Over the years Anchorman became such a big cult classic that it eventually left the word cult behind and now sits in many peoples head as just a pure classic. Taking into account Hollywood’s love for a sequel, it’s no surprise therefore to see Will Ferrell and Adam McKay return to the news team for a whole new chapter in the tale of Ron Burgundy.
The tale starts with Ron (Will Ferrell) and his wife Victoria Corningstone (Christina Applegate) supposedly riding their careers to the very top in New York. However, when Mark Tannen (Harrison Ford) decides to retire, he offers Victoria his job, but sacks Ron, claiming he is the worst journalist he’s ever seen. All of this leads to Burgundy calling the old team together as they make the jump to GNN, the first 24 hour news station. When here Burgundy and co discover that what the American public really want is car chases, stories about how awesome America is and cute animals. In doing so he changes what news TV is forever and obviously gets himself into all sorts of trouble.
It’s a convoluted plot with lots of side stories and extras and is really where this film fails. Honestly, it needs a good editor and coming in at a whopping two hours really should be cut down a bit. There are a lot of jokes that fail to hit home and if you took them out you’d end up with a much more streamlined 90 minute film that would achieve it’s goals a lot better.
Saying that, this is still a laugh a minute caper with the news team reprising their roles in a way that only they could. Steve Carrell’s Brick gets by far the most laughs, with his introduction, where he is making a speech at his own funeral, being one of the funniest scenes in the movie. While his romance with Kristen Wigg’s Chani is one of the few side plots that actually feels like it deserves its spot. All the old set pieces are back, although the fight scene doesn’t quite live up to the brilliance of the original, but is saved by a selection of cameos and a Minotaur.
Will Ferrell’s Burgundy is still the star of the film and his complete inability to live in a more PC age is at times cringe worthy but hits more often than it fails. Although sub-plots about him struggling to deal with having a black boss are nothing new or original, they provide enough laughs to never quite fail.
I can’t see Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues holding quite the same place in fans hearts as the original, but it still has to be seen as a success. The audience I saw it with laughed throughout and if they can release a cut version of it on DVD I think it would make it a much superior film. All in all though, while this isn’t one of the films of the year or even one of the funniest it is an enjoyable romp and you shouldn’t be left too disappointed.