[rating=3]Writer(s): Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
Director(s): Adam McKay
Picking up where Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy left off, this raw comedy opens with “Ron Burgundy” (Ferrell) and “Veronica Corningstone-Burgundy” now married and working as co-anchors for a newscast originating in New York City. Then the managing editor/chief anchor (Harrison Ford in a cameo) announces he will be retiring. Rather than being promoted into his place as he expects, Ron Burgundy is fired for consistently screwing up on-air. Veronica gets the job and it causes Ron to leave her.
Unable to find a job he can keep, Ron is back in San Diego when the Global News Network comes calling, offering him a job. He reassembles his news team of “Brick Tamland” (Carell), “Brian Fantana” (Rudd) and “Champ Kind” (Koechner). They go back to the world headquarters of GNN and discover they’ve been relegated to the 2 a.m. timeslot. Ron makes an ill-advised wager with “Jack Lime” (Marsden) the star anchorman who will hold down the prime-time slot, and as a result he does something unusual with his newscast. The ratings go through the roof and this catches the eye of the head of news, “Linda Jackson” (Good). But then Ron is injured and loses his sight, costing him his job and just about everything else. He had already been failing in his responsibilities to his son “Walter” (Nelson) and was horrified to find that another man had moved into the home that he had once shared with Veronica. That this man “Gary” is a touchy-feely sort doesn’t help. Ron retreats to a remote beachfront shack and eventually Veronica and Walter join him there. The rest is predictable but moderately entertaining.
While still a sequel, this is more of a send-up of other films as part of the attempt to generate laughs. There are a number of funny bits, but some of the humor seems more than a tad forced. While Ferrell and writer/director McKay have made funnier films, the bulk of the comedy is decent. I suspect that playing Ron Burgundy is one of Ferrell’s favorite roles, as he seems quite comfortable in it. His ability to generate the well-intentioned goofball makes this a better movie than it otherwise might have been. The subplot involving Brick and “Chani” (Wiig), a secretary at GNN is cute and the network’s financial backer “Kench Allenby” (Lawson) brings an element that the original Anchorman film did not possess.
This film took nearly a decade to be made and it is nice to see that it didn’t suffer from that long lag time. CNN may be the model for GNN in this movie, but this is not the story of how the 24 hour news network came to be. It’s a funny movie. You’ll laugh.
Rating – PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence
Running time – one hour and fifty-nine minutes