After the cult hit that was Anchorman, the calls for a sequel grew stronger each year until 10 years later the powers that be (Will Ferrell & Adam McKay) decided to take Ron and the team out for another spin. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is just as funny as the first film, but with moments of total absurdity not seen in a comedy film in quite some time.
The short plot breakdown: Set in the 1980’s, Ron (Will Ferrell) and Veronica (Christina Appelgate) break up over a news anchor job. Ron gets to return to the world of news reading with the offer of a 24 hour news channel (GNN), the first of its kind, and he sets about getting the band back together.
From this point Anchorman 2 moves at a cracking pace, the jokes are great, some physical comedy, some absurdist jokes and even some satire gets thrown into the pot. To be honest, and probably against all odds, a great deal of it sticks. The news team is on point with Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell are all fantastic in reprising their roles from the original film. Of the news team, Steve Carell as Brick Tamland steals every scene he is in. Mental and bizarre, he goes all out and it comes off producing one of the most laugh til you cry moments this year. His interactions with Chani (a great Kristen Wiig) are some of the most absurd and surreal moments you are likely to see, but they also manage some real sweetness in amongst the weirdness. Ferrell is particularly great, inhabiting his Burgundy persona and delivering and ad-libbing lines with aplomb. Ferrell is best when his character has been knocked down a peg or two or when his ego has been bruised and hurt. When he is out of his element is when he is at his funniest. The dinner scene with his African-American producer’s family is a testament to that! The rest of the cast is great. Ron’s new producer Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) is the standout. Her character is a great foil – acting more like one the boys than… one of the boys. Her strong female personality throws Ron and the news team way out of their comfort zone.
Though the film’s story is slight (and in all honesty – who cares?), McKay and Ferrell manage to get in some really good digs at the current state of news broadcasting, and whilst not fully committing to the satire of the situation, it is still good to see that there was some real thought behind it all. Anchorman 2 is rare in that it is a sequel that is very close to or equal to the original and it’s a sequel that didn’t re-tread old ground (except for a fight scene. However, the stakes are somewhat raised) and finds its own voice, including some laugh-til-you-cry moments whilst paying homage and expanding on certain events from the first film. Ferrell and company have created yet another not- so-cultish but equally as crazy and funny film ten years on from the original and that in itself is a huge feat that many, many films, especially comedy sequels, (I’m looking at you The Hangover Part 2 and 3) abysmally fail at.
Even though it is late in 2013, this may well be the best comedy of the year.