Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was kind of a big deal, and is personally one of my favourite comedies, a film labelled as “absolutely hilarious” and loved by many; you could say it’s a film loved more than Ron loves scotch and Brick loves lamp. When I heard news that there was going to a sequel nearly a decade later, I was at the same time excited but nervous at the thought that it would bring shame to its great original. However full of casual racism, silly humour, big bushy moustaches, even more news reading and of course salon-quality hair, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues doesn’t disappoint. The writing is hilarious with the story being enjoyable and fun despite it feeling slightly lazy, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell produce brilliant performances once again, whilst a handful of cameo all-stars provide great laughter and surprise. Anchorman 2 may not be as successful as its prequel however it is certainly a memorable comedy.
Things have changed since Anchorman (2004), Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is now living the higher life away from his beloved San Diego, in New York City alongside his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), and the pair now even has a son, Walter Burgundy. However, when their boss decides to promote Corningstone to become the first ever full-time lead female anchor and fire Ron, times a’change once more. Now working part-time at sea-world Ron, away from his wife and son seems to be washed-up once more, however his shot at redemption comes in the form of Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker), the executive behind Global News Network, the world’s first ever twenty-four hour, around the clock news channel. Ron is hired, and he proceeds to hunt down and reunite his old gang and news team of Champ, Brick and Brian (David Koechner, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd). Ron and his news team are back behind the news desk once again however given the graveyard shift and a challenge to get ratings, Ron creates a radical plan to transform news and put him back as the number one news reader once again. But will Ron and Veronica ever get back together, with Ron becoming a dad again, and will Brick finally grow up and find his true love, are some of the battles the Global News Network team have to accomplish.
Anchorman 2 follows the same narrative as its previous instalment with the feud between Ron and Veronica leaving Ron jobless and in a tough position, meaning he has to fight once more to become the legend he previously was. I see this as lazy writing, with even simple plots being copied once more with the introduction of another news team war and a pet shark; however it creates the same feel and consequently the same great humour so my criticism is also slightly positive.
The laughs in Anchorman 2 are as expected, always present. Ron once more is foolish, arrogant but mightily hilarious, whilst Brick keeps his place as one of the funniest characters ever created. With the news team reunited and on the way to New York, there’s a scene which is hilarious as their van crashes and the team fly about mid-air in the van along with the beloved Baxter. Brick likewise to his character in Anchorman has a handful of gut-busting quotes, my favourite – “A black man used to follow me around”, “Brick that’s your shadow”. Even the other characters seem to produce big-laughs; Paul Rudd’s Brain Fantana goes through his cupboard of magical condoms, whilst Chuck talks about the “chicken of the cave” in his new food-chain restaurant. Anchorman 2 is a great comedy however it isn’t quite a classic like its prequel, with something seeming missing.
The acting was great; of course the two stand-outs for me were Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Ferrell brought Burgundy back to life with real style, with his arrogant humour and salon quality hair. However Carell was better than before, I was pleased to see him even getting his own story as he kindles up a love with a fellow awkward and dim colleague, which sees them go on a date to get a drink from a soda-vending machine. When we first see Brick again it was hilarious and really made me laugh. Just like Anchorman, The Legend Continues produces an iconic news team war which sees half a dozen all-star cameos, without giving all the names away we see a very animated Kanye West and an even hairier Harrison Ford.
I did find myself laughing throughout this film, but as I have said I didn’t find it as successful as its original. The story seemed too similar and that took away some laughs and enjoyment, whilst I found it slightly un-progressive at times with the story seeming to go round and round in circles. Anchorman 2 also seemed to push a lot of boundaries with its humour which seemed too forced and obvious at times, whilst before I viewed it as refreshing and inventive.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t as legendary as its previous original however for me it was a hilarious, funny and great comedy which doesn’t shame its name whatsoever. Brilliant characters and brilliant acting create laugh after laugh, whilst there are a few very iconic scenes with some very iconic faces, with even a equally fun and lovable 70’s style soundtrack. It is easy to watch and even easier to enjoy with some familiar but decent writing from director and star Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. Anchorman 2 is a must-watch comedy, and should be regarded as the stand-out comedy of 2013. “Oh for the love of fresh nipple cream, this is great”