Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' review: Still classy, still ridiculous

*** (out of four)

Though his glorious mustache causes him to resemble a man, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is, in reality, the ultimate giant baby -- a random collision of unchecked impulses and defiant tantrums. Whoever hires the fired anchorman to host the Sea World dolphin show after wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) chooses her promotion over her husband must have known the guy soon would be drunkenly asking the two female trainers to kiss in front of the crowd. "I would eat dolphins if it was legal!" he shouts. Of course he does, and of course he would. Ron lives on a higher, louder plane, where compromise and tact are for chumps.

In "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," Ferrell's veteran newsman (who justified his own legend in the endlessly quotable 2004 film) hasn't lost a shred of his unparalleled delivery. Not everything that comes out of Burgundy's mouth is a winner, but Ferrell's 150 percent performance constantly turns stupid into gold. This time he's recruited to join the first-ever 24-hour news network, prompting a Muppets-style reunion with his old colleagues: Sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner) runs a restaurant where he serves fried bats as chicken; Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) would creep out the cats he photographs if they understood him; and moronic weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) delivers the kind of eulogy that could only come from a man who loves lamp.

Too often the script by Ferrell and director/co-writer Adam McKay, which briefly and tentatively sends up the modern 24-hour news machine, forgets about characters and plotlines (maybe because a commitment to story dampened the original's pace and energy). James Marsden appears as Ron's new rival, but too easily accepts defeat. Ron's rocky relationship with his boss, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), leads to the film's worst scene, in which Ron awkwardly mimics African-American stereotypes in front of Linda and her family, who are black. Neither Good nor Applegate (nor Rudd) gets much to work with, and a running gag involving Veronica's new man (Greg Kinnear) goes on far too long.

Also, louder isn't always funnier, as evidenced by Brick's defense of the first woman he's ever met who's his intellectual match (Kristen Wiig).

But there's nothing like laughing your face off, and even at nearly two full hours "Anchorman 2" gets the giddy, giggly, cheek-pressuring job done. It's better not to spoil too many jokes. Just prepare to learn how badly Ron needs his eyesight and witness evidence that a pop-culture figure you never thought was funny ... still isn't funny.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 20 best movies of 2013

    20 best movies of 2013

    In a pretty strong year for movies, these were the 10 that not only stood out but warranted repeated viewings and serious discussion. By Matt Pais, RedEye movie critic     Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U mpais@tribune.com   Want more? Discuss this article...

  • Are beautiful, funny women really that hard to find?

    Are beautiful, funny women really that hard to find?

    "In the history of the motion picture business, the number of beautiful, really beautiful women — a Lucille Ball — that are funny, is impossible to find," former Disney CEO Michael Eisner said in a conversation about mindfulness, of all things, with Goldie Hawn at the Aspen Ideas Festival. "The...

  • Could Chicago get a third skyscraper observation deck?

    Could Chicago get a third skyscraper observation deck?

    Chicago could someday have a third skyscraper observatory to rival those at Willis Tower and John Hancock Center.

  • One-year Divvy discount coming for low-income Chicagoans

    One-year Divvy discount coming for low-income Chicagoans

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is hoping to increase the number of participants in the city's bike sharing program by offering inexpensive, one-year Divvy memberships to low-income residents, though the powder-blue bicycles aren't available to rent in several Chicago neighborhoods where many...

  • Photos: Running of the Bulls Festival

    Photos: Running of the Bulls Festival

    Thousands of revelers doused each other with wine Monday to celebrate the start of the famed San Fermin running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain.

  • Unruly Metra passenger head-butted conductor, police say

    Unruly Metra passenger head-butted conductor, police say

    A Roselle man has been charged after he allegedly head-butted a Metra conductor, breaking the conductor's nose, in a dispute over train fare, DuPage County prosecutors said.

Comments
Loading