‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ a suitable, if uninspired sequel
Is it surprising to anyone that “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is simply adequate? Because honestly, did the smash 2004 comedic hit “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (read the review here) need a sequel? I guess that’s like asking if people like watching car chases on the news…
Either way, here it is. Take it or leave it. Which is exactly how our star character, an indispensably chaotic Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, lives his life. His wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) promoted at work while he’s fired? NBD. He’ll just get a new job in the Big Apple. (Did you know New York City got that nickname because there’s an apple tree on every corner? Because the more you know!) Nightly news not enough enough for the world? Ron can fill up a 24-hour news cycle with enough cute animal segments and crack cocaine testing to warm even the coldest cockles of your heart.
When it comes right down to it, no, this sequel wasn’t necessary in any sense of the word. But it wasn’t terrible, either. Whether you want to thank the clever marketing or the endless idiocy, that’s up to you. Ron, and I guess myself, don’t much care.
Director Adam McKay’s story — if that’s the right word — takes “convolution” to a whole new level. Written by McKay and Ferrell, we follow San Diego’s finest new team Ron and wife Veronica as they fight, make up, bicker, reunite and enter the world of 24-hour news. Most will welcome the return of Ron with open arms, thanks in large part to Ferrell’s manic, excessive, in-your-face performance that once again serves as the glue to this taped-together mess.
Six months after Ron’s fall from grace, a producer (Dylan Baker) from a newborn 24-hour cable network comes up to Ron with an offer for him and his team to man a part of the cycle. The film then spends some serious time collecting Ron’s friends: mustachioed investigative journalist Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd); witless sports anchor Champ Kind (David Koechner); and idiotic weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell).
A quick note of admiration: The satirical edge in “A2” is surprisingly witty, taking a huge swipe at the thinly disguised Rupert Murdoch clone Allenby (Josh Lawson). It’s a critical take of corporate interference in the world of news. Why would a news organization report any damning about its parent company? Hmm…
Other than that, we return to business as usual. You’re going to laugh. A lot. From sharks to racial shenanigans to newsroom brawls like you’ve never seen, you’re in for a comedic treat from the start. However, as in the first movie, most of the antics simply seem to stem from Ferrell. Other cast members, including a fantastic Kristen Wiig and Rudd and the always humorous Carell, have the less-than-enviable jobs of trying to feed energy into the Ferrell machine.
In the end, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” feels perfunctory. But I will admit the all-star celebrity smack-down is worth admission alone. But this sequel, unlike Ron himself, feels comfortably familiar, and when you watch “Anchorman,” who wants to be comfortable?
Three San Diego stars out of five.