As his world crashes around him, the fearful animosity and anger that Ron Burgundy transmitted through the airwaves of the 1970s comes to a close. His reign of terror is over. For a decade, movie-goers were able to enjoy a time of peace and tranquillity, a character based on Mort Crim would be laid to rest. Of course, no good thing can come to an end, nor, it seems, can a mediocre product. It will live forever, shuffling through the minds and hearts of somewhat nostalgic young adults. Their minds unphased by copious drinking and drug use, they are the perfect audience to experience Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. A hefty experience indeed, one whose running time exceeds that of many more rewarding experiences.
A series of scenes that feel more like a theft of time than anything worthy of endeavouring to witness, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has its head in the clouds. Far too often does it take it and its cast for granted, expecting them to just roll with the underwhelming narrative punches. For some reason, the topic of journalistic integrity is brought to the forefront rather often. Why? Who knows? Maybe it’s because Ron Burgundy is the only man we can trust in this modern age of horror. A firm hand on the tiller, guiding us through the waging wars of modern life, his no-nonsense peddling of agendas and entertainment subverts any actual news. A strange message that doesn’t work, and clashes with all the other abject oddities found throughout.
Inconsistency is key, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has too many opportunities for humour, panics, and extends what could be a brief, throwaway chuckle into a five-minute musical number. With so many characters, as well as narrative threads, Adam McKay struggles incredibly hard to present a coherent voice throughout. Burgundy gets the band back together, fights to rekindle his relationship with Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), storms the news channels and tries to reclaim his dignity. Considering Burgundy is the centre of all these stories, it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that the supporting characters are far more interesting. Brick (Steve Carrell) and Champ (David Koechner) are reduced to inconsistent caricatures, but their dialogue shines through from time to time.
Doubling down on everything that made the first in the series so mixed, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a stretch, to say the least. Clocking in at a mighty two and a half hours, McKay and his crew push their luck. Shuffling through all the expected, torturous narrative devices necessary to create such a plodding story, but, somehow, Ferrell and the leading cast are charming enough to make an acceptable experience. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues leaves the 70s behind it, storming into the 1980s with style, but its humour, much like the garish attires and thick-rimmed glasses, feel dated. A manic energy is present, but the love for Burgundy begins to wear rather thin, his time at the top of the food chain comes to an elongated close.