MOVIE REVIEW – ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

Written by J.T. Johnson

4-stars

DIRECTOR: Adam McKay
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Oliver Wood
WRITERS: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
MUSIC: Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau

Before I start my review of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, I do want to point out that the first film contained a loose narrative with one joke after another. This said narrative was kept alive by Will Ferrell’s great performance and the wonderful supporting actors that appeared throughout making it a modern day comedy classic. The question now is whether or not the long-awaited sequel lives up to the original.

Years after successfully gaining a co-anchor job in New York City, both Ron (Ferrell) and his wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) are called to Mack Tannen’s (Harrison Ford) office. Mack decides that Veronica should be the first female network news anchor. Unfortunately, he fires Ron and the legendary anchor leaves Veronica and his son. Six months later, he is back in San Diego suffering from a deep depression.

Ron is then approached by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker), an agent for a new channel that will play the news 24 hours a day called GNN. Ron accepts and reassembles his original Chanel 4 News Team. After gaining a graveyard slot, Ron and his team decide to sensationalize the news rather than report it in order to gain higher ratings.

This message of the news media fighting for ratings instead of reporting the truth is what sets this movie apart from its predecessor. It was refreshing to see writers Ferrell and director Adam McKay actually providing a little social commentary to the absolutely crazy proceedings. I guess that they decided if they are going to make a movie about a news reporter, they might as well talk about the downfall of the media.

Still, despite the message provided, the most important question of all is whether or not the movie is funny. That answer is a resounding yes. Not all of the jokes work, but 95% of the time, I found myself laughing out loud. The other 5% comes from the few moments that extended the runtime a little too much and caused the film to drag.

Ferrell created one of his central roles when he became Ron Burgundy in 2004. Here, he easily steps back into the famous reporter’s shoes. He may be a little older, but he still has what it takes to make the audience laugh with his unique sense of humor.

Paul Rudd and David Koechner are also just as hilarious as they were in ’04 as Brian Fantana and Champ Kind, respectfully. However, it is Steve Carell as Brick Tamland that steps up his game for this particular movie. Carell is not only the scene stealer every time he enters the frame. In a few cases his mentally challenged character also saves a few of those scenes.

The movie is even more over-the-top than the original. Ferrell and McKay decided that bigger is better this time out. Usually, this can be a trap that actually makes the film inferior. However, here it seems right.

Yes, some of the jokes do miss their mark and there is the aforementioned downtime in the movie’s unusually long runtime. If you were a fan of the original movie, then you will love this sequel. The point of any great comedy is to make the audience laugh above all else. That’s exactly what this movie sets out to do and for the most part, Burgundy and his legendary News Team rise to the occasion.

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