Utterly quotable and beloved by everyone in San Diego, Anchorman’s following is worldwide and smells of rich mahogany. Put it this way, it’d be hard to find someone who a) has never seen the film or b) doesn’t know a line from it, even if they haven’t seen it.
Will Ferrell returns as blustery, self-important newsreader Ron Burgundy; his voice is as smooth as the Scotch he loves so much but his heyday is coming to an end. Ron and wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) are both up for a big national position and when she is chosen to move up the professional ladder, Ron flips. Ending their relationship and abandoning his wife and young son Walter, he flounders for a while before being offered a job at the world’s first 24-hour news station.
He takes the job but can’t do it alone; Ron Burgundy needs his news team. Champ Kind (David Koechner) is running a local chicken shop, Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) is a famous cat photographer and Steve Carrell reprises the moronic Brick Tamland who is believed (mostly by Brick) to be dead. The guys make a big impression on the New York news scene but will their sketchy new Rupert Murdoch-a-like boss put their ethics to the test.
The biggest difference between Anchorman 2 and its predecessor is the storyline. The structure of the news and its content plays a much bigger role and it’s hard to be convinced that this was the most interesting idea to run with. Still, it at least allows Ron to evolve professionally; having him down and out in the later years of his careers seems like the most obvious scenario to watch the cast play out.
Luckily, Ferrell is on fine form and delivers everything we love about Ron and more but it’s often Carrell that steals the show. Brick is sweet, completely off-kilter and dangerously idiotic but never crosses the line into Monty Python style absurdity. His character also manages to start an adorable romance with Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig. Veronica, who was a major part in the first movie, is sidelined for an enormous portion of the film, leaving the lead female role to Megan Good as the token black woman/station manager. Adam McKay and Will Ferrell still haven’t learned how to write decent female characters – apparently, sidelining Veronica, introducing a poorly-written manager role and giving Kristen Wiig some room to improv was the best they could do.
The rest of the film is crammed with guest appearances who do nothing to improve the movie. Spoiling who they are in this review would take away the only thrill they can provide: a pleasant surprise, so it’s best you just find out in the cinema.
There are a few gut-busting hilarious scenes and the film will ultimately leave you with a smile on your face but much of the script felt like McKay just didn’t know when to say “cut”.