Review – Plenty of Laughs in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Photo credit: Gemma LaMana
The Channel 4 News Team is back after a nine year wait in Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and they bring the laughs with them.

Seven years after the events of the 2004 instant classic, Anchorman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are co-anchors and in line for one of the primetime evening news anchor positions when WBC news anchor Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) brings them to his office and announces his retirement and naming Veronica as his successor. Burgundy is heartbroken and is next seen working as an MC at SeaWorld in San Diegio.

Soon, Ron is approached by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) with a job offer: a being an anchorman for GNN, the world’s first 24-hour global cable news network, in New York City. But is the world ready for a 24/7 network? It’s a good question and one that the gang answers quite well while satirizing the current landscape of cable news.

At one point, there was a throwback to an old sketch on Saturday Night Live, where Will Ferrell played Brian Williams and graphics were all across the screen.

Burgundy rounds up his team–sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell)–and they head to New York City, where he finds out he’s quickly challenged by his new boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), Australian multi-millionaire network owner Kench Allenby (Josh Lawson) and primetime news anchor, Jack Lime (James Marsden). Also new to the cast is the quirky, clueless girl named Chani (Kristen Wiig)

After making a bet over who gets the better ratings, Burgundy changes news as we know it. He figures that the audience does not want to watch news where they get what they need to hear but what they want to here. In many ways, McKay and Ferrell use the sequel as a way to lampoon the current landscape of the news. It’s what was able to draw the cast back together after nine years.

It would not be an Anchorman film without a fight between news teams and this one did not disappoint. They brought in the big names to fill these roles for a fight that is more epic than the first film. This one brings together anchors from the world of sports, entertainment, history, music, and even the Canadian neighbors to the north. The names are so big that mentioning them here would be a disservice to filmgoers.

Director Adam McKay did a fine job working with this cast. Heavy in improvisation and drawing from a script written by McKay and Ferrell, it’s no surprise that the original cut was between 4 and 5 hours long. McKay and editors Brent White, A.C.E. and Melissa Bretherton had to make the tough decisions to cut it to the running time of 119 minutes but the laughs are all there.

Nine years is a long time to wait for a sequel but it’s like coming back and visiting friends at a reunion. It was well worth the wait, including the scene at the end of the credits.