Dateline – At the Movies with Peter Travers, bringing you a special news bulletin: After almost a decade, the sequel everyone's been waiting for has finally arrived. And while Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues may not be flawless, our fearless critic has plenty to applaud.
The entire Anchorman crew returns for the much-anticipated sequel, with Will Ferrell reprising his role as the lovable, teleprompter-dependent buffoon Ron Burgundy, Paul Rudd as the skeevy reporter Brian Fantana, Steve Carrell as tnot-so-smart weatherman Brick Tamland and David Koechner as the bigoted, horn-dogging sports guy Champ Kind. Ferrell and director Adam McKay also handled the screenwriting duties, and while Travers notes that Anchorman 2 is essentially the same movie as its predecessor, it's nevertheless packed with laughs.
The film picks up in the 1980s, a few years after the first left off, with Burgundy and wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) tag-teaming the nightly news until Burgundy finds himself fired. Jobless, he heads to New York City, where he's propositioned with working for a brand new 24-hour cable news channel. "As Ron Burgundy says, 'That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard of,'" Travers recalls, adding that McKay and Ferrell actually make it "a hilarious idea: To hold Ron Burgundy responsible for not only CNN but the infotainment plague that Fox News still brings us all the time."
Travers has nothing but praise for the performances of the entire Channel 4 News Team – particularly Carrell's turn as the worst weatherman in the world – all of whom help the film earn a solid passing grade. As Travers points out, there's plenty in Ron Burgundy's flag-waving to remind you of the overly-patriotic rating stunts pulled over on Fox News: "You'll laugh," he says, "but a little of that laugh will stick in your throat, because Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is gonna be, I think, the hit of the holiday season."