REVIEW: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

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I’ve never shared in the enthusiasm or admiration for “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”. The 2004 comedy was a box office success but it gained most of its following in the subsequent years. To my surprise the film has a legion of devoted fans who adore these characters and can quote line after line. For me the first “Anchorman” film had its moments but ultimately it milked its gimmick dry and it grew old fast.

Surprisingly it took almost 10 years for a second installment to hit theaters. That’s unheard of in this modern movie era of churning out cash grab sequels by the gross. This time around we get more of the same familiar gimmick, many of the same gags, and the same wild sporadic storytelling. This is probably good news for fans of the first film, but for me it was another mediocre experience with even less laughs than the first movie. To make matters worse it’s almost 30 minutes longer making it a grinding endurance test for those not smitten with its humor.

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Seven years have passed since the events of the first film. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married and living in New York City. Both are successful co-anchors at a popular local news station, at least until Veronica is offered a prominent evening news position and Ron is fired. Ron’s ego takes over and he gives her an ultimatum – the job or him. The couple separate and Ron takes up petty jobs and heavy drinking.

But opportunity knocks when Ron is approached by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker). He offers Ron a job at the first ever 24-hour news network. Ron searches out his old news team of Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell). The four get back to work and turn things upside down with their barrage of juvenile, racist, and sexist stupidity. Some of these moments do provide some good laughs. But honestly there are so many back-to-back jokes that some were bound to land. Eventually they all but disappear and the movie seems to repeat variations of the same gags over and over and over and over.

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Ferrell is certainly comfortable playing Burgundy and he has never been ashamed to make himself look ridiculous in order to get a laugh. Often times it’s the sheer earnestness of his idiocy that is the most effective. But after a while I just wanted him to go away. Rudd and Koechner are the same – funny for a spell but then they sputter. My personal favorite character is Steve Carrell’s Brick. He’s a lovable imbecile whose humor mainly consists of spontaneous statements that make no sense whatsoever. Carrell is so good in the role but even he eventually becomes repetitive and tiresome.

“Anchorman 2” has the expected surprise cameos (most of them crammed within one small sequence) and a couple of intentionally absurd musical numbers. None of these can save this overly long and monotonous sequel. Eventually I had had enough of the toilet humor, body part gags, and rehashed jokes. Ferrell and frequent collaborator Adam McKay have had plenty of success putting things like this together and this film certainly registered with the “Anchorman” faithful. Personally I wouldn’t be sad if I never saw Ron Burgundy again.

VERDICT – 2 STARS

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28 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

  1. Oh dear. Not a glowing review! I’m one of the many that enjoyed Anchorman but I still agree with your points here; this was way too long and self-indulgent, and repeated too many old jokes. I do like the fact that Carell finished making Foxcatcher and immediately began work on Anchorman 2 though.

    • Many, many people love this thing but it really wore on me. I’ll be honest Carell was my favorite thing about it. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t expecting much from to begin with, so I can’t say I’m surprised by my reaction.

  2. I was pretty disappointed in this. Achorman is one of my favorite comedies. I didn’t expect this one to come close, but I thought it would be better. It still had it’s good moments.

  3. No enthusiasm for Anchorman, One or Two? Well knock me over with a feather, there are other people who see the same thing I do. I don’t hate the movie but the first one left me flat. Everyone else seems to worship it, and I never got it. I am done with Will Ferrell and his screaming. I could not be prodded to watch the second one with a sharp stick at my back.

    • Wow, I’m not alone? I never understood the lofty status of the first movie. Granted, it did have its moments, but it also had plenty of flaws. This one is more of the same except it never ends.

  4. I hear you, brother. I wasn’t a fan of the first either and even though I have a copy of this one, it’s just been lying gathering dust. I doubt I’ll ever get around to it. Tired old humour that never worked in the first place.

  5. Hey Keith! Y’know, I enjoyed Anchorman but it wasn’t like the greatest comedy ever made or anything. I still haven’t seen this sequel yet, I just have a feeling it’d be worse than the first anyway. I love Brick too, but I think that’s because I LOVE Steve Carell. Like you, I’m not a huge fan of Ferrell either, the only movie I REALLY like him in is Stranger Than Fiction as he’s not as unhinged as he usually is.

    • Hey Ruth! I think the only Ferrell movie I like is Elf. But it is such a specific film. He just isn’t that funny to me. He was good in The Lego Movie but those were two very different roles.

      • Oh yeah he’s good in the LEGO movie, but the star was definitely Pratt as Emmet. I actually love Good Cop/Bad Cop and LEGO Batman more than Ferrell in that.

  6. I feel the same way about the Anchorman movies. The first one had some funny moments, this one was pretty terrible, and I have an unexplainable dislike for Will Ferrell. Every movie he’s in just turns me off.

  7. A bit of genius writing here [or maybe a happy accident ;)] : โ€œAnchorman 2โ€ณ has the expected surprise cameos. . .” — this was one example of why it’s dangerous to do sequels to these things. You end up reaching back for the book of good-old-jokes that once worked. I did enjoy this sequel but inasmuch as I was a die-hard fan of the original. It’s my kind of humor for sure.

    Sorry you had to suffer through another dose buddy! Lol!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • It’s funny, I really like absurd humor. I mean Napoleon Dynamite is one of my favorite comedies of the last 20 years. But the Anchorman flicks just don’t work for me. Strange.

      • I get you though, there’s a certain sense of self-aggrandizement that Ferrell likes to tap into and really, if you’ve seen one Ferrell character/comedy, you kind of have seen them all. I think he’s one clear example of how great the discussion of film is. For the same reasons I see people hating him, I do like what he does. He makes ridiculous sketches of routine situations/settings. To reiterate, I def didn’t like this one as much as I liked the original.

  8. Nice review. I actually found Anchorman 2 to be quite enjoyable so I watched the original again and liked it far better than I did beforehand. It does feel pretty overstuffed with gags and cameos though.

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