Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - You Stay Classy

About ten years ago we were right in the middle of the really weird comedy phase in movies. I’m talking about the insanely wacky ones, Zoolander, Dodgeball and of course 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. With a slew of gross-out comedies taking over a decade down the line, you might be a little concerned that Anchorman 2 boils down to little more than fart jokes, disgusting slapstick and body humour.

So with the 70s behind them and estranged from his wife and son after Harrison Ford fires him, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is hunted to take part in the first 24 hour news network. After roping in the old news gang Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and the rather slow but lovable Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), they head off to New York to once again make a name for themselves.
The main cast are all up to scratch thankfully, with Ferrell dishing up many of the brash, egotistical one-liners and gags we’ve all come to expect. Rudd and Koechner continue to be stellar as their horribly insensitive misogynists. Brick still manages to be as oddly hilarious and charming as before, even if he seems to be constrained by a sub-plot involving what seems to be a female version of him (Kristen Wiig) that adds up to pretty much nothing.
The same could be said about the movie itself in general. Although it was less obvious in the first one, it was clear that it had some pacing issues. The problem with Anchorman 2 is that because everything is louder, bigger, brasher the problems are more apparent. There are dips in the script, a few patches of confusion and pointless events in the plot. Most of them either don’t seem to add anything to the film or are stretched out until breaking point so that the laughs are few and far between. Not only that, but they contain a large amount of predictability.
That said, these are a few sole points. Mostly, the film works. It’s consistently funny, the jokes don’t seem to have worn thin and the novelty of the characters hasn’t worn off yet as many people speculated. The film manages to constantly entertain and evoke laughter, whether it’s small chuckles at the main cast reading the news or huge roaring set-pieces that have you doubled over for minutes at a time.
The film does a pretty good job of not recycling the exact same content as the first one. There’s no The Hangover Part 2 issue where it is just the exact same movie just louder and shoutier (although quite a lot of the jokes in Anchorman 2 are basically people shouting). No, Adam McKay (director of the original) manages to make everything fresh and insane enough for you not to wish you were watching the original. The film does hark lovingly back to the original, doing so in spectacular fashion, from news-room fights to anchorman battles and cameos in huge and fantastic supply. There’s a sense of fond remembrance that doesn’t linger too long.
While the movie definitely trips over it’s over insanity and general nonsensical nature, for the most part Anchorman 2 is a boisterous and funny ride. The characters haven’t soured after almost a decade and there are enough well-timed references for fans, just to let you know they’re not completely finished yet.

I give Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues 3.5 stars out of 5