Over the years Anchorman has become a staple in film history with help from its enormous fan-base. Will Ferrell owned the role of legendary San Diego newsman Ron Burgundy in the first film which also introduced us to the now-iconic KVWN Channel 4 news team. In the 2004 hit, Ron and his egotistical and overtly chauvinistic clan of journalists; the sex-driven Brian Fantana (played by Paul Rudd), sportscaster Champ Kind (played by David Koechner), and mentally challenged meteorologist Brick Tamland (played by Steve Carell) were sitting pretty at the top of the ratings in the mid-70’s but as the times were changing and female journalists began creeping into the tight knit and testosterone-fueled workplace, a romance began burning between Ron and a newly appointed team mate, Veronica Cornerstone (Christina Applegate).
While things took a turn in the first film between Burgundy and Cornerstone following Cornerstone’s replacement as the country’s first female Anchor, the story ended as expected with make-ups and triumphs in true comedic style. With the futures of each character being summed up in the closing credits of the first film, it was widely believed that the first would be the last in the Anchorman franchise. Thankfully that was not the case as we have now been presented with a sequel – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
The latest in the Anchorman franchise picks up in New York with the married Burgundy and Cornerstone and their young son. When Burgundy is fired and Cornerstone is promoted in the same awkward meeting with their boss (played by Harrison Ford), Burgundy leaves New York for San Diego on a quest to find his news teammates and start a job at a new 24 hour news channel in the Big Apple where he encounters a myriad of issues brought on by his own idiocy and narrow-mindedness.
Anchorman 2 is a fun catch up with our favourite fictional news team who have all grown a lot older but certainly are none the wiser almost a decade after the gangs last escapade. The structure is mildly familiar with many of the antics of the first film repeating themselves but all in the good name of tongue-in-cheek comedy.
All of the cast members from the first film are back on board for the sequel and joining them is a long line of celebrities that I’m sure were all aching to be featured in this iconic comedy franchise with the likes of James Marsden, Greg Kinnear and Kristen Wig in the hilarious role of Bricks’ equally mentally disabled love interest, all signing up for this rollercoaster ride of hilarity.
Anchorman 2 also comes complete with Burgundy and co caught up in a showdown with their news team competitors and that scene alone reads like a who’s who of the film industry. The cameos in this scene alone include Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Amy Poehler, Kirstin Dunst, Liam Neeson, Sacha Baron Cohen and of course, funny man Vince Vaughn who comes to save the day. Much like its predecessor, the showdown is the highlight of the sequel but this time around it is taken up a notch into much more cheesy territory with the inclusion of a ghost (played by John C Reilly) and a Minotaur.
Though it would have been nice to have the guys continue their reign of stupidity in San Diego where the first film was set and where the now famous catchphrase “Stay Classy San Diego” was born, the New York backdrop for the sequel works well with the story and connects the two films seamlessly together.
Now, you have to go into a film like this knowing what to expect in the sense that this film does not take itself seriously in any way – it is made purely to entertain on a silly level with over the top gags and situations to make us all laugh. If you approach it with a serious frame of mind and expecting an Academy Award winning screenplay then you will be sorely disappointed. If you enjoyed the first and have a real appreciation for comedy at its finest then you will be sore from laughing through 2 hours of pure comedic gold!
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