Advertisement

Film Review: 'Anchorman' sequel isn't all bad news

December 20, 2013|By Andy Klein
  • Left to right: David Koechner is Champ Kind, Paul Rudd is Brian Fantana, Will Ferrell is Ron Burgundy and Steve Carell is Brick Tamland in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues."
Left to right: David Koechner is Champ Kind, Paul Rudd… (Courtesy of Paramount…)

Adam McKay made his feature directorial debut nine years ago with “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” — still the funniest showcase for the talents of Will Ferrell, McKay's frequent writing partner. Their subsequent collaborations — “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006), “Step Brothers” (2008) and “The Other Guys” (2010) — have been less satisfying ... which may explain why they're gone back to the vineyard for a second serving of Burgundy.

The character certainly inspired McKay and Ferrell the first time around: they shot so much decent material that an entire film, “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie,” was assembled from the leftovers as a DVD extra. The nearly decade-long hiatus has recharged that inspiration, but, like so many sequels, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” falls short of its model.

And I do mean “model”: The new film follows the same template, even when the current manifestations of old shtick fall far short. It's now roughly 1980: Ron and sometimes rival Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) have gotten married, moved to New York, and produced a son (Judah Nelson), now 8 years old. When venerable retiring network anchorman Mack Harken (Harrison Ford, channeling Dan Rather) fires Ron and names Veronica as his replacement, the marriage disintegrates, and Ron starts drinking again, eventually lowering himself to narrating performances at Sea World.

Advertisement

But out of nowhere, a producer (Dylan Baker) taps Ron for an anchoring gig at a new unheard-of type of venture — GNN (Global News Network), a 24-hour news station. Ron reassembles his old team — reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner) — and takes them to New York. To his dismay, he learns that he is to play second fiddle (or third or eighth or ninth) to Jack Lime (James Marsden), an arrogant pretty boy. Lime gets prime time; Ron and colleagues are assigned the graveyard shift.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|