Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (4 stars)

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Will Ferrell's idiotic newsman makes a welcome return

In the nine years since the release of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's titular creation has become a real icon of idiocy, making a sequel genuinely welcome. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (once again co-written by Ferrell and director Adam McKay) brings back the original's cast and winning formula, alongside plenty of new faces and ideas.

Anchorman 2 finds Ron in New York, now a husband and father as well as co-anchor – and woefully ill-suited to all three. He's thrown immediately into crisis when WBC boss Mack Harken (Harrison Ford) fires him while simultaneously promoting Ron's wife Veronica (Christina Applegate) to presenter of the nightly news. And so Ron returns to San Diego, suffering an ignominious stint as a SeaWorld compère, before being brought back to NYC to front a 24-hour news channel. The sequel rewrites history so that Ron and his hapless cohorts are responsible for the dumbing down of news as they seek to liven up their graveyard shift.

Anchorman 2 is a nice mix of the old (the jazz flute, the knowingly dated male banter) and the new (Ron's misjudged interactions with his six-year-old son are hilarious, as are his shockingly un-PC attempts to 'assimilate' with the family of his black girlfriend). It's also great to see more screen-time for Steve Carell's Brick, who finds a kindred spirit in love interest Chani (Kristen Wiig).

Although some of its satire is rushed (there's a miniscule sub-plot involving a corporate cover-up) there's ample surreal drama and consistent comedic excellence from the already star cast, so when the film descends into a string of shameless cameos it feels inexplicably desperate. But thankfully, for the most part, Anchorman 2 finds Ron and co as enjoyably irrelevant as ever.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Trailer #2

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 1h 59min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Adam McKay
  • Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
  • UK release: 18 December 2013

Sequel to the 2004 comedy about San Diego newsreaders.