For myself, I have to go all the way back to Leslie Nielsen’s Golden Age, or perhaps 1993’s Hot Shots: Part Deux to find a comedy sequel that I feel surpassed the original. Simply keeping up with the first one is an enormous challenge. But I did feel, in my heart, that if anyone could pull it off, it had to be Ron Burgundy himself.
Ron and his wife, Veronica, have a perfect New York life, but it all comes crashing down (or at least Ron’s part of it) when Veronica gets the evening news, and he gets fired. Told by his hero that he’s the worst newsman in history, he crawls back to San Diego to work at Sea World. Hope blooms again when a new network, GNN (Global News Network), asks him to join them for a new era in news: the twenty-four-hour news channel.
The first film came out in 2004, so I am viewing the sequel on the ten-year anniversary. But Ron Burgundy still has a special place in my heart, and seeing him on the big screen again puts a big grin on my face. All the guys are back – it could not have been otherwise – and honestly it’s like these guys have been living these characters for ten years. We get some awesome newcomers as well. James Marsden is the perfect sleezy news-anchor, and Greg Kinnear was incredibly under-utilised as Veronica’s lover.
A lot of the humour is classic Ron Burgundy, just bigger. Instead of having to accept a woman in the workplace, he now must contend with an African-American woman as his boss. Some of these jokes are cringe-worthy, I admit, but I did my fair share of cringing in the original, and it sort of comes with the territory.
The GNN network is not exactly subtle satire, but I don’t find it any less hilarious, mostly because I get to view it from the outside. Maybe I shouldn’t laugh at Americans being portrayed as so easily manipulated by the news playing to their patriotism, but it’s Americans doing the satire, so it’s ok. The head of GNN is the money-grabbing Australian, which was a very nice touch.
The rest of the plot is not as easy-going as the original. I can’t really say if I enjoyed it. On the one hand, the plot had a lot of random twists that made it seem like a sketch-show, but on the other hand I did like some of the crazy-ness, and if I didn’t like a particular scenario, the film was quick to move on.
The climax is probably the biggest thing Ron Burgundy & Co. will ever do. If you like random cameos from a bunch of different actors, get ready. I love a good cameo, so I was grinning from ear to ear through the whole thing. Was it pandering? Yes, but I feel the film wasn’t shy about what it was doing, so I laughed more at the idea of them pitching all these cameos to the actors.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is more of the same a lot of the time. Old jokes, only refurbished or made bigger. But, I really like those jokes, and I love Ron Burgundy, and sometimes you just had to laugh. The new stuff was mostly good – I adored Brick’s little love-interest. The jokes that fell flat for me were the jokes that fell flat in the first movie, basically.
With all that, I have to give a respectable dice roll 4.