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REVIEW: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (15)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Steve Carell, Meagan Good, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig, Greg Kinnear, Harrison Ford, Dylan Baker, Judah Nelson
Director: Adam McKay
Running time: 119 minutes
Released: December 18, UK & Ireland
THE first Anchorman film is one of those movies which fell flat on its face at the box office but grew through word of mouth into a genuine comedic phenomenon.
Its catchphrases now live lives of their own and one line (“Loud noises!”) was even shouted out at Wimbledon a few years ago.
2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was the brainchild of the huge US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live alumni, and best friends, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Inspired by one incident in which a long-established male news anchor was incredibly dismissive of a new, young, female co-employee, they lampooned this ridiculousness by coming up with, yes, the most ridiculous news anchor they possibly could.
And so the perma-tanned San Diego chauvinist – with a heart – Ron Burgundy was born.
In his afore-mentioned outing, the weird and wonderful world of he and his trio of news team buddies was threatened by the arrival in their workplace of the beautiful Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) before she and Ron pursued a troubled romance.
This new instalment picks up a few years after previous events. Ron is happily settled with Veronica and their son Walter, but is still being ridiculous, insisting that she choose between him and her important new job, a job he hoped he’d be sharing with her.
She, of course, opts for the job and Ron thus finds himself plunged into the depths of despair - until someone comes calling with an offer of an anchor role at the first-ever 24 hour news station, the Global News Network (GNN).
He joyfully reassembles his old team – Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sports reporter Champ ‘Whammy’ Kind (David Koechner), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) – but is then despondent when he realises that they’ve been allocated the graveyard shift.
He’s also a little perturbed by the fact that his boss is a black woman (Meagan Good) and that he’s up against cocky prime time anchor Jack Lime (James Marsden). But only an idiot would underestimate Mr Burgundy’s sixth sense about what the viewing public really want from their nightly news...
Ignoring the comedy value of the point of some of the plot – the non-news nature of a lot of what is reported on constantly rolling news – this sequel further establishes the legend by repeating a lot of what fans found funny first time around.
Thus we are treated to a Sex Panther reference, a jazz flute interlude, a cupboard of delights in Brian Fantana’s office and the gang fight to end all gang fights – including countless cameos from a number of very famous folk.
The cast have a ball – including Kristen Wiig as Brick’s equally unique love interest – and it is hard not to give in to the giggles at many of the set-pieces in response to gems which have been mined from the improv-heavy shoot.
One man’s meat is another’s poison, but if you’re a fan of Ferrell as this character, you won’t fail to find something to relish in this fabulously soundtracked dumb-com, enjoying every second of the ride as it swiftly swerves between the surreally sublime and the absolutely ridiculous.