Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) – Review

3 Stars

Self proclaimed legend Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), the newsman with saloon quality hair, is back in this irreverent follow-up to the instantly quotable cult classic hit of 2004. The laughs aren’t as plentiful or well-timed this outing, but enough of the material work to give this blockbuster sequel a modest recommendation. As with the original, Anchorman 2 is jammed packed with celebrity cameos. It seems like every top-line star of the past two decades drops by for a quickie.

Word comes down from the network brass that Ron is to be fired, while his wife and co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is promoted to a nightly primetime slot. It’s an opportunity that Veronica can’t pass up even when Ron gives her an ultimatum. Dejected and drunk, Burgundy takes a job as the MC at Seaworld’s aquatic show. That is until he shows up intoxicated and attempts to make-out with the dolphin trainers. He is fired once again and at a low-point, in a moment of frustration Ron attempts suicide, only to discover he’s incompetent at that too.

In comes Freddie Shapp who offers the broken-down shell of a man another shot at getting back on the air. The producer wants Burgundy to track down his team and reassemble the group for a newscast on a burgeoning cable news channel that will run continuously. This leads to the reunion of Brian Fontana, Champ Kind and Brick Larson, completing the San Diego news-team now outfitted in New York City.

Opposition arises in the form of a handsome, smooth anchor out of Chicago named Jake Lime (James Marsden). Burgundy’s insecurity towards the slick new generation newscaster leads to work place tension. Resulting in a bet that Ron’s 2a.m. slot can out draw Lime’s primetime telecast. It’s a gamble that pays off and immediately puts Burgundy back in the spotlight and at the pinnacle of his profession.

There are some nice jabs at 24hr news programming stations and the questionable agendas of powerful producers who are looking out for the bottom line. Leading Ron to question the validity of the stories they are presenting to the public. The chauvinistic, aloof pig that garnered chuckles in the original has been replaced by a nicer but equally aloof Burgundy in this sequel. He may no longer be sexiest but his offensive re-enactment of stereotypes and borderline racist remarks while trying to fit in with an African-American family are equally as cringe-inducing and funny.

Anchorman 2 runs on for nearly two hours, losing itself in the second act with an unnecessary plot development that does nothing but sag the middle, before rebounding nicely with an amusing conclusion. I’m sure Farrell and his cohorts Rudd, Carell and David Koechner all relish the characters they’ve personified, but the joke is stretching thin and at its weakest moments Anchorman 2 plays like a bad SNL sketch that won’t quit.

Director: Adam Mckay
Stars: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate

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