Viewers of the first Anchorman movie understand why Ron Burgundy is “kind of a big deal.”
Back in the summer of 2004, Will Ferrell introduced us to one of his most popular characters, the chauvinist San Diego anchorman Ron Burgundy.
Well, after a long, nearly 10-year break since the first movie, Burgundy is back in a new setting — the Big Apple. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues picks things up with Ron (Ferrell) and his lovely wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), who are married and co-anchoring the national news in NYC.
When Veronica gets a promotion and Ron gets fired, things come tumbling down for Ron. His marriage crumbles and he ends up back in his hometown of San Diego unhappily working at Sea World.
However, it’s 1980 and Australian multi-millionaire Kench Allenby (Josh Lawson) is about to launch the world’s first 24-hour cable news network.
Ron’s been tapped to work for GNN (Global News Network) and gladly accepts. He reunites with his San Diego news buddies who had moved on to other careers, including sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner), reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and dim-witted weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).
There’s some funny stuff at GNN from Ron’s bewilderment at his black female boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) to a rivalry with another anchor, Jack Lime (Jason Marsden). And there’s plenty of knocks at the idea of 24-hour news and the shift from real news to infotainment.
Fittingly, since Steve Carell is a much bigger star now than he was 10 years ago, Brick’s role has been expanded. This was a welcome change for me, as I think Brick’s random comments (i.e. “I love lamp”) made for some pretty funny moments in the first movie. This time, he gets a love interest, the similarly dim Chani (Kristen Wiig), who also works at GNN.
There is a ridiculous side plot with Ron once again leaving NYC in the middle of the movie that makes things start to feel long. It was really just too dumb for me, even knowing the movie is known for dumb humor. I found myself becoming restless and disinterested toward the end (basically after the hilarious scene that’s chock full of cameos). Directed by Adam McKay and co-written by McKay and Ferrell, maybe they should have chopped the script down to 90 minutes as opposed to stretching things to two hours.
Unfortunately, there was not enough of Christina Applegate. The banter between Ron and Veronica in the first movie made for some of the funniest and most quotable moments. That is sadly missing this time.
Anchorman is still funny after repeated viewings. I’m not if the same will be true for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. That said, fans of the first movie will find a lot to enjoy about Anchorman 2. Yes, it’s somewhat of a rehashing of the first movie. And no, it’s not really quotable, but the actors, Ferrell in particular, do a great job. Ferrell’s shtick can be really hit-or-miss, but this time it’s a hit. ••
Movie Grade: B+