It certainly took long enough for Ron Burgundy and company to return to theaters. Nine years to be exact. When the original Anchorman released in 2004 it did moderate business at the box office but found cult-like status when it came home on DVD with 90 minutes worth of quotable lines as well as some of the most off-the-wall characters ever. It was kind of a big deal. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay kept trying to convince Paramount that audiences wanted a sequel and the studio would not listen then finally relented when Ferrell and McKay promised to make the movie on the cheap meaning they and stars Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and Dave Koechner would do it at a discount.
Here we are! Nine years later and the Channel 4 News Team has entered the 80’s with less than stellar results. Champ owns a fried chicken restaurant that serves bats to save money calling them “chicken of the cave”, Brian is a successful kitten photographer and Brick…well, Brick’s dead. At least that is what he said giving his own eulogy at the gravesite.
Ron has fallen on harder times being fired from his anchor job by his idol and his wife Veronica has become the first ever female evening news anchor. This leaves them estranged with Ron’s son caught in the middle. He is soon offered a job at GNN, the first ever venture into 24 hour news. Ron loads the Burgundy-mobile and goes searching for his old team and convince them to come to New York with him and become the big thing in news again.
Needless to say if you thought events in the first movie got a little weird get ready, because that was nothing. As their fame grows so does Ron’s ego and he distances himself from the team while he begins a relationship with the news station’s African-American news director, which Ron can not stop mentioning. Black. He can’t stop saying black. Black….black.
The mighty soon falls as a tragic figure skating accident leaves Ron blind and living in a lighthouse alone. Even the team can not bring him out of his self-pity. Only Veronica and his son can do that as he learns to live with his lack of vision and raises a baby shark, called Doby, to adulthood. Those previous sentences should not surprise you in anyway knowing this is Anchorman.
The sheer number of co-stars and cameos is staggering in Anchorman 2. Brick finds love in a like soul played by Kristen Wiig and Ron’s idol is a certain Dr. Jones. Like the first Anchorman we are also treated to a giant news battle featuring Kanye West, Liam Neeson and the son of Dorothy Mantooth (she is a saint!).Those names are the tip of the iceberg in the fight for news supremacy. This was one recycled part of the first film that worked better than others. I could guess that the main cast ad-libbed a lot of the script because of director Adam McKay wanting to release a completely separate cut of the film with all-new jokes. I am all for that.
As for the movie as a whole, Anchorman 2 had me chuckling and laughing plenty but lacked the true tear-inducing humor that made the first a classic. I found Ron Burgundy’s return funny…yet something was still not there. Some of the jokes are laughable but nowhere near as quotable as the 2004 original. There is normally no way to catch lightning in a bottle twice, but even with that said, Anchorman 2 is funnier than most of the comedies I have seen in the past year. Just be sure to go in with tempered expectations, because while Anchorman 2 is funny, it can not equal your love of lamp.
NERD RATING- 8/10
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