Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) was the first feature-length collaboration between Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. Highly-improvised, it was a story about newscasters in the male-dominated industry during the 70s. It was a big success, and in 2008 work began on the sequel. However, despite many of the stars agreeing to take pay cuts, Paramount turned down the sequel proposal in 2010. It wasn’t until 2012 that Paramount changed their minds. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues takes place during the birth of the 24 hour news network.
This movie is stupid. But it’s stupid brewed to perfection. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a rare find of inspired stupidity. The actors genuinely look like they’re having a great time, and the enjoyment is contagious. If you walk into this movie expecting an intelligent political satire, you deserve the disappointment you’ll find. The film does dabble into some social commentary, but the topics are all very light and non-controversial.
As expected for a movie that is largely improvisational, the jokes are hit and miss. The most disappointing ones are the direct references to the first film. There are several moments where the film makes a joke basically saying “Hey! Remember when this happened in the first movie?” Anchorman 2 thrives when it expands on previously established relationships or creates new ones; the energy is sucked out of the film when it makes a reference to its prequel.
There are a lot of celebrity cameos, and each member of the cast is given their chance to shine. The one weak spot is Kristen Wiig as Chani Lastnamé, Brick Tamland’s (Steve Carell) romantic opposite. With no one to play the straight man, the entire subplot is just uncomfortably unfunny.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is unbalanced, but entertaining nonetheless. It serves as a proper sequel to the original, and a good waste of a couple hours. 7/10.