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|Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues|
dir Adam McKay
scr Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
prd Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
with Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, James Marsden, Meagan Good, Kristen Wiig, Judah Nelson, Dylan Baker, Greg Kinnear, Harrison Ford
release US/UK 18.Dec.13
13/US Paramount 1h59
Rallying the troops: Rudd, Carell, Koechner and Ferrell
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Nearly 10 years later, Ron Burgundy returns to the screen for another absurd, silly romp that's more referential than it is actually funny. But it knowingly riffs on the 1980s while occasionally making a pointed comment about the media. And even if the plot and characters never hang together, it's occasionally hilarious.
After moving to New York and having a son (Nelson), Ron and Veronica (Ferrell and Applegate) finally bust up when she gets the new network anchor job he wanted. Drunk and unemployed, Ron is offered a job on a start-up 24-hour news channel. Even though he thinks the idea is ludicrous, he reassembles his team (Rudd's laddish reporter, Carrell's brain-fried weatherman, Koechner's overeager sports guy) and squares off against hot-shot anchor Jack Lime (Marsden) in a ratings war, inadvertently changing the news forever.
The movie's one salient gag is that Ron's idea of giving viewers the news they want to see is pretty much all America has anymore, filling time with non-stories while important events are barely reported. This provides the only hint of depth in a film that's otherwise a series of hit or miss comic sketches that seem pasted together in random order. And it just about keeps us laughing, even though it's impossible to get involved in the flimsy plot.
It helps that Ferrell and his supporting players are so happy to throw themselves into their roles, indulging in the wacky costumes and hair-dos ("perms for everyone!") and occasionally finding a bit of emotion, even though the characters are too erratic to identify with. Everyone has a few moments in the spotlight, but no-one is able to steal a scene from Ferrell. Although, in the film's chaotic final act, an avalanche of big-name cameos* comes close.
The main problem is that Ferrell and McKay throw everything they can think of at the screen, regardless of whether it adds anything to the story or characters. So large chunks of the film meander pointlessly, such as a long sequence in which a blinded Ron bottle-feeds a baby shark back to health, culminating in a full-on musical number. But then, aside from the pointed jabs at CNN and Rupert Murdoch, pretty much everything in this film is a non sequitur.
* Keep an eye out for Vince Vaughn, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Kanye West, Liam Neeson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kirsten Dunst, John C Reilly and Fred Willard.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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