With a voice that can make a wolverine purr the legendary anchorman Ron Burgandy is back. 10 years after the release of the now cult classic Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy comes Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Set in the 1980s, the world has changed for our hero Ron (Will Ferrell) who is now down-and-out and drunkenly introducing shows at Sea World. He is given a second chance at fame as the graveyard shift anchorman at GNN, the World's first 24-hour news channel. Reassembling his friends Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner) and Brick Tamlin (Steve Carrell) the news team begin to change what the news should be from telling people what they need to know to telling them what they want to hear.
There is an element of truth in the farce, with the film commenting on the state of journalism in the United States. No longer are journalists required to do any investigative work and instead fill the news with stories about animals, segments on how great the USA is and the staple of modern American news; the high-speed car chase. While this is an interesting tact for the film to take, it is quickly forgotten in a sea on non-sequiters and adlibbed jokery and in truth it is here where the biggest problems with the film lie.
The first was such a success because in among the madness of the news team and their escapades was Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), the straight man to their insanity. She does return in the sequel, but is quickly side-lined in favour of extended scenes with new characters like Chani (Kristen Wiig) and the Wes Mantooth-a-like Jack Lime (James Marsden). Like a lot of Ferrell's comedies such as Blades of Glory and Step Brothers, they fail because there is no entry point of normality for the audience.
This is not to say that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a failure, when it gets it right it's the funniest film of the year. The exchanges between the news team are still excellent and at times stomach-splittingly funny, and there are nods and winks to the original film throughout that will delight fans. Brick's role is extended and while the comedy does occasionally drift into uncomfortable territory considering his obvious disabilities he still gets the biggest laughs.
At over two hours in length the film drags quite drastically in parts. A little more quality control in editing will have tightened everything up and placed it in league with the years other big comedies The World's End and Alpha Papa. There's still plenty to recommend it, but it never lives up to the promise of the original, but who knows, over time there might be enough quotable goodness to elevate Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues into a cult favourite.