What an impossible task it had to be for Adam McKay and Will Ferrell to follow up the legend that is Anchorman with Anchorman 2. Expectations had to be through the roof since it was announced that the cast had come together and a script was written for a follow-up to the film that had us uttering Anchorman quotes for nine years.
As time went by and the original film fell further and further into history, the idea of coming up with a second film had to be daunting to say the least. What producer-director-writer McKay and producer-writer-star Ferrell have given us with Anchorman 2 is one absolutely nutty, silly and sensationally hysterical ride that, at the same time, is a pretty biting commentary on how 24-hour cable news has changed us forever. And it’s not for the better.
The crux of Anchorman 2 is our favorite San Diego anchorman, Ron Burgundy, is in New York City with his now wife Veronica Corningstone. The pair are weekend anchors on a Manhattan station. Soon enough, Corningstone is given a historic promotion to the evening news and Ron… is fired. When Burgundy forces Corningstone to choose between the job and him, he feels he has no choice but to leave and return to San Diego.
A producer from a newfangled thing called cable news lands in Ron’s world and asks him to be a part of something revolutionary: 24-hour news. As seen in the final Anchorman 2 clip, Burgundy thinks it’s the worst idea he’s ever heard. But seeing his first week’s pay in cash, he quickly is off to get the Action News Team back together (shown in this Anchorman 2 trailer).
McKay and Ferrell had to look at the news landscape of today and they saw the utter clutter of the news reporting world we live in and knew that it had to start somewhere. What a fantastic idea to have the genesis of the thing they now call “news” arise from the world of our favorite fictional news anchor.
Even if it is a solid plot that honestly holds the story together pretty well, the reason people fell for the Anchorman movie in the first place was Ferrell as that character. He again is in his element and it may very well be the best Ferrell character he has ever created. The way he responds to challenges with lines like, “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John,” produces out-loud laughs from the audience every time. And that is just scratching the surface of the comic classics that come out of his mouth in Anchorman 2. Are there Anchorman 2 quotes that we’ll be saying for the next decade? Oh, you bet. And the great lines aren’t just saved for Ferrell as Burgundy.
The supporting cast has only gotten better with age. Steve Carell’s Brick is particularly insane this time, and he is even given a love interest with a fellow innocently ignorant cable news staffer played with precision by Kristen Wiig. Paul Rudd amps up his late 1970s, early 1980s stereotypical male persona and it is pure comic gold. And David Koechner has added a layer to his sports reporter Champ Kind that you’ll have to see the movie to see what we mean! And there is a bounty of cameos that you will not hear about here. But, by the end of the film you may be wondering: Who isn't in Anchorman 2?!
Our Anchorman 2 review has to point out that this is a pure Ferrell folly, and for his fan base, the film is an absolute joy. For those who aren’t the hugest appreciators of his humor, the film may be a stretch. But for those of us who adore his talents and treasure him as Burgundy, Anchorman 2 is as classy as it gets.