Where do I start with a review for a movie that swings between a social satire on how the news industry has become user generated and the fantasy of Ron Burgundy’s crazy life? And crazy/irrational/nonsensical/silly/ludicrous are some words best used to describe this movie. Oh, and “I am Ron Burgundy”. The hype that has been generated by the over-the-top and inventive advertising seems to have paid off. If you loved the first one, you will love this even more.
The story is quite simple. After his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is chosen over him as new executive anchor, Ron is fired. He is then offered a new position and gets his team of miscreants back together – weather man Brick Tamland (Steve CRAZY Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – for a job with America’s first 24 hour News station, the first of its kind. Of course with his ego the inevitable clash of personalities with the channel’s primetime presenter Jack Lime (James Marsden) leads to a competition with hilarious outcomes.
Burgandy being Burgundy challenges Jack Lime to a contest, one that he can only win by making the 4am news slot appealing. What this leads to is the first instance of news being created for viewers, the sort that really doesn’t inform but entertains and titillates (hehehe). This is where the movie skirts around some deeper social issues but never really explores them because, well, Ron Burgundy!
While this is taking place Ron’s wife has broken his heart by shacking up with psychiatrist Gary (Greg Kinnear), someone Ron believes is able to read minds (maybe he is!) This is where the story subscribes to the conventions of most American comedies, the ‘success, inevitable breakdown and then reformation’ routine, but it is this structure and the way it is plays with that convention that will really throw you for a six.
Of course, one of the big things about Anchorman 2 – The Legend Continues is the humour and this sequel doesn’t fail to live up to that. Sure there are a few gags that fall short and a couple that feel like they’ve been used before (but not in the Austin Powers sense) but some were truly hysterical. There are a couple of times where the humour is so awkward you want to gnaw your own fist off and punch yourself in the face with its wet stub though.
One scene in particular, between Ron and his new ‘black’ female boss and another with the totally insane and now in love Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), stand out as very good examples and still make me scratch my wrist. However, I think that’s the point with Anchorman, you are supposed to shudder and feel awkward. It’s like watching someone fluff up their lines when you are at a play or watching Miley Cyrus do, well, anything.
So you basically get more of what the first movie offered, only supersized. While the first film had a few cameos, the sequel goes overboard. I actually could not believe the number and with each new ‘revel’ gasped anew, along with the rest of the audience. In fact the movie takes itself out of the realms of madness and into complete fantasy towards the end, but no spoilers here.
I think Anchorman 2 – The Legend Continues capitalises on the first movie’s impact and instant cult following. It doesn’t veer too far from the crazy path which is a good thing as it’s a familiar kind of batshit crazy. It does however sometimes feel a bit repetitive in what it is offering, some regurgitated jokes and lines that feel like they were picked up off the cutting room floor of the first movie make some scenes stale and slightly boring. I really enjoyed it though. The scenes where Ron falls into a depression because… No, I won’t say why, I’ll leave that for you to find out. Just make sure that you empty your bladder before you sit to down to watch it.
Last Updated: February 12, 2014