Scene from Anchorman II

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Anchorman II: The Legend Continues

By Lori Garrett | Published Thursday, January 23, 2014 |
Thursday Review contributor

Though not quite as good as the first, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a pretty strong movie. It starts off several years after the original ends, with Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone as married co-anchors for a New York news station. When Ron is passed up for a promotion in favor of Veronica, he overreacts (not a surprise there) and walks out on his wife and young son. Predictably, his life quickly deteriorates to comic extremes and the hilarity escalates from there.

Eventually, Ron Burgundy gets a chance to redeem himself by appearing on the world’s first 24 hour news station—GNN. He gathers his old crew together, they having been scattered to the winds some time ago. When he gets to headquarters they learn that they will be receiving the late shift, and find that all the news worth reporting has already been taken care of by the prime time team, lead by Burgundy’s immediate enemy, Jack Lime (James Marsden, from 30 Rock). This is where it actually gets a little deep. Having nothing to report on, Burgundy and company simply start telling people what they want to hear—that America is awesome. What could have been career suicide quickly turns into the station’s saving grace. It being the early 80’s, no one had ever done something like this before. Sensationalized news stories about car chases—prime fodder for today’s news programs—were considered non-stories back then.

After that, the plot meanders a bit, then takes a sideways turn and never looks back. It’s full of absurdity and inanity, which is pretty great. Being one of the few movies I have actually liked Will Ferrell in, I would have to say I am pleased with his over-acting. It seems to be par for the course, as all the characters get a little…crazy. They’re all hilarious, but my personal favorite is Brick (Steve Carrell) whom I am beginning to think might be some sort of god. Maybe he’s just screwing with everyone. Maybe he’s not, but what’s for sure is that he is making the audience laugh.

There is no shortage of star power in this sequel. All the original players are back, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate and David Koechner—plus a slew of Saturday Night Live alums such as Kristen Wiig, Chris Parnell, and Paula Pell. And it doesn’t end there. For those of you who may be fans of the original, let me say that, yes—there is a news crew melee in this one. And yes, the cameos are as surprising as they are amazing. If nothing else, seeing this film was worth it just for that scene.

All in all, I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of comedy. For those of you who aren’t, I warn you now this isn’t your average laugh-a-thon, so you may want to steer clear of it. It tickled my funny bone, but then again, I’m a sucker for movies that make you laugh and think.