Does the much anticipated sequel to the box office phenomenon that was Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy continue the legend that began nearly 10 years ago? Spoilers ahead.
By Helen Lewington
The film begins in New York City in the early 80’s, several years after the events that Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his fellow presenters left us, just shy of 10 years ago. Ron works alongside his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) at a prestigious New York City news network and he’s living the high life with his wife and son, Walter. But after his boss Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) retires and reveals that he intends to make Veronica his successor; making her the first female nightly news anchor in television history, Ron quickly becomes jealous of his co-anchors successes, gets fired, and leaves New York and his family behind.
Ron returns to the main setting of the first Anchorman film. “Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means ‘a whale’s vagina’”. Ron’s return to San Diego is riddled with depression and after a drunken fuelled performance gets fired from his part-time job at Sea World.
However, Ron eventually accepts a job at GNN (Global News Network) back in New York, a station attempting to do the unthinkable; 24 hour news. He reassembles his old news team, Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and together they work the unpopular ‘grave yard’ slot; 2-5am.
Whilst dealing with a fierce rivalry from reporter Jack Lime (James Marsden) and discovering that Veronica has a new love interest, Ron and his news team decide to radically approach the news by broadcasting what they feel the people want to hear, rather than what they need to. This new obscure way of presenting the news proves to be a massive hit, promoting the team to the primetime slot where their fame and fortune returns.
But all this newfound fame gets to Burgundy’s head. Ron neglects his family and news team, and proceeds to lose his eye sight from a head injury.
Unable to continue his job reading the news, Ron isolates himself and fails to adjust to living as a blind man. Veronica and Walter return to help Ron and in a montage of family activities, including rehabilitating a baby shark called Doby, his family life is rekindled. This provokes Veronica to hide an eye surgery from Ron that could return his sight. Eventually, this is revealed, and an angry Ron proceeds to restore his sight, leading him to return to GNN.
The final test of character is presented to Ron on his arrival back to the news; whether to attend his son’s piano recital or present an exclusive news story. In what is a touching, yet extremely humorous ending, Ron decides to leave the set and head to his son’s recital. But on the way enters into a fight scene with the other local new channels that is very reminiscent of that in the first movie. Here, Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) makes a return and the likes of Kanye West, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Liam Neeson play the roles of rival news correspondents. Even though the fight ‘escalates quickly’, Ron manages to make the recital. It is during this fight scene that my only criticism comes. Whilst it was almost euphoric to see these big names appear, the scene is not nearly as creative and hysterical as the original.
The final scene of the movie is the wedding of Brick and his female replica, Chani (Kristen Wiig). This (partially) romantic scene ends in true Ferrell style, with Ron needing to be saved from a fully sized Doby from his beloved Baxter.
Will Ferrell is just as utterly endearing, engaging and hilarious as seen in the films predecessor. In amid of the gags and slapstick that you would expect from the sequel, the filmmakers touch upon the dumbing down of TV news when ratings are all that matter. Whilst the fight scene had a small element of disappointment, it would be unrealistic to expect this scene to compare to Brick’s hand grenade and trident antics of the first movie.
Overall, for an Anchorman fan, this movie will not disappoint. It does not ruin the first movie or suffer from the traditional ‘sub-standard sequel’. It is enjoyable to view and nostalgic to fans favourite scenes from the first movie. The film left me as the original did, smiling uncontrollably, laughing randomly and reciting quotes endlessly.
I love…Anchorman 2.
Released: 18th December 2013
Duration: 1 hour 59 minutes