly dumb at points (including a few jokes about blindness and feeding sharks that are just beyond stupidity).
Fortunately, a lot of the jokes do hit, though the majority of them feel unscripted. Continues’ strongest hand is in how it obviously takes some satirical stabs at the style of such networks as CNN or Fox. It also benefits from having a terrific comedic cast, including a giant list of hilarious cameos. Ferrell gets perhaps a bit too much screen time here, but he is ultimately a riot as Ron; Rudd, Koechner, and especially Carrell also shine. We also get some supporting performances from people such as Greg Kinnear, Harrison Ford, and Kristen Wiig, though Marsden comes off best as far as the smaller parts go – as he provides great cockiness to the character of Jack Lime.
What really keeps the sequel alive, though, is that it is dedicated to its insane ideas and full-on silliness, never taking itself seriously or trying to pretend to be anything other than what it is. Audience members who are down for idiotic jokes involving such things as eating bats for fast food, having collections of strange-titled condoms, and battling other news members with weapons for no apparent reason should be pleased. You know who you are.
Mckay and Ferrell may not be the strongest comedic scriptwriters around as far as story goes, but they do know how to spark a certain silliness and energy with their films that makes for plenty of belly laughs and quotable lines for the right crowd. Continues isn’t quite on the same level as the original, but it should please most fans and it also works as a worthy sequel. That is more than the majority of comedy sequels can claim to have.
Score: 3 out of 4 stars (Grade Equivalent for Me: B+)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for crude and sexual content, drug use, language, and comic violence).
Runtime: 1 hour and 59 minutes.