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  • 15
  • Comedy
  • 2013
  • 119 mins

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Film4

Synopsis

Legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his trusty news team return, bringing their own brand of havoc to the world of 24-hour news channels.

Review

It took years of badgering from Will Ferrell to convince Paramount to greenlight a follow-up to 2004's Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy. The Legend Continues, then, is a real labour of love for its cast and crew, and fans of the original - who are equally fervent in their adoration of San Diego's most luxuriantly-moustachioed newsreader - won't be disappointed by the sequel.

When the world's first 24-hour news channel is launched, Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and his news team - sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) - are recruited for the graveyard shift. Their fight for more viewers brings them into conflict with charismatic prime time anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden), as well as Burgundy's estranged wife and former co-anchor Veronica (Christina Applegate).

The first film succeeded on its cast's charm and a scattershot style of gag-blasting, and Ferrell and co make no attempt to deviate from that recipe here. It's great for those who love Ron's arrogance and Brick's monumental stupidity - both are substantially ramped up here - but less so for those hoping for anything groundbreaking. Once again Ron bounces between success and despair, alternately alienating and winning back his friends, all the while juggling his relationship with Veronica. The odd subplot helps - Brick finds love with the equally dim Chani (Kristen Wiig); Ron dabbles in interracial romance with predictably awkward results - but repetition is largely the order of the day.

Much of the comedy is still predicated on shouting and colossal idiocy, while the highlights are repeats of fan-favourite scenes from the first film: Brian's stash of exotic colognes is now a display of alarmingly-named condoms, while the insane news team fight is multiplied to even more bonkers levels. Fortunately the target for ridicule is new: the skewering of 24-hour news is welcome (if a little obvious), and there's an amusing explanation for its banality.

Sadly the audience's stamina is overestimated, and proceedings are stretched out to exhausting length. An entire act in which Ron undergoes yet another personal trauma could have been excised, not least because it reheats the old down-on-his-luck hero learning to find success through happiness storyline yet again. For a character who always felt like he belonged in a sketch show, two hours of his exploits feels like a poor judgement from an otherwise talented team.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Screen Writer: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
  • Photographer: Oliver Wood

In a nutshell

Burgundy's back, and fans of the original won't be disappointed: the madness is turned up to eleven and the whole cast are on form. Anyone mystified by the first film's appeal, however, will be equally baffled and bored by the repetitive nature of the sequel.

by Neil Alcock

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