The original Anchorman movie is one of the greatest comedies ever. If you think otherwise, then expect mortal combat with yours truly. Similar to other comedic masterpieces like Zoolander and The Emperor’s New Groove, Anchorman was one of those movies I’ve watched countless times and have always enjoyed. Needless to say, I was dubious when a sequel was announced almost an entire decade after the first. Some of the trailers showed promise, others not so much. Not to mention the absurd amount of responsibility Will Ferrell was given with promoting the new movie. Whether it was reporting actual news in North Dakota for a day, or the plethora of simple twenty second “gaming news” he did for IGN last week (both of which were done completely in character as Anchorman protagonist Ron Burgundy), all I could think about as I sat down at the midnight premiere was the following: “Please. Please be good. You don’t have to be as good as the original, no one’s expecting that. Just, you know, don’t be THAT kind of sequel; the movie that must not be named ala Voldemort.” Ladies and gentleman, I’m here to say that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is arguably the best comedy sequel ever created.
The rather schizophrenic story (which both mimics the style and at times even specific events in the original) follows Ron Burgundy, one of the most idiotic and ridiculous men to ever exist in fiction. He is joined by a group of other mentally inept and ludicrous man-children, all of whom enjoy doing what they were put on earth to do: read the news. The events in Anchorman 2 are set sometime after the original and chronicle how Ron and his gang of misfits end up reporting for a global news network and accidentally cause the news of their day to become much more like the news of today. This is capitalized in a moment when Veronica Corningstone, Ron’s wife, is doing an interview with an important world leader on world peace, but is completely overshadowed by Ron Burgundy talking about a live car chase while giving his usual dimwitted banter about speculation regarding the entire incident. There’s an obvious criticism of modern journalism and a load of other moral themes in the movie that aren’t original in the slightest, but what matters is that the plot is wacky and, despite revisiting old territory every so often, the movie is so random that plenty will catch you off guard and make you eagerly await the next punch line.
And speaking of punch lines, let’s talk about the laughs. After all, a comedy that isn’t funny is like anime that was drawn with Crayola and filmed with a smartphone. Much of the humor is in the same vein of the original and, as someone who tires of what most modern “comedies” do for laughs, this came as quite a relief. Furthermore, despite the fact that it does use some of the same jokes as before (the majority of which are implemented well mind you) there’s plenty of new material on display for Anchorman 2 to step outside of the shadow of its gargantuan predecessor. One my favorite and most original jokes dealt with Ron (and eventually his son) being convinced that Veronica’s new lover, a psychiatrist, is psychic – a joke in which the end payoff is nothing short of spectacular. I lost count of the number of scenes that caused me to burst out laughing in the theatre. And it made me happy to know that I wasn’t alone as the majority of the patrons also found humor in most every gag Anchroman 2 had to offer.
But what good is great comedic writing when the delivery is subpar? Luckily, that is not a worry as the acting is all around splendid with the exception of Kanye West’s acting during his rather brief appearance. All the returning actors and actresses fall right into place and really made me feel like they were their characters and all the new ones were excellent too.
This is one of those movies where I have very little negative to say about it. There were a couple of moments where a joke didn’t elicit the laugh it was intended to, but, honestly, that remark feels petty in comparison to the movie as a whole. This is a rare example of a sequel that is arguably just as sublime as the original. It’s the kind of movie I’m already willing to pay to see again. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is crude, moronic, asinine and immature, and that is exactly what it should be.
Pixcelation gives Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues a 10/10