The Legend Continues
Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Meagan Good, James Marsden, Dylan Baker
Rated PG-13 | 119 Minutes
Release Date: December 18, 2013
“By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!”
2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is, without question, one of the funniest comedies of all time. If it were a hiney, it would be absolutely breathtaking.
With absurd, quote-worthy dialogue and hyper-masculine, mustachioed man-children, Adam Mckay and Will Ferrell‘s 2004 film is a cult classic.
In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the Dynamic Duo of Dick Jokes™ have made a sequel so batshit crazy, so marvelously idiotic, that comparisons to the first film are nigh impossible. This exercise in insanity feels more like a B-side to Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, that bizarro bonus movie assembled from Anchorman‘s abandoned subplots and alternate takes. To put it bluntly, this movie is fucking nuts.
The year is 1980. Or 1984. Or 1988. Actually, I don’t think anyone really knows when this film is supposed to take place, thanks to some out-of-place references to Ghostbusters and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport. Anyway, it’s the ’80s and Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) has hit rock bottom. After losing his job (for being “the worst news anchor in the world”) and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), Burgundy is completely miserable and on a path to self-destruction.
In a white turtleneck and turquoise blazer, the former anchorman finds himself working at Sea World, where he spends his days drinking scotch and verbally abusing dolphins. He is sought out by a television executive (Dylan Baker) who offers the legendary anchorman a spot on GNN, a new 24-hour news network. In response, Burgundy gets the band back together, recruiting the best damn news team to ever read off a teleprompter: weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner).
At GNN, Ron Burgundy finds a new nemesis in Jack Lime (James Marsden), a pretty boy newsman who holds the primetime slot, and a new love interest in Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) – his boss. Burgundy wants revenge, and so he sets out to beat Lime (and Corningstone) in the ratings by showing people what they want to see instead of telling them what they need to hear.
It’s here that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues becomes a satire of 24-hour news culture, taking well-aimed shots at both CNN and FOX News. Burgundy sensationalizes the news, using patriotic catchphrases and fear-based media tactics to win over the audience. Instead of reporting the news, Burgundy and his team cover high-speed car chases and smoke crack on the air.
There’s also a romantic subplot involving Brick and Chani Lastname (pronounced Last-naw-may), a kooky receptionist played by Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids). While Brick takes Chani on a date to a laundromat vending machine, Burgundy is busy having INTERRACIAL SEX [shouted from on top of a mountain] with Linda Jackson.
If one were to list all of the random, downright bizarre things that happen in Anchorman 2, it would sound like a Stefon segment from Saturday Night Live. This movie has everything: there are minotaurs, pipe-hittin’ bitches, the ghost of “Stonewall” Jackson, guns from the future, and Ron Burgundy bottle-feeds a baby shark.
Anchorman 2 is jam-packed with jokes, but not all of them hit the mark. It seems like McKay and Ferrell have opted for quantity over quality with this sequel. The sheer amount of jokes guarantees some big laughs, but the film gets too wrapped up in its own absurdity to tell a coherent story.
Still, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues delivers more than enough laughs to warrant its existence. It isn’t as quotable or game-changing as its predecessor, but it succeeds at giving audiences what they really want: more Burgundy. His voice can still make a wolverine purr with suits so fine they still make Sinatra look like a hobo. In other words, Ron Burgundy is still the balls.
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