The Channel 4 news team has finally reassembled after years of Will Ferrell and his writing partner Adam McKay searching for funding for a sequel to what has become, possibly, the biggest cult hit comedy of our times. So big that it may transcend the term of ‘cult’ as it is loved by so many people. Interestingly the first Anchorman was a box office flop but it’s popularity grew with word of mouth and it’s endlessly quotable dialogue. The Legend of Ron Burgundy is easily one of my favourite comedies of all time, it’s ridiculous humour proves the perfect platform for Ferrell’s style of performance as well as bringing the best out of all it’s other cast members. The film deserves the place it has a modern cultural phenomenon, put it does put a lot of pressure on this sequel that comes nine long years after the first instalment.
I am pleased to say that The Legend Continues will not disappoint anyone whose a fan of the franchise. The team have created a very well crafted plot that stops Anchorman 2 falling into the common issue of being repetitive. Ron Burgundy is offered the chance to present the news on what is the first ever 24 hour news station and decides it’s time he reunited his news team in the process. The adventure that ensues again provides Ferrell’s comedic way the best platform he has ever had. Burgundy is easily his best character and what works in this film, actually better than the first one, is the plotting. The film was never going to quite live up to the quotable best of the first and it’s important not to go in expecting that, Anchorman 2 is at its best when it’s original and the lack of snappy one-liners is actually a blessing in disguise. If they’d have tried to simply re-create what worked well in the first film this movie would’ve flopped and it’s in the moments where the film refers back to its predecessor that the laughs drop off. While for the most part the film is very funny it does spend too much just repeating old jokes, there are two or three scenes which more or less are exactly the same as the first, and in doing so detract from the originality and the spark that can be found in other scenes. Clocking in at 119 minutes it’s almost a whole half hour longer than the first and that, quite simply, is too long. As a whole it would’ve worked much better just to cut out the references and hark backs as the new material is strong enough to stand on its own two feet.
Overall Anchorman 2 is a triumph, it could well have been pushing the boundaries of funny and in turn ruin the first films legacy but Ferrell and the team do a fantastic job of progressing their characters and bringing fresh, new material to the table. It’s over-long but this movie will not let you down.