Film Review – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), along with his trusty news team Brian (Paul Rudd), Champ (David Koechner) and Brick (Steve Carell), are back and are about to become the face of a new televisual sensation – 24-hour rolling news. However, the course of good news never did run smooth…

Gone are the days when a simple trailer, a couple of posters and maybe a few press interviews would make up the entirety of a film’s marketing campaign. Now it often seems the case that more effort is actually put into the marketing than the film itself. Unfortunately that feels the case with Anchorman 2.

The backdrop of Anchorman 2 is the 1980s but it actually has something to say about the state of news today, and this is where it has more substance than the first film. It makes a comment on the way we are fed news but also how we consume it. Once upon a time, much of what we consider ‘news’ wouldn’t even be entertained in newsrooms, but it’s now become something for that very purpose – to entertain – and that’s the message at the core of Anchorman 2.

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But we’ve not come along for that, have we? We’ve come along for the jokes, which unfortunately are a very mixed bag. Now, the film does have some very funny moments, but too often does its jokes labour or miss the mark completely. What we get is jokes recycled from the first film or overplayed so that they no longer become funny. For example, Ron struggling to come to terms with having a black boss is amusing at first, but after the third or fourth instance, the joke gets a bit thin. There’s also an incredibly bizarre 20 minute section involving a lighthouse and a shark which just seems ridiculously out of place and consequently feels unnecessary.

But Anchorman 2 isn’t a disaster by any stretch of the imagination, and for fans there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Brian showcasing his collection of condoms is a particular highlight, whilst Steve Carell’s Brick is still one of the funniest things about the whole film. There are also a couple of interesting new characters, namely Jack Marsden as young and stylish anchor Jack Lime, and Kristen Wiig’s Chani Lastnamé as a love interest for Brick.

Whether Anchorman 2 ever becomes as beloved as the original film remains to be seen, but there’s nothing here to convert those who aren’t already big fans of Ron et al. Even when the film isn’t working, there are still laughs to be had, but just like watching 24-hours news, it can start to feel a little stale all too quickly.

Pros

  • Interesting comment on the state of news
  • Very funny in places
  • Steve Carell’s Brick

Cons

  • Not as funny as it needs to be
  • Recycled jokes
  • Starts to feel a little long by the end

3 and a half pigeons3.5/5 pigeons

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37 thoughts on “Film Review – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

  1. Popcorn Nights says:

    Nice review Chris, pretty much in agreement with you, although I liked the weirdness of that 20 min lighthouse segment. Was glad to see some of the recycled jokes and not so glad to see others.

  2. Mark Walker says:

    I hated the first one and have no real desire to see this, tho be honest, Chris. I will watch it one day, if only to enjoy writing one if those reviews where you can tear into a movie. 😉

  3. keith7198 says:

    Good review Chris. I’m one of the small number of people who wasn’t that crazy about the first Anchorman. I think that’s why I didn’t rush to see part two.

  4. thomasjford says:

    Nice review Chris, can’t say I’m mad keen on seeing this though. I think the sands of time have shown Anchorman to be an above average comedy, although nothing more. This, I’m sure will be below average!

  5. Gene says:

    You and I are close again, Chris. I think I gave this a 4/5. I also thought there was a long stretch, about the last 30ish minutes, that just aren’t very funny. I don’t remember long stretches like that in the first one. I also like how this kinda followed the times, where the first confronted the (funny) stereotypes on gender roles, this did the same with the stereotypes on race relations. That scene where the news team first meets their new, black, female boss is HILARIOUS! But, like you said, by the time it gets to the dinner table with Ron meeting her family, it’s a little too much.

  6. Smash says:

    It did start to feel long towards the end, they could have taken out that whole bit with the shark and I would have been happy. I quite enjoyed the reason that Ron went to live in the lighthouse and the shenanigans that surrounded him there. But I felt a little let down too. Maybe if I’ve seen this one 20 more times and it starts to feel more quotable, I’ll love it more.

    • Yeah that part with the shark was just completely unnecessary, it added absolutely nothing whatsoever to the film. You’ve got a point there though, about watching it a load more times. I’ll definitely give it another watch at some point and hopefully it’ll make a bigger impression on me.

  7. jjames36 says:

    I totally agree, and made many of the same points in my own review.

    Great work!

  8. ckckred says:

    Nice review. I actually enjoyed this more than the first (which I wasn’t fond of). There’s no strong coherence throughout the picture, but there are plenty of laughs and I liked the satire.

  9. caragale says:

    Didn’t love the first Anchorman, so I think I’ll just stay away from this one…Haha. Nice review though, Chris! You taught me something–I did not know Kristen Wiig’s character’s last name was actually Lastname. I’ll admit it: that’s kind of funny.

    • Thank you! I can;t see you enjoying this one a massive amount if you didn’t like the first one. And I didn’t actually know that was her surname in the film either until I looked it up, pretty sure it’s pronounced differently in the film.

  10. CMrok93 says:

    Not as hilarious as the first, but still very funny nonetheless. However, I think chances of another sequel are down the drain by now, especially since this one didn’t necessarily break down any barriers. Good review.

  11. Zoë says:

    Nice review Chris! I must say that I have not seen the first one and I have never really been interested in changing that, either.

  12. Beer Movie says:

    I pretty much agree 100% with you, especially your pros and cons. It was enjoyable enough and may well build some momentum on DVD.

  13. ruth says:

    I enjoyed the first one quite a bit but I wasn’t anticipating this sequel by any means. I might give it a rent though, 3.5/5 isn’t bad and the trailer does look like a hoot!

  14. Spot on review Chris. I saw this before Xmas and couldn’t really be bothered to review it.

  15. danmart1n says:

    Every review I read lists Steve Carell/Brick as one of the high points, and I totally agree. The movie isn’t exactly all that, but it’s very funny in parts and Steve is in most of them.

  16. Great review. Haven’t seen this one yet – have to admit I wasn’t all that taken by the original and the trailer for Anchorman 2 didn’t change my mind. Will probably catch it on demand later in the year.

  17. thycriticman says:

    Very well written review. I had a different opinion on it, and only laughed a few times. Thought it took things overboard. I do prefer the first! That bizarre shark and lighthouse 20 minutes of horror you mentioned was dreadful…

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