Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence
Written by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and more
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate and more
Grade: Three full, luxuriant mustaches
Imagine all the most inappropriate, embarrassing, overly dramatic and outright ludicrous things you've ever said or imagined saying. Multiply all of them by a thousand. Then throw in a shark.
Welcome to the world of Ron Burgandy.
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," starring Will Ferrell as the world's most incompetent newsman, is the most gloriously absurd thing to hit the silver screen since the costumes the characters wear were at all fashionable. The characters are completely without shame, sanity or a sense of self-preservation, creating a kind of delightful funhouse mirror that actually manages to say a few insightful things about the nature of news today.
Not to mention the wisdom of playing your flute during an ice skating routine. Ron is all about safety, folks.
The plot is a magnificent mash-up of a certain kind of terrible novel/TV movie from the 1980s, featuring Burgandy and his news crew taking a job at the brand-new 24-hour Global News Network (or GNN, for those who need the help with the joke). There are marital issues, tragic big-eyed children, random life-changing injuries, emotional montages set to sappy music, professional and personal betrayals, tearful misunderstandings, and (as always) Ron Burgandy making terrible decisions.
Ferrell has clueless, arrogant idiocy down by this point, always tempering his buffoons with just enough sweetness that we want them to win anyway. The rest of his news crew follow the type beautifully, though Steve Carell goes above and beyond as the probably clinically insane Brick Talmand. For those not familiar with the character in the first movie, we meet Brick here during his own funeral. It takes the entire news crew to convince the grief-stricken Brick that he's not actually dead.
In "Anchorman 2," the team is surrounded by a supporting cast who happily match our returning heroes for ridiculousness. James Marsden shows off both his smugness and comedic chops as Jack Lime, Kristen Wiig matches Carrell absurdity for absurdity as Brick's true love Chani, and Greg Kinnear has a tiny but juicy role as a psychiatrist who may or may not be psychic.
This time, Ferrell technically has two love interests, Christina Applegate's voice of reason and Meagan Good's take-charge man-eater. Both women are far too successful, attractive and relatively sane to ever look twice at someone like Burgandy, let alone sleep with him, but the rules of logic only apply in the real world.
Besides, there's no way the rules of logic would allow the movie to culminate in the greatest fight scene in the history of all fight scenes. It's a multi-channel news beatdown in the most literal sense, featuring a whole host of lunatic, inspired surprises that just keep getting more entertaining. IMDB tries to spoil some of the best guest appearances, so if you're planning on watching the movie I'd suggest staying away from the site until afterward.
Watch out for your soul, though. I've heard those news battles can get dangerous.