Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd etc.
2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is widely regarded as one of the most popular comedy films of the last ten years, and so when in 2012 a long-awaited sequel was finally announced, there was a lot of excitement surrounding its release. This ultimately came about in December 2013, and on the weekend, in a much-appreciated trip to the cinema, I went with my girlfriend to see Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. We’re both fans of the original, and while there was a little apprehension (on my part at least) that it would be unworthy it was the anticipation of a good laugh that was the overriding feeling. Spoiler alert: we weren’t disappointed.
Anchorman 2 finds Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) as a successful anchor-couple for a high-profile news network in New York City, until Veronica is offered the nightly news alone and Ron fired by outgoing news legend Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford). Ron, unable to accept his wife’s success, abandons her and his young son before spiralling into depression and alcoholism in his native San Diego. He is offered a chance to join the revolutionary 24-hour news channel, which he accepts having rounded up his old news team of suave reporter Brian Fantana (Rudd), ignorant sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner) and unique weatherman Brick Tamland (Carell). At the new network, Ron and his team are handed the graveyard slot by boss Linda (Meagan Good) and strike up a rivalry with classy anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden) while Ron tries to win back his wife from new “psychic” boyfriend Gary (Greg Kinnear). The team devise an ingenious plan to boost ratings with popular stories about cats, cars and America while Brick strikes up a relationship with fellow oddball Chani (Kristen Wiig). At the height of his popularity, Ron alienates his friends before becoming blind and moving to a lighthouse where he reconnects with his wife and son before regaining his sight and returning to news. While on his way to his son’s piano recital, proving his worth as a father, Ron and the team are caught up in an epic newsteam battle including reporters from ESPN (Will Smith et al), CBC (Jim Carrey, Marion Cotillard et al), the BBC (Sacha Baron Cohen et al), the History Channel (Liam Neeson et al), Entertainment Tonight (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler et al) and MTV News (Kanye West et al). Ron is rescued by his old San Diego rival Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn), with a little help from Gary’s psychic powers and Brick’s gun from the future. The film ends, but not before Brick and Chani marry and Ron is saved from a shark by his faithful dog Baxter.
So in the end my fears were almost totally unfounded, and The Legend Continues was a very funny watch. The original cast remain dependably amusing (with a special mention to Steve Carell) while new additions such as Kristen Wiig and Greg Kinnear provide their fair share of laughs. Although of course some of the plot is a little questionable, the outrageous nature of some of the humour as well as a ridiculous, unexpected series of cameos towards the end more than make up for this. It’s not winning any serious awards, but it’s a seriously funny film if you like the kind of base humour characterised by the first film (and most Will Ferrell movies, to be honest). It’s an entirely worthy sequel to 2004’s blockbuster, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
My Rating: 7.5/10