"By the beard of Zeus! Will Ferrell is back in his best-loved role as anchorman Ron Burgundy in all his mustachioed sexist glory"
By the beard of Zeus! Will Ferrell is back in his best-loved role as anchorman Ron Burgundy in all his mustachioed sexist glory. Joining him on the news team is Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) now a ‘kitten’ photographer, Champ Kind (David Koechner) who runs a ‘chicken’ shop and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) who is ‘dead’. Nine years after the original took the world and students bedrooms by storm, is the magic still there for Ron Burgundy? The answer is, kind of, not really, oh dear.
We meet Burgundy when he’s at the top of his game, head anchor along with his lovely wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) at a respectable network. However five minutes in and he’s hit rock bottom, the only way to redeem his legend is to get the team back together and try and conquer the new format of 24-hour news. Adam McKay and Ferrell aim high with the premise but fail to fully realize it’s potential, the plot gets forgotten and instead we’re met with several random non-sequiturs that get a few laughs but not enough to redeem itself.
Obviously realizing that Carell is now a household name and had some of the best lines in the original, Anchorman 2 tries to push the airheaded Brick Tamland to the forefront with a romantic interest in the equally ditzy Kristen Wigg. This sideline never really goes anywhere, Wig and Carell try their best but aren’t given much to work with and the magical inappropriateness and randomness of Brick is diminished as soon as you shine a light on it.
There are inspired moments that pepper the film, Burgundy’s meeting with his female and African-American boss (Meagan Good) leads to him just repeating the word ‘black’ constantly which had everyone in stitches. These moments are few and far between unfortunately and the Anchorman 2 relies too heavily on callbacks to jokes in the original, whilst it hits the right note of nostalgia it also feels incredibly lazy.
A constant stream of cameos jazz up the finale of the film but again it feels like Ferrell has opened his Hollywood phone book and called anyone and asked ‘Hey want to be in a film?’ There are laughs but the laughs feel weirdly forced, like you want to like this film, you want to love it because it has everything you wanted in it but you’re never caught off guard. McKay and Ferrell have given the audience exactly what they want in the exact right way but this pandering doesn’t serve them well in the end.
Re-watch Anchorman afterward to cleanse your eyeballs.