It’s been a long and twisty road for Ron Burgundy. There’s been talk of a sequel to the modern classic “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” for a long time and now, after nine years, Burgundy and the Channel 4 News Team have finally returned in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
With the massive marketing push behind the sequel and Will Ferrell’s Burgundy showing up just about everywhere except a gas station bathroom to promote the film, there’s been a lot of concern about whether the character is played out. That maybe “Anchorman 2” isn’t up to the task. Let’s go on and lay those concerns to rest right now.
Because “Anchorman 2” is one of the funniest movies to come along in a good while. The tale of Burgundy and his team working for a new 24-hour news network is a more than worthy follow-up to the original.
“Anchorman” came along at a time when comedies were becoming stale. The film opened the door for good, ridiculous comedy into the mainstream. It allowed Judd Apatow to make Steve Carell a “40-Year-Old Virgin,” solidifying Carell’s star status and Apatow as a comedy mastermind. Ron Burgundy literally changed the face of cinematic comedy.
Now, is “Anchorman 2” as good as the original? Probably not. The sequel is hilarious, but not as quotable. It doesn’t have much of a plot. It’s not this. It’s not that. Blah, blah, blah. “Anchorman” is a tough act to follow, and one that “Anchorman 2” doesn’t concern itself with. Neither should you.
Yes, the sequel plays off of a lot of what made the original so funny. Some of the jokes are rehashed, albeit in bigger and sometimes better ways. The original cast is back, along with an even more impressive ensemble of celebrity cameos. But “Anchorman 2” is literally “Anchorman” on acid. Anyone who thought the first film was silly, odd or just plain stupid hasn’t seen anything yet.
To describe the manic insanity that lies within “Anchorman 2” would do it a great disservice. Suffice to say, co-writers Ferrell and Adam Mckay (who directed Ferrell’s best films, including “Anchorman”) took a lot of LSD while crafting this film. They had to. An alien could have landed on Earth, purchased a pack of Oreos, then tried out for “The Voice,” and been right at home here. Whatever tethered the original to the ground has been cut, allowing the sequel to float away into its own little world. Seriously, “Anchorman 2” makes the Ferrell/McKay laugher “Step Brothers” look like “Kramer vs. Kramer.” More than once, the editors struggle to cut around an actor breaking into a smile after saying something.
Despite the craziness that gives the sequel its pulse, McKay and Ferrell also get in a nice, scathing commentary on the pitfalls of a 24-hour news cycle. Leave it to a buffoon like Ron Burgundy to change the face of news by telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. Therein lays the genius of “Anchorman 2” more than anything. Sure, the movie features kitty porn, shark wrestling and possible mind readers in it, but underneath that insanity lies a very true and honest point about the current state of the news industry, leaving us to wonder if we even want someone like Ron Burgundy reading the news.