By Jessica Delfanti | December 24, 2013
Directors: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
Writers: Adam McKay, Will Ferrell
Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, James Marsden, Christina Applegate, Meagan Good, Judah Nelson, Harrison Ford, Kristen Wiig
One liners? Check. Crimson suits and Sex Panther Cologne? Check. Salon-quality hair? Check. Fans of the 2004 Anchorman will be pleased to find that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s highly anticipated sequel has all the right components to continue the Ron Burgundy Legend.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues finds Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) out of the job, trying to rehabilitate after his wife, Veronica (Christina Applegate) is chosen over him for a primetime anchor position. After receiving an attractive offer at a start-up news channel, Ron rounds up his team–Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and Champ Kind (David Koechner)–to go to New York. There, Ron has to deal with an ego-war with the prince-charming-like Jack Lime (James Marsden), interracial “romance” with boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), and paternal duty with his son, Walter (Judah Nelson).
The central conceit–that Ron must rebuild himself after the devastation of losing his job–is not as strong as the plot of the original film. There are moments where the narrative starts to drag, though these are quickly forgotten in favor of deep-diving and hilarious tangents. That said, the plot of the film is almost a side dish to the main entree: the nostalgia-fest that makes up most of the self-referential Anchorman 2. Fans of the original film will find Anchorman 2 to be exactly what they would expect: plenty of references to the original, head scratching plot twists, a cameo party to win all cameo parties, and pure goofiness.
One interesting component is seeing the four stars as they have changed over time. Ferrel’s age does put some strain on the credibility of some parts, but also opens the doorway to a charming father-son story. Carell’s Brick is so spot on, it almost seems like no time has passed; not surprisingly, Brick’s gags provide some of the biggest laughs, and his screen time is significantly larger (probably scaled up in proportion to his career growth over the last ten years). Rudd, in turn, appears to have discovered some fountain of youth–quick, Hollywood, bottle what he’s drinking! His Fantana doesn’t look a day older than the 2004 version.
There is so much mythos surrounding the Anchorman franchise brand that it’s almost incredible that they pulled off such a pleasing result. Even though Anchorman 2 fails to stand up on its own, it’s by design. It instead serves as a perfect sequel and revisit to the original. Worth the wait? As a wise man once said, “Yep.”