“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” – Review By Zachary Marsh

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Ok, let’s be honest here: the long awaited sequel to the Will Ferrell classic “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” is kind of a big deal.  It’s been nearly a decade since the first one came out, and it has grown to be a movie that many quote, praise, and laud as one of their all time favorite comedies.  So, of course, screenwriters Adam McKay and Will Ferrell had to live up to a lot if they at least wanted to make a good and funny sequel.  And for the most part, they did exactly that: made a good and funny sequel.  Having said that, it could have been a lot better and a lot funnier than it actually was.  If you were hoping this movie would live up to or even exceed the original, I hate to break it to you, it doesn’t.  As it’s own movie, though, it is solid enough and funny enough to be recommended, especially if you’re able to see it with a huge audience.

Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone are now living happily co-anchoring the news in New York City.  However, Ron got himself fired from the job due to frequent mishaps on set, so the boss of their news company also decides to promote Veronica to lead anchor.  This doesn’t go well between the two, so Ron leaves.  Just as he’s on the verge of killing himself and his dreams, fate comes knocking on his door and gives him the opportunity to be apart of the nation’s first ever 24 hour news network, called the Global News Network.  Bringing his news team along for the adventure, Ron goes to work for the Global News Network in order to possibly change the news game as they knew it.

The biggest problem that this film possesses is the fact that it’s trying to be the bigger and better sequel that audiences wanted to see.  McKay and Ferrell seem like they are trying way too hard to throw in random phrases of dialogue or people getting physically hurt in some matter to get a chuckle out of its audience members.  To be fair, though, they do succeed at telling some pretty hilarious jokes that are scattered throughout the film.  For example, something happens to our hero Ron about half way through the movie that is so stupid and out of place that you can’t help but laugh.  The sequence I felt got a lot funnier when Ron adopts a pet and raises it back to health after it was injured.  Ferrell even manages to sing a song about this pet that I found to be one of the funniest moments in a comedy this year thus far.  As a whole though, the movie is funny for the most part, but I feel the jokes should have been much smarter and less juvenile.

I give props to McKay and Ferrell for assembling a vast majority of the cast back from the first film, making it seem like time hasn’t gone by much.  Some roles are reduced to either cameos or relatively small parts, but nevertheless this movie has many of the characters we’ve known and loved back for seconds.  And, just like the first movie, all of them are funny in their own way.  Ferrell and Carell steal the show as they did in the first movie, and they share some of the funniest moments in the movie.  Paul Rudd and David Koechner, while funny in the movie, are reduced in screen time and aren’t in the movie as much as they were in the first one.

The magic of the first film lied in the chemistry between the four leads in my opinion, so the lack of two band members through the majority of the movie just lost something for me.  However, I will give the film credit for giving Brick a love interest, played superbly by Kristen Wiig.  It’s not even that anyone was bad in the movie.  For example, Dylan Baker and James Marsden are great in the movie, as well as Meagen Good, who plays Ron’s love interest during the film’s first half.  I just personally felt that certain characters could have been in it either more or less than others.  Yes, this even includes Ron Burgundy being in the film a bit too much.  Nevertheless, the cast is great in the movie, and the cameos during the film’s big climactic fight scene are both hilarious and flat out awesome sights to behold.

I saw this movie about two weeks ago and at first was not a huge huge fan of it.  I did like it, but it just let me down and wasn’t the movie I expected an “Anchorman” sequel to be.  As these weeks have passed, though, I have begun to remember some very funny moments in the movie and wonder why I was so harsh on it upon first viewing.  This might not be the year’s funniest comedy by any means, but like “This Is The End” and “Ted” before it, this film gets better once you let it sink it and let your body digest it a little bit.  The cast is hilarious in the film, the script and story are absolutely absurd in the best of ways, and I personally feel that the film does a much better job at being a solid sequel to a hilarious comedy than films like “Wayne’s World 2” and “The Hangover Part II” did when they came out.  So if you want to see an absurd yet highly entertaining sequel to one of the century’s funniest cult comedies, then you might want to stay classy, because Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 News Team are back again and they want your sweet love and money.  And believe me, it’s worth the ticket price.

8/10

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