Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Ladies, gentlemen, and all those who like to “stay classy”, Ron Burgundy and his merry band of news reporters are back in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Adam McKay is back in the director’s seat working with his good friend Will Ferrell on a concept first brought to us back in 2004 (almost a decade ago people!). With the huge success that was the original, it is a wonder it took this long to get the gang back together. But, as the old adage says, “good things come to those who wait”, and we have waited patiently. But is the sequel on par with the original?
Anchorman 2 takes place a few years after the original. The time is now the early 1980’s and Ron is working alongside his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) in New York. However, when Veronica lands the first female anchor spot, Ron leaves in a fit of jealousy. After some severe depression, Ron is recruited to work the graveyard shift of a new network which broadcasts news 24 hours a day. So he gets the team back together, consisting of Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), as they are all involved in their own ventures, and they attempt to make broadcast history again at the GNN network. This time, Ron has a rival at the station, must compete against Veronica, and suffer through other health malignancies along the way.
Considering the comedic genius and improvisatory talents of this cast, it is no surprise that the laughs abound. From the opening moments with Ron doing vocal warm-ups with phrases like “bat mitzvah” and “foot rub”, the pace is off and running. But much of the humor lends itself towards the slapstick side, perfectly displayed when the RV the four men are riding in crash and we see a slow motion capture of the carnage happening inside the hull of the RV as it flips and rolls. Of course you know things are going to be bad once you see the cargo being carried (as I’m sure most have seen in the trailers for the film). One of the things that made the first film so memorable was the brawl scene with the plethora of cameos. Well, sigh of relief, another scene in that fashion is back with plenty of new cameos, scaled up, and residing on the epic level. And while the comedy is high, there are other times which make you cringe, particularly at a dinner scene with Ron, his boss and his bosses family.
And while we know what to expect with the Anchorman comedy, it doesn’t always work. Many of the scenes involving Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig, who plays an employee at GNN, feel completely out of place and stagnant. And while each of the actors are comic geniuses in their own right, the comedy in their scenes, for the most part, doesn’t really work. Then there is a long exposition later in the film after an unfortunate event befalls Ron, which seems to drag far longer than it needed to. And while some scenes can be extended, provided the comedy is working, when the comedy isn’t and the scene goes on, it tends to drag, and the audience goes down with it.
But for all the parts that don’t work, there are twice as many that do, and this helps make Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues a little better than the original. Yes, the sequel is better than the original, you read that right. The actors have grown as artists and as comedians, and with Ferrell, McKay working on the script, and Judd Aptow providing his input while producing the film, it was a formula for #winning. The move comes in at about two hours in length, but when you are laughing most of the time, it doesn’t feel that long at all. So will we have to wait another near decade to see the wacky group of guys together for another Anchorman film? Hopefully not. But, until then, you stay classy everyone.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars