Sometimes Hollywood will rush out a sequel, sometimes they’ll reboot a franchise and sometimes they’ll make a prequel. This usually happens relatively quickly with the studios looking to cash in on successful franchises to make as much money as they can, but sometimes there are films that go for years without any news of a sequel but have such huge fan appeal it beggars belief nothing has happened sooner. One of these films is Anchorman.
It has been nine years since Ron Burgundy first bought us the news and in that time people have been quoting him and his news team to create giggles all over the world. When Ron Burgundy turned up and announced the sequel on American talk shown Conan, the internet was ablaze with excitement. After a year of building up the anticipation, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was released Christmas 2013 – but did it live up to the hype?
Short answer: No. Far from it.
Whilst the main players were there the film felt disjointed and forced in places. It’s on record that each shot was recorded a dozen or so times, each with a different joke or payoff and director Adam McKay was touting the idea of releasing an Anchorman 2.5 (the same plot but with different jokes). The problem being that whilst undoubtedly these actors are great improvisers, there is no cohesion between scenes and it feels poorly shoved together.
The plot – what little there is of it – sees Burgundy (Will Ferrell) fired and split from his now wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and their son Walter. Ron gets picked for a new global news network that’s breaking ground by going twenty-four hours so he assembles his news team and heads to New York. Here he fumbles with his female boss who happens to be black and goes blind whilst engaged in a battle with another anchor.
Speaking of battles, the news team battle where Brick killed someone with a trident makes a return. It doesn’t offer much in the way of laughs like it did the first time around but it more used as an excuse to cram in as many cameos as possible. You have to feel for Kirsten Dunst though who gets to blow a horn from a distance and that’s all.
This is not the movie we were hoping for. The plot isn’t really interesting enough, it’s just an excuse for everyone to try and have fun. Whilst this does illicit a few laughs – mostly from Brick – it’s not the guffaw-fest from the original. The whole film is just too incoherent and lacks the sheen of its predecessor. For years fans were left wondering and hoping for this movie and sadly, they’re going to be left disappointed.