Bring on more Burgundy!
Sequels usually disappoint, but this one, 9 years in the making, should get ratings that would make even the great Ron Burgundy (Will Farrell) proud.
The news team that made Sahn Dieago famous in Anchorman, returns in Anchorman 2, The Legend Continues. If you liked the first one, you’ll love the second, perhaps even more.
The anchors are all fired from their jobs in local news, and are having to adjust to life after news. Burgundy has taken a job emceeing dolphin shows at Sea World, which he does poorly while wearing a dirty. bad, blue blazer with the mic in one hand and a scotch in the other. Fortunately a new 24 hour channel (Global News Network) is being started in New York and they are brought back together to build the ratings of GNN. There are plenty of side splitting moments and a few jokes that brought tears to my eyes (when’s the last time you’ve laughed so hard, you’ve cried, in a movie theater?) There were at least a dozen times when the entire theater laughed out loud, which would put this movie in rare territory.
Initially, the experiment with 24 hour news doesn’t work out so well for the team — Burgundy offends his African American (“African and American”) female boss and the crew is tossed out. Reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) talks about how he may need to return to Southern California and hang out with his friends, OJ. Simpson, Robert Blake and Phil Specter (“we call ourselves the lady killers”.) But alas, the ratings are returned from their first newscast and the team is saved. ”We’re a news team and that’s a bond for life.” may be one of the funniest lines in the movie. Perhaps since I’ve been a part of dozens of news teams over the years, I may be the only person who found that funny, but it is.
Sure, the movie takes more than one swipe at Fox News’ rating success when they make the move towards doing “feel good, patriotic” news and Burgundy signs off with, “Don’t just have a good night, have an American night!” But in the real world, Fox News is so far ahead of its competition that it can take the heat and enjoy it. “Let’s don’t tell them what they need to hear, but what they want to hear,” says Burgundy.
The push for ratings works. They add a few live car chases where Burgundy does wild speculation on who’s driving and all is well once again in the GNN world and ratings are through the roof.
Burgundy fires up a relationship with his boss and when she takes him home to meet her family and have dinner, the jokes at the table might make 86 year old Sidney Poitier roll with laughter. It’s a scene rife with racial jokes that could rank with the classic Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) threatening to shoot himself in front of the towns-people in Blazing Saddles.
As in all movies with a weatherman, he is the crazy guy (See: Groundhog Day, The Weatherman, Snow Day, Anchorman.) Brick Tamlin (Steve Carell) is insane and his bizarre lines don’t seem to get old. He finds an equally crazy love interest and also learns on St. Patrick’s Day that wearing green is not a good idea while standing in front of the ChromaKey board.
As in the first movie, the fight scene at the end is a classic. Loaded with plenty of cameo’s from Hollywood’s finest. Brick carries a trident (briefly) and at one point Burgundy declares, “We’ve gotta get outta here, there’s too much news.”
There are plenty of great movie choices during the holidays, but put this one high on your list. Two mic-flags up is where I rank Anchorman 2.