Will Ferrell loves playing Ron Burgundy, and it shows even more in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” than it did in the 2004 original. He again co-wrote with director Adam McKay and it feels like a script born after years of Ferrell writing down all the Ron Burgundy moments that happen in his head.
I wonder how frequently Ferrell just goes into Burgundy mode in his daily life. I'd bet money in happens at least twice a day in the car.
Ferrell, McKay and the returning ensemble all bring fantastic energy to the film, which is wacky and unpredictable from the moment it starts. It's set primarily in New York City and the news world, a place where everyone is meticulously groomed, able to read off a teleprompter like they were spreading butter and clean shaven.
For Burgundy and Veronica (Christina Applegate), who are married, life as New York broadcasters is to life in San Diego what college is to high school. Veronica's strong will and work ethic earn respect and exciting new job offers, but Burgundy's antics and mustache aren't charming people the way they once did.
After a run of bad luck, Burgundy gets a second chance at national television with news network GNN and its wacky idea: 24-hour news. He assembles his news team (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner) and they drive cross country in a ridiculously painted motor home.
The film, like its predecessor, is much more interested in the characters than the plot. The laughs are created by how they respond to both normal and abnormal situations because, well, you're never quite sure what Ron Burgundy and his friends are going to do in any given situation.
Now is as good a time as any to note that I loved “Anchorman” and approached “Anchorman 2” with caution. It's hard to find comedic success on the level of the first film, much less duplicate it.
The good news is that it doesn't try to duplicate the laughs from the first film and, more importantly, doesn't lose any steam. It stays true to the spirit and imagination of the first film, but it's also a hilarious film in its own right. Many sequels try to up the ante with pointless cameos from big names, but “Anchorman 2” is the kind of sequel that creates interesting situations full of funny jokes and finds the right big names to bring life to the cameo (and the film's got plenty of cameos).
The fan in me had a blast.
The only bad news is that it's not going to win over anyone who didn't like the first, but those are probably the same people who don't like dumb, Ferrell humor. It's just as smart at being dumb as the first and is proudly, even vainly, silly.
Not only did I laugh the entire film, I wrote an entire review and couldn't find a thing to complain about.
That might be higher praise than any of the nice things I just said.
Aside: I didn't feel it was appropriate to mention in the review, since it wasn't part of the film, but I was not at all amused by the number of commercials starring Burgundy. I thought they went more than a little overboard.
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence. You probably could have guessed that, but you'd never guess the drug or the situation in which the drug is done. It is so bizarre, and I'm laughing again just thinking about it.