Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Directed By: Adam McKay

Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Meagan Good, Dylan Baker, Greg Kinnear, and Josh Lawson

I wasn't a huge fan of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't find the film to be pretty damn funny.  With this in mind, I haven't been overly excited for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.  Sure, we all don't mind staying classy once again.  Sure, the stars of Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and Paul Rudd have risen considerably since the original.  Sure, this doesn't necessarily seem like a typical money grab by Hollywood.  The problem is that seeing Anchorman 2 isn't having a good night at the movies.  With whammy after whammy after whammy, it's having what sadly constitutes as an American night at the movies.

Years after the original, Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) are living a happy life married with children in New York City.  Professionally, they continue to work as co-anchors for a nightly news program.  One day, they're called to the office of Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford), the most prominent and successful anchor in New York.  Expecting him to retire in the near future, they see this visit as a potential promotion.  The problem is that it is a promotion, but for just one of them.  While Veronica gets the promotion and is set to become the lead anchor for the network, Ron is let go.  Calling Ron the worst newsman he's ever seen, Mack dismisses the classy anchor immediately.  Given the awkward nature of it all, Mack gives Veronica the night to think it over.  Back home that night, Ron makes it clear that Veronica can't take this promotion and be happily married.  It's either Ron or the job.  Veronica chooses the job.

No longer a newsman and back in San Diego, Ron Burgundy finds himself working at Sea World.  A miserable alcoholic and frequently in a drunken stupor, he talks himself out of a job and tries to hang himself.  Shortly thereafter, he's visited by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker) who makes him a job offer.  Starting a 24-hour news channel known as the Global News Network (GNN), Freddie offers Ron the opportunity to be part of something revolutionary.  When Freddie makes him a financial offer he can't refuse, Ron decides to round up his old crew.  Back with Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd), and Champ Kind (David Koechner), Ron Burgundy is doing the news again.  What he doesn't know is that it's the graveyard shift from 2am to 5am.  Chicago hotshot Jack Lime (James Marsden) is holding down the prime time slot at GNN.  Ron also doesn't know that he'll be answering to a black woman by the name of Linda Jackson (Meagan Good).

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has several funny moments and offers some pretty biting commentary on the media today.  However, it's not a good movie by any means, unless of course you're pretty inebriated.  Director Adam McKay has crafted one erratic comedy loosely strung together and littered with pointless cameos of big name celebrities.  With each of the cast members trying a bit too hard to reprise their beloved characters, many of the movie's jokes come off as ridiculously stupid.  It may just be that they're a little too old now for some of these antics.  Regardless, Anchorman 2 is a reflection of what's gone wrong with many mainstream comedies in America today.  Filmmakers and comedians are more concerned with the shock value of a movie than its actual humor.  Whether we're talking about Ron's shark Doby, his dog Baxter, or the "pipe-smoking bitches" with whom he dines, this focus on the wow factor is exactly why this American night at the movies is not a good night.

Donning salon-quality hair and involuntarily saying the most random things quite loudly, Will Ferrell once again becomes Ron Burgundy.  If the movie were good and we hadn't seen Burgundy everywhere over the course of the last twelve months, I would say that the pleasure is ours as moviegoers.  As it stands, Ferrell brings us a caricature of the Ron Burgundy we know and love. He's crazy.  He's offensive.  He's eccentric.  However, he's not as funny as he used to be some nine years ago.  The same can be said for his supporting cast. As the endlessly weird Brick, Steve Carell has a bizarre romance with Kristen Wiig's equally listless Chani.  Paul Rudd plays a slick version of himself as Brian Fontana.  Lastly, David Koechner simply portrays an obnoxious bigot in reprising his role as Champ Kind.  None of them are all that funny, and it's unfortunate since this outing taints the legacy of the original Anchorman.

It's clear where I stand on Anchorman 2.  The legend has not continued.  I know my words will mean nothing to all those diehard Ron Burgundy fans out there.  For everyone else, have a few glasses of scotch if you dare watch this one.  Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues gets a 0.09% rating.