Nine years later, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his news team return in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. After getting fired from his anchoring position and splitting up with his wife Veronica (Christina Applegate), a down on his luck Ron Burgundy is recruited by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) to report the news on the new 24-hour Global News Network. Burgundy gathers up his team of reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and travels to New York to broadcast for the new network. There Burgundy finds competition from fellow anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden) and a new romantic interest in his boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), while showing the world that he indeed the best newsman around.
2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is generally considered to be the film that helped kick Will Ferrell’s film career into high gear, following his departure from Saturday Night Live. The film also featured both Paul Rudd and Steve Carell in supporting roles, a couple years before they became stars in their own right. Anchorman is very much a cult film and Anchorman 2 is a film that plays up to that cult status. The film is the very definition of fan service and really only exists to please people who love Ron Burgandy’s random one-liners or Brick Tamland’s absent-minded behaviour.
At its core, Anchorman 2 is working as a satire of 24 hour news channels, with their scrolling headlines and coverage meant more for ratings than integrity. Of course, there are many deviations from this plots, such as an entire section in the second act, which comes off as nothing more than filler. Ron Burgandy also has something of a crisis in the film as he struggles between to desire to report the news and his obligation to be a good father to his seven year old son Walter. I should also make note that, even though it is stated at one point that the film takes place in 1980, all the characters still seem stuck in the 1970s. Perhaps that’s something to expect in the third film.
The humour in Anchorman 2 was very hit or miss for me. For the most part, I wasn’t the most impressed by Will Ferrell’s schtick as Burgandy, which has almost became a parody of itself. There is also one scene, which resorts to bad racial humour, which was more groan worthy than anything else. That said, there will still some moments of the film that I thought were absolutely hilarious. Steve Carrell was on top of his game, returning as Brick Tamland, who has many of the best moments in the film, which involve his courtship of, equally absent-minded, receptionist Chani (Kristen Wiig). There are many gags in Anchorman 2, which are recycled from the first film, which includes a shameless reprisal of the cameo-filled street fight. While I can definitely say that this sequence was a highlight for me, it also comes off as a purposeful attempt to get the crowd to react from the stunt casting, especially since some quite big names appear.
To conclude, even though I thought that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was overall a lesser film than the original, it still had moments of awesome, which is enough for me to give the film a mild pass.7 | FAIR