Sequels to great movies are often hard to gauge; sometimes, they are just as good or even better, like in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but other times they are unbearable to watch, as in the 1988 atrocity called Caddyshack II. With that in mind, I was a bit skeptical with director Adam McKay’s new film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which gives viewers another chance to see Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and the Channel 4 Action News team once again.
The new movie kicks off with a disastrous situation for Burgundy: his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), has been promoted from WBC anchor to replace Burgundy’s idol Mack Harken (Harrison Ford), who berates Burgundy for his unprofessional antics and promptly fires him.
Following a breakup with Corningstone over her career advancement, Burgundy winds up working at Sea World, where a suicide attempt is interrupted by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker). Shapp pitches the laughable idea of a twenty-four hour news network and hiring Burgundy and the crew from Channel 4, including Champ Kind (David Koechner), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Burgundy and his pals head to New York, prepared to give GNN top-of-the-line ratings and the people what they want.
Without giving too much of the movie away, the film has just as many random scenes and situations at the first film, including a new rivalry featuring Jack Lime (James Marsden) and another epic fight scene with a notable number of cameos with the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Liam Neeson, Kanye West, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey, John C. Reilly, and Will Smith. The main theme of the film features Burgundy balancing his work life and his personal life with Corningstone and their son Walter (Judah Nelson), and despite the setbacks and idiotic tactics, it is common knowledge that you just cannot bet against Burgundy.
Although the film has been highly advertised and well received by most critics, I was very disappointed in the movie. Although the genius of the original Anchorman was its randomness and quotability, the majority of the jokes in this film just fall flat, which leaves several moments of silence in the theater where I would assume laughter was expected. The movie had several opportunities to create hilarious and memorable scenes, most notably the aforementioned fight scene, but the writers piled more and more zaniness and gags that it was just too much to be funny.
While overall I was not impressed with the film, several characters did great jobs with their roles. The actors that stood out in the film in my mind were Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig, who play Brick Tamland and Chani. Known for his stupidity (his IQ is reported as 48), Brick finally makes a love connection with Chani, a receptionist at GNN who refuses to answer the phones. Their romance contains a great deal of absurd comments and statements that do hit the bulls eye as well as moments of pure absurdity (their first date is at a laundromat drink machine), but it is Brick’s and Chani’s almost identical deliveries that make for some great scenes.
In the end, Anchorman 2 misses the mark; instead of providing a great follow-up to the 2004 original, the movie instead offers too much randomness, making it look like the script may have been rushed. A considerable amount of people really like this sequel, and although I understand if fans of the original may want to go check it out, I advise them to lower their standards; otherwise, they may wind up in a glass case of emotion.