Jul 14, 2014

Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is one of those comedies that will always live on as a comedy classic of the 2000's just as movies like Caddyshack or The Naked Gun are comedy classics of the 80's. The 2004 Will Ferrell comedy was unbelievably quotable and packed to the gills with jokes and wacky situations. I watched Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy a lot through my high school years and even though some of the laughs have diminished now, it still holds a special place in my movie memories.

Who exactly would say no to a sequel to Anchorman? It's true that the risks of being unable to match the improvisational energy from the first are there but with the opportunity to see Ron and the gang again is too hard to resist. I was excited myself to hear when Anchorman 2 was in production and read about all the casting tidbits that came out here and there. With a bevy of marketing before the film's release, it's like Ron Burgundy was real and he was everywhere.

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Genre: comedy
Directed by: Adam McKay
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Written by: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Music by: Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau
Running time: 119 minutes
Production company: Apatow Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $50,000,000
Box office: $173,649,015 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Josh Lawson, Kristen Wiig, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Harrison Ford

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Synopsis

 

Seven years after the events of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, happily married Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) have a son and are co-anchors on a national New York news station. Mack Tannen, (Harrison Ford) the lead anchor decides to retire and decides to promote Veronica as lead anchor while also firing Ron for his ineptitude. Jealousy gets the better of Ron and he storms out of their home and finds himself back in San Diego struggling to hold a second rate job at Sea World as a presenter. Things look up when he gets an offer to be an anchor on GNN, the first 24 hour news channel that will be launching soon.

Review

 

So the big question here is, how does the comedy stack up compared to the original Anchorman? Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is like a non-stop stream of joke after joke. In the space of like ten seconds, there may be about three jokes in there. With all that material there's bound to be some jokes that miss and that's true. It almost seems like Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are trying too hard but the thing is, when the jokes work it's absolutely gorgeous. For all the misses that there are, the hits more than make up for them. From the unbelievable cameos which I won't spoil to the ridiculous situations, Anchorman 2 has more than enough genuine laughs to keep it going.

Will Ferrell flips his Ron Burgundy switch into overdrive. He's written some great material with McKay which I'm sure is supplemented by a healthy dose of improv along the way. Paul Rudd and David Koechner in their respective roles are more than a welcome sight but I have to admit that I'm a little bit disappointed with Steve Carell's performance as Brick Tamland. There are a couple times where he shines but a lot of that is ruined by quite a few unfunny moments along with a romantic storyline that is totally unnecessary. That's just my opinion but Brick was better when he wasn't as featured.

Besides the main characters, the secondary characters are also pretty great. James Marsden as Jack Lime is a great antagonist and has lots of great material. With seven years having gone by, there's still lots of stuff to be satired like sexism, racism, synergy, patriotism, the 24-hour news cycle and so on. (Spoilers) Let me also just say that the famous news team fight from the first movie makes another appearance in this sequel. Compared to the original, the fight just goes into insane territory and never looks back. It's ridiculous, it's glorious and I loved every moment of it along with all the great cameos. (End Spoilers)

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is not as good as its predecessor. It's clear though that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell did not fall asleep at the wheel and they put a lot of hard work into making this sequel. There are enough jokes that at least some of them will stick and trust me, they really do stick. There are also plenty of quotable lines for everyone and I couldn't help but have a blast watching Anchorman 2. Being back in Ron Burgundy's world is not something that should be passed up for Anchorman fans. I'm not sure how well it'll stand up to repeat watchings but time will tell. In the meantime, you stay classy San Diego. I'm Ron Burgundy?

Rating


7/10