PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
Several years after the events of the first film, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are married and are both co-anchors for a prestigious news network in New York City. One day, Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford), the most famous nightly news anchor in New York, reveals that he is retiring. He intends to promote Veronica, making her the first female nightly news anchor in the history of television, and to fire Ron due to his continuously sloppy performance on air. Ron grows jealous of Veronica’s success and storms out of the house, leaving Veronica and his six-year-old son Walter (Judah Nelson).
Six months later, Ron is back in San Diego, but barely able to hold a job due to his depression. After being fired from Sea World and botching a suicide attempt, Ron accepts a job with GNN (Global News Network), the world’s first 24 hour news network, for GNN’s official launch. He reassembles his news team, finding Champ Kind (David Koechner), who owns a fried chicken store (that sells bats secretly to cut down on costs), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), now a famous cat photographer, and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), who is presumed dead but appears at his own funeral. They are assigned the unpopular late night timeslot while rival reporter Jack Lime (James Marsden) is put in a primetime slot. Meanwhile, Ron finds that Veronica is dating another man, a psychiatrist named Gary (Greg Kinnear) due to his absence.
As GNN launches, Ron decides to broadcast what the people want to hear, rather than what they need to hear, and devise a sensationalist and attention grabbing newscast. Their new approach to news proves to be a massive hit, beating Lime in ratings by a massive margin, and the other news networks begin to scramble to emulate them. Ron and his team are then promoted to primetime, where they enjoy much fame and fortune. Meanwhile, Ron catches the attention of GNN’s manager, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) and they begin dating. Brick also meets a similarly eccentric GNN office worker named Chani (Kristen Wiig) and immediately falls in love. Ron begins to let his newfound fame get to his head, and he begins to neglect his parental obligations to Walter, angering Veronica. He also alienates Brian, Champ, and Brick. During a party celebrating GNN becoming the highest rated news network in the nation, Lime causes Ron to slip and suffer a head injury, becoming blind.
Unable to read the news, Ron isolates himself, but cannot adjust to living as a blind man. Veronica arrives with Walter, wanting to help Ron overcome his blindness. Ron bonds with his family, and overcomes his disability. Ron and his son rehabilitate a shark, who they name Doby. Ron finds out that Veronica was hiding that his doctor could perform an experimental procedure, leaves angrily, gets his sight restored, and returns to GNN.
Before his comeback, Ron is once again approached by Veronica, who pleads with him to attend Walter’s piano recital, as Walter had composed a piece in honor of Ron. At the same time, an exclusive news story comes in, requiring Ron to cover it. Ron goes to the set, where he proceeds to go on a rant criticizing news networks, including GNN, for focusing on ratings rather than the news and leaves the set, intending to go to Walter’s recital. However, he is intercepted by Jack Lime and the teams from a number of other national news networks, including Tannen, who want to kill him due to his fame. Burgundy’s friends then arrive to defend him and a massive free for all battle ensues. Despite the fighting, Ron manages to reach Walter’s recital in time.
Afterwards, Ron and his friends go to attend Brick and Chani’s wedding on the beach. Ron then sees Doby in the water, and swims out to meet him despite the warnings from his friends and family. Doby then attacks Ron, but he is saved when Baxter swims out and banishes Doby back to sea. Thanking Baxter, Ron swims back to shore where his friends and family are waiting for him.
Sometimes you watch a film that such a joy that you don’t want it to end, but at the same time you feel that if it goes on too long or a sequel is forced upon the viewing public, it will besmirch the feeling you hold for said film. Out of nowhere, the star of said film appears in character on a late night talk show and announces that said sequel is in the works, giving you a feeling of excitement and hesitation at the same time. These are the thoughts I had about Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
What is this about?
The ’70s are over, and the anachronistic Channel 4 news team — including newsman Ron Burgundy and his co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone — tries to stay classy as they reassemble to join New York’s first 24-hour news channel.
What did I like?
The gang’s back together. For a film like this to work, you have to get all or at least most of the cast from the original to return. Without them, the magic just isn’t there. While I don’t doubt Will Ferrell could have made Ron Burgundy work in somewhere like, perhaps Australia, I just don’t think the film would have been as funny without the supporting cast returning from Anchorman.
News. In the world we live in where 24 hour news networks seem to be all the rage, especially in election years, I wonder why no one has really bothered to call them out on the lies and other b.s. that they spew over the airwaves. This film does just that, even going so far as to have them all have a “war” with each other. Pretty much the only thing this film doesn’t manage to do is bring up how politically biased certain networks seem to be, but I won’t get into that hot button topic.
Good. There is some new blood to be had in this film, most notably the addition of tough as nails (and fine as hell) Megan Good. The best way I can describe her character is Pam Grier-esque, but without kicking any ass. It’s all in the attitude, which she has plenty of. A ballbusting, African-American woman in charge of a brand new 24 hour news network in the late 70s. This was unheard of, and I’m glad the film touched on the topic, especially considering these characters views on things, but they didn’t go overboard with anything, even at the dinner. A dinner that could have very well, ended up being more like The Nutty Professor rather than The Cosby Show. Good, pardon the pun, sense prevailed, there and only Ferrell was over the top, which fits this character.
What didn’t I like?
Cameos. Sometimes a good cameo can tip the scales in the right direction for a film, especially if said cameo isn’t spoiled by internet trolls. However, there is a scene near the end of this film that is filled with cameos. The amount doesn’t bother me because had they all be spread out amongst the length of the film, not a word would have been said, but the fact that they were brought in at the last minute and rapid fire introduced to us made no sense, especially since some of these cameos are from some pretty big stars that you would never imagine in a Will Ferrell film!
Dylan. No matter what role I see him in, I always feel a bit sorry for Dylan Baker. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies were building him up to become The Lizard and I believe that the 4th one was going to the one where he became the supervillain, but that was not to be. I see him in this film and, because of the goatee and sunglasses, he is unrecognizable. I appreciate the look he was going for, but why did he have to look like the love child of Jack Nicholson and Peter Dinklage?!?
Shark. In an effort to make Ron Burgundy some sort of human, he has an accident and loses his sight. Yes, it is as random and implausible as it sounds, but remember what movie you’re watching. During, this time, he gets reconnected with his estranged wife and son. They save and baby shark that is caught in a net and nurse it back to health and then it appears in the final scene, but I won’t spoil the ending. The term “jumping the shark” doesn’t apply here, but rather “saving the shark”. Why a shark, of all things?!? I didn’t get it, but I’m not one of these sheep obsesses with sharks (like everyone that drools over “Shark Week” every year).
Final verdict on Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues? Well, it suffers from sequelitis. The jokes that worked in the first have gotten old and the film is searching to find a new voice. Steve Carrell’s character, Brick, has been reduced to nothing but stupid one lines. There is heart to be found here, but you have to search real hard. That being said, there is still plenty to enjoy with this flick, so I do recommend it. I didn’t get the chance to watch the unrated version with all the extras and whatnot, but something tells me that is the version you would want to watch, mush as it is with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Give it a shot sometime!
4 out of 5 stars