Under Review: “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

Released Dec. 18, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” remains faithful to the comedy of its predecessor, but fails to be truly original.

Released Dec. 18, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” remains faithful to the comedy of its predecessor, but fails to be truly original.

Michael VerMeulen, Staff Writer

Anyone who is a fan of movie comedy has probably seen the original 2004 cult classic, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Though its highly advertised and anticipated sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” may not live up to the expectations of the original, it does offers a good laugh.

Co-written by the movie’s director Adam McKay and lead actor Will Ferrell, the film is set ten years after the events of the first film. Once again, the plot follows the adventures and shenanigans of anchorman Ron Burgundy (Ferrell), who gets fired from his job. To get his career back on track, he must reunite with his old news team consisting of man on the street, Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner) and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Burgundy attempts to jump-start his career by joining the world’s first 24-hour news network alongside his team.

As a fan of the original film, I was skeptical that this film could live up to expectations. Going into the move, I thought the humor would depend on banal, secondhand jokes from its predecessor. Though some quips were indeed recycled, these repeats adapted well to their scenes, and the new gags complemented their classic counterparts.

The sequel does succeed over the original in one way. I was glad that the lovable weatherman Brick (Carell) earned more screen time than in the first film. Carell can make me laugh harder than any other comedic actor, and how his fellow actors don’t break character and burst into laughter around Brick, I will never know.

This movie fails; however, in matching the brilliance of the original due to it’s overly complex and haphazard plot. Some scenes were not only unnecessary, but unrelated and unfunny.

Still, the sequel maintains a quality that I appreciate about both Anchorman films — the social commentary. Whereas the first movie focused on the inequality of women in the workplace, the sequel hones in on the degradation of quality news in favor of the unimportant blather that networks air to obtain higher ratings. We even learn how Ron Burgundy might have been involved in kick-starting this dilemma when he decides that he wants to give the people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

Though this film is a touch too long and complicated for its own good, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is a must-see if you enjoy silly comedy gold. One tip: watch for the cameos.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” runs 119 minutes and is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence.