After two more hours in the company of Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his news team a few things are evidently clear; Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is baggy, overlong and monstrously unoriginal. But, somehow, it manages to pull enough together to actually be genuinely funny in places – even if most of the jokes are ones we’ve heard or seen before.
Plot wise things are, much like their predecessor, at best loose – Ron is recruited to act as anchor on the world’s first 24-hour news station and moderate chaos ensues. Along with this we get sub-plots galore, mostly focusing on Ron and his various relationships, but also one, possibly the films most inventive, introduces a love interest for Steve Carrell’s weatherman, Brick Tamland.
While elements of the movie teeter on the edge of flat-out offensive, there is enough satire in the character of Burgundy that it just stays on the right side of the line (for the most part) but the main satire, though obvious, is relatively well played.
This takes in the birth of 24-hour news and what news broadcasting has become, particularly in the US where Fox News seems to be all-pervasive. So here we have a corrupt Australian millionaire starting a news station and doing his best to influence the news agenda while Ron makes his broadcasts the news “people want to hear” focusing on “cute animals and patriots”.
Ok, so it’s not Drop The Dead Donkey, but it holds enough of an interest to raise a few laughs and the absurdity of everything else delivers enough other laughs to keep things rolling.
The film’s main problem is that the loose story often falls too far to the wayside and didn’t really act as enough of a framework to really draw me in and several of the sub-plots just seem to be included to call back to the first movie without really doing anything to add to this one.
As with the previous film the main performances are all great, if you like that sort of thing, with Ferrell and co playing broad caricatures that really don’t do much to emotionally engage but are generally entertaining and its Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana who once again stands out from the pack – aside from Ferrell’s uniquely bizarre, jazz-flute maestro, Burgundy.
Ending with something of a cameo overload, followed by an unsuccessful attempt to pull the many strands of the story together, I was left certainly entertained; but I can only think I’d have been more consistently entertained if the movie had been half an hour shorter and I can only really hope we aren’t ‘treated’ to any more sequels.