Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Review

rating: 3.5

It€™s been nearly ten years since Ron Burgandy and his majestic hair first graced our screens in the now cult classic Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy. Eminently quotable and utterly ridiculous it was a collection of absurd comedic moments pieced together into a semblance of a plot. The film meandered off on ludicrous tangents and, really, this didn€™t matter, because the it was so damn funny. Unfortunately, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues fails to strike the same chord. Despite being only twenty minutes longer than the original, the second film feels unwieldy. There are whole sections that feel completely unnecessary €“ why the hell we needed the section in the lighthouse escapes me somewhat (you'll see what I mean). Detouring for good gags I can understand, but when you create a twenty minute plot strand based around hand-feeding a shark, you might be stretching the idea a bit thin. Meanwhile, other jokes seem old, such as the introduction of Linda Jackson (Megan Good) as Burgandy€™s new boss €“ the scene is a direct rip-off of the €˜moley, moley€™ gag in Austin Powers but using the word €˜black€™. It€™s a shame because for the most part Anchorman 2 is very, very funny. There€™s more than enough great material there to fill a 90 minute film. The plot (so far as it goes) picks up ten years after Anchorman left off. Ron (Will Ferrell) and his now-wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are happy co-anchors until Veronica is promoted and Ron is fired. Leaving his wife and son, Ron has a bit of a nervous breakdown at SeaWorld before being offered a new job with GNN. Burgandy and his news-team head to New York to start the first ever 24-hour news channel and change the course of broadcast history forever.
The opening of the film proves that director Adam McKay can do plot-driven comedy - the story thunders along, trying to get through the opening gambits as quickly as possible, with some cracking gags thrown in (look out for the sponsor message from BP). It€™s only when Burgandy gets to New York that the whole thing begins to get mired in set-pieces that don€™t quite tie in. Despite this, there are some fantastic moments and some stand-out performances. The old-guard are back in force €“ Farrell is typically ridiculous as Burgandy. All your favourite moments from Anchorman are revisited, so expect to see Baxter, jazz flute, vocal warm-ups and sychronised jumps for joy. There are some good new moments as well, especially Linda Jackson€™s aggressive seduction of Ron complete with disturbingly accurate animal noises. Meanwhile, Paul Rudd€™s reintroduction as Brian Fantana, who€™s been making a living out of photographing pussies, is a wonderfully silly moment. And the return of sex panther is not to be missed€ However, perhaps one of the best things in the film is Steve Carell as Brick Tamland. In a moment of pure comedic genius, Brick is pushed way out of his comfort zone with the introduction of love-interest Chani, perfectly portrayed by Kristen Wiig. How Wiig and Carell got through their scenes without losing it completely is beyond me. However, strangely, these two unlikely characters also manage to have some genuinely touching moments. I€™m embarrassed to admit that I let out an audible €˜aww€™ at one point when Brick stood up for his lady love.
There are also plenty of new characters to enjoy €“ Meagan Good does a fine turn and plays it straight against Burgandy and co. with aplomb. Greg Kinnear as Veronica€™s new lover Gary does a great job with a small amount of screen time, standing out for his terrible mullet and the wonderful reveal about his character at the end. Other new additions are less successful. James Marsden€™s appearance as Jack Lime seems a bit forced €“ the on-going gag about his name is a bit of a bum note and, over all, you can€™t help feeling that McKay only remembers to wheel him out when Ferrell is flagging. Meanwhile, Josh Lawson€™s role as the Aussie owner of GNN comes across as completely superfluous to the proceedings €“ a weird mention of €˜synergy€™ hints at huge amounts of un-used material that may have made his part make sense. Although it drags at points, the ending more than makes up for it €“ the climactic battle really shows off how brilliantly McKay, Ferrell et al can do utter nonsense comedy. The celebrity cameos in this section are relentlessly delightful and, if you haven€™t already seen the IMDB page, I won€™t ruin it for you. However, the ending makes you wish that the rest of the film could have hit the same ludicrous pacing and makes you realise how much better the whole could have been. Anchorman Two Ver2

A recent Film & English graduate living in London. Loves making films, cupcakes and taking long walks on the beach. Also, not a bad writer... Follow me on twitter: @KatieBlagden