The legend makes his way to the Big Apple and it isn’t that big of a deal.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues picks up right around 10 years after the events of the first film. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are now happily married and have a son named Walter (Judah Nelson). They work together as anchors at Channel 4 news in San Diego and everything seems to be perfect until one day where Ron gets fired and Veronica gets promoted. After losing his job, Ron and Veronica begin to fight and they decide that it is only best that they separate, because Ron can’t handle the fact that he lost a job to his wife. This is when the fun begins as Ron and the old Channel 4 gang get hired by the first 24 Hour News network GMN in New York.
Like many, I was a pretty big fan of Anchorman and found the film to be quite hilarious and filled with several clever and fun one-liners that are still being quoted to this day nearly 10 years later. I felt the original film featured a wide array of odd ball characters and all of them got equal screen time and really made the film work as buddy comedy with some pretty outrageous and hilarious moments. With that being said, it should be no surprise that I have been looking forward to this sequel since it was slated “in the works” many years ago.
Unfortunately, like the vast majority of sequels, Anchorman 2 just isn’t as fresh or funny as the original was. I think that regardless of how anyone feels at the end of the day about this film, they will without a doubt walk out of Anchorman 2 feeling somewhat disappointed or really disappointed with the film. I think die hard fans of the first will still enjoy this movie, but will say without a doubt in my mind “the original was better.”
Now, I don’t know if it was because I wanted to love this movie and was just let down by it, but I really felt like this film was completely and utterly pointless. The movie felt so much like a cash grab from Paramount that they didn’t care what they were doing with the film but instead only saw dollar signs. The movie’s central plot is similar to the first film in which Ron and his team are competing against Jack Lime (James Marsden) and his team for their jobs, but only this time its for a 24 hour news network in New York City. Furthermore, instead of incorporating women into the news, now its about incorporating blacks. The plot overall just feels completely uninspired and more of the same which means that the film lacked the cleverness that the first film possessed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting a groundbreaking plot from a film like Anchorman 2, however, I do expect the jokes to be fresh and new, but instead most of the biggest laughs in this film stem from similar jokes that were in the first film including a huge cameo appearance scene that seemed to be the biggest laugh out of the entire film. The lack of new jokes was probably my biggest issue with the film as it just didn’t seem to know where to go with the jokes and at times it felt like they were just throwing out improvised lines and hoping that they work. The entire film also moves around so much that after a while I felt like I was watching Anchorman 2: The SNL Episode. The film was just all over the place and tried way too hard to be funny and edgy while rehashing moments from the first film in the process.
Another HUGE issue that I had with the film was that it focused way too much on Ron Burgundy this go around. I felt what made the first film work so well was that it was about Ron, Brick, Brian, and Champ. While the team did have some great moments here and there, the vast majority of the film wasn’t focused on them which lead to some really random Ron Burgundy story lines that I felt were extremely unnecessary including one where Ron goes blind. That 20 or so minutes of the film was absolutely dreadful minus a random musical number where Ron sings about his pet shark Doby with his family. Its one of those moments that is so freaking random that you can’t help but burst out laughing. The rest of that storyline was just painful to sit through.
As for the team, the moments with Brick, Brian, and Champ together were the best parts of the film in my opinion. I really wish there were more of them. Sadly, Brick who was my favorite character from the first film was really wasted in this film and like a lot of the film, I felt like they tried to make his lines so weird that most people just didn’t get the joke and instead just sat in silence when he was on-screen. He did have a few good moments, but again his character wasn’t nearly as hilarious as it should have been or was in the first film. It also should be noted that the Brick and Chani (Kristen Wiig) love storyline was simply tossed into the film to add another minor and unnecessary storyline that never really added anything to the film. The only thing it added was the fact that the marketing team could advertise that Kristen Wiig is a part of the sequel.
Now, while it seems like I am really ripping on this film, I didn’t hate it. I just liked certain elements about the film. As previously stated, the moments where the gang was together worked well and delivered some laughs. I also loved the whole mocking of 24 hours news and how they tried just reporting anything. I loved the whole thing about “America” ripping on Fox News and the first ever broadcasting of a car chase on the news. The film definitely had its moments were it was humorous and entertaining so it wasn’t a complete disaster, but it just left me wanting more and in all honesty, I expected a lot more from it.
All in all coming at about 2 hours, I think that fans of the original should still go see this, but know before going into it that it isn’t nearly as funny, clever, or original as the first. While its not an awful sequel, it just feels pointless, overly bloated, and uninspired. I personally am shocked by how many solid reviews the film has since the vast majority of people who I saw the film with found said and I quote “it was funny but disappointing.” Bottom line: Anchorman 2 is a decent sequel where you get to see all your favorite characters back in action with jokes that either hit the mark or miss it entirely. It’s not the worst sequel to come out of Hollywood, but it isn’t the best either.
MovieManMenzel’s final grade for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a 5.5 out of 10.