Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

2014-02-17 15:01
What it's about:

With the 70's behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to the newsdesk. In this new decade, Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone, weather man Brick Tamland, man-on-the-street Brian Fantana and sports guy Champ Kind, won’t make it easy to stay classy while taking the nation's first 24-hour TV news channel by storm.

What we thought:

You have to hand it to Will Ferrell, he has an ability to make his characters legendary, from Talladega Nights to Blades of Glory (which has its own little reference in the movie), but none compete to his Ron Burgundy persona, who is still after so many years a pop culture icon.

And what is an anchorman without his news team? Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) are all back, as well as his wife Veronica (Christina Applegate). Not to rain on Ferrell’s parade, but returning to the screen without his posse would have been a big fail and luckily for the fans they are all there, with a few extra faces.

Not only the actors but the director/writer and Will-Ferrell-movie-machine Andy McKay also returned for a second run, coming up with one-liners and situations that only the news team can pull off. Off-beat humour, fantastical comedy and anything-goes mindset stays true to the original.

For most franchises, making a sequel that is extremely similar to the first is quite a dangerous avenue to take, but in this case it is allowed. The fans wanted another Anchorman and that’s what they got. Fiddling with the formula would have been detrimental to the spirit of the series.

What was interesting is that they managed to make Carrell’s character Brick even more insane. Not only that, they gave him a love interest in the form of Kristen Wiig who is equally as challenged as our favourite deviant and the two actors are brilliant together. They were previous co-stars in Despicable Me 2 where they were also winning and I can only hope they have more hilarious future projects together.

What is incredible about Anchorman 2 is not necessarily the movie itself, but its build-up marketing that sets the precedent for other movie marketing. Ferrell posed in full character at various events. As Ron Burgundy, he commentated at a curdling event, did a live news broadcast with a real anchor and he gave a lecture at Emerson College in Boston after they renamed their School of Communication to the Ron Burgundy School of Communication for a day. This along with its many social media and viral video campaigns, Ferrell and the producers went beyond how movies have normally been marketed and is definitely a game-changer.

Despite being a completely off-the-wall comedy, Anchorman 2 also delivers a scathing commentary on what society’s sense of newsworthiness is. It shows a degradation of journalistic integrity when media places more value on ratings than quality stories and surprisingly pushes the need for ‘real’ news rather than fluffy animals and all things patriotic.

Oh, and there is the amazing news channels fight, much similar to the first movie’s fight scene but they went all out in this one, with cameos that you least expect as all the major national news channels kill and dismember each other. It is probably the best scene in the whole movie.

It’s been almost ten years since we first saw the legend that was Ron Burgundy. In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, he gives the fans exactly what they want: more of the same. And that’s not a bad thing.

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