US Release Date: 12-18-2013
Directed by: Adam McKay
- Will Ferrell, as
- Ron Burgundy
- Steve Carell, as
- Brick Tamland
- Paul Rudd, as
- Brian Fantana
- David Koechner, as
- Champ Kind
- Christina Applegate, as
- Veronica Corningstone
- Meagan Good, as
- Linda Jackson
- James Marsden, as
- Jack Lime
- Josh Lawson, as
- Kench Allenby
- Kristen Wiig, as
- Dylan Baker, as
- Freddie Shapp
- Judah Nelson, as
- Walter Burgundy
- Steve Coulter, as
- Harrison Ford, as
- Mack Tannen
- Vince Vaughn, as
- Wes Mantooth
- Will Smith, as
- an ESPN anchor
- Jim Carrey, as
- CBC News anchor
- Marion Cotillard, as
- CBC News anchor
- Sacha Baron Cohen, as
- BBC News reporter
- Drake, as
- Ron Burgundy fan
- Kirsten Dunst, as
- El Trousias, Maiden of the Clouds
- Tina Fey, as
- leader of the Entertainment Tonight news team
- Amy Poehler, as
- leader of the Entertainment Tonight news team
- Liam Neeson, as
- History Channel reporter
- John C. Reilly, as
- Stonewall Jackson's Ghost
- Kanye West as
- an MTV News correspondent
David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell return in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
When it comes to sequels, some can surprise you by being different, while others simply feel like inferior retreads of the original. Anchorman 2 manages to surprise because while it's more of the same type of humor as in the original, it doesn't feel inferior at all. After nearly a decade away, Ron Burgundy and his news team are still just as funny as ever.
Co-written by director Adam McKay and star Will Ferrell and undoubtedly partly improvised by the stellar cast, the script is as filled with quotable dialogue as the original was. Featuring these and many other gems.
"When you've got an ass like the North Star, wise men are going to follow it."
"Who the hell is Julius Caesar? You know I don't follow the NBA."
"Suicide makes you hungry, I don’t care what anybody says."
"It doesn't matter who's fault the break-up was, I was stubborn, you were like a mentally ill whore from the 1800's."
"Is that your foot between my legs? Oh, sorry, it was my hand."
The plot, what there is of it, is really only there to give a loose structure to a series of comic vignettes. When the movie opens Ron and his wife Veronica are married with a son and living in New York City. Shortly though, Ron is fired from their co-anchor job and the couple split up. After a drunken spiral, Ron makes a comeback as an anchor for GNN, the first 24 hour news network, based quite obviously on CNN. He reassembles the old news team and they become national stars, but success goes to Ron's head and trouble ensues. There's a small subplot that makes fun of the way the news has become an entertainment program more concerned with ratings than hard news, but this isn't a movie to be taken seriously.
There are many hilarious scenes and plenty of famous faces pop up in cameo appearances. This is particularly true in the gang fight between news teams that takes place near the film's climax. It mirrors a scene from the first film, but then takes it to an entirely new level. Given the level of stars who appear, it seems that Ferrell and McKay had their pick of actors to choose from. One of the film's funniest scenes is also its most politically incorrect when Ron meets the family of his new black girlfriend.
Although this is Ferrell's movie, once again the supporting cast manages to steal a few scenes. Carell being the chief thief as the dim-witted weatherman Brick Tamland. David Koechner also gets quite a few laughs as the politically incorrect sports guy, Champ. A random quote of his, "I believe in two things: Chicken, and that the census is a way for the UN to make your children gay."
At nearly 2 hours, the film does run a little long for a comedy. There are a few scenes that could have been trimmed to create a tighter edit, but that's just nitpicking and does little to hamper the humor. This also means though, that it will take a couple of viewings to pick up on all the little details as well as memorize all the dialogue.
One thing that isn't surprising about this movie is that if you enjoyed the first one then you will undoubtedly enjoy this one and likewise if you disliked the first then this one won't change your mind. I for one am already looking forward to seeing it again.
Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
I am not nearly the Will Ferrell fan that Scott is. I do not enjoy the way he sometimes drags out jokes. The “chicken of the cave” scene comes to mind. Other times I think he misses the mark completely. The entire shark plot line is neither funny nor interesting. However, as Scott already mentioned, there are some good lines here. The one that best sums up this character is, "I'm going to do the thing that God put Ron Burgundy on this Earth to do, have salon-quality hair and read the news."
The first Anchorman film took a brief shot at the arrogant men who sit behind a news desk and read what others write for them. Scott mentioned a small subplot here that makes fun of news as entertainment. It also makes an even better commentary on how news channels and shows are biased based on their owners filtering the news to fit their needs or opinions.
I like those types of commentaries but this film is going more for the absurd than the cerebral. “Son, I fought a Minotaur to be here.” He yells to his son just after the rumble in the park that involves the mythological beast, a soul sucking ghost and a jet fighter strafing the park.
When Ron first meets his female boss, he discovers that she is African American and he feels compelled to repeat the word, “Black.” over and over again. Then there is the offensive scene where Ron has dinner at her family’s home and racially insults them all. As politically incorrect as this film is, it did not include a scene that was featured in the trailer where the main characters think being gay is the same as being a vampire. Being politically incorrect is a Ron Burgundy staple. He is sexist, racist and, at least in the commercials, a homophobe. We do not hold those things against him because he is such a complete dumbass and lives nowhere near reality.
Not all of the jokes work but there are so many that enough of the decent ones make up for the bad ones. I wish there would have been less ridiculousness and more politically incorrect jokes and commentary on what constitutes news. We live in a world where more people Google search Kim Kardashian than information on presidential candidates. Maybe this film is not so far from reality after all.
Drake as a Ron Burgundy fan in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a sublime work of art, filled with scintillating dialogue, hilariously witty jokes, and Oscar caliber performances by the entire cast. Rarely have I witnessed such pure genius at work as Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy. April Fools.
Truth be told, I'm even less of a Will Ferrell fan than Eric is. I didn't really enjoy the first movie and this one has even less to offer for anyone who doesn't appreciate a series of mildly offensive gags in the place of an actual plot. Both movies take a situation that is ripe for spoofing but dumb it down to the lowest common denominator in the name of cheap laughs.
As my brothers both mentioned, a few halfhearted attempts are made at satirizing the ways in which the 24 hour news channel has brought about the downfall of legitimate news programs and paved the way for sensationalist stories and reality television. But this is Judd Apatow so shock humor quickly trumps anything with an intellectual bite to it.
I find some humor that pokes fun at politically correct speech funny but it has to be clever at the same time. Simply repeating the word “black” over and over definitely doesn't qualify. The scene where Ron insults his boss's family over dinner is a bit more funny. I did laugh when he said, “Which one of you pipe hittin bitches can pass the salt?”
I have no idea why people find Steve Carell's weatherman funny. He is too stupid to live. The big climactic battle in Madison Square Park was enjoyable if only for the number of big name stars that pop up in cameos. John C. Reilly steals the scene as Stonewall Jackson's Ghost.
At 2 hours this is definitely a bit long for a comedy and now an even longer version is being released to theaters. Thanks, but no thanks. I take some comfort in the words of director Adam McKay. He told Empire magazine in February of 2014, “No Anchorman 3.” I only hope he's a man of his word.
Photos © Copyright Paramount Pictures (2013)