He could have taught sexism to Black Jesus. He might have seduced Madam Curie--with science. Given the chance, he saved no orcas. Ron Burgundy is a unique character, full of possibilities. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, his newest outing, is a combination of hilarity, confusion, and disappointment. Was it worth it? I think so. Did maybe they need some more time to think the whole thing through? Yes.
Well, maybe not much more time. Watching Will Ferrell's and director Adam McKay's new-old sequel (when it takes nine years to make a sequel, you are too early for Terence Malick or Star Wars, but way too late to be building any momentum). But, since the first movie was simply too weird and wonderful to not explore further, Ron Burgundy is. There's not really a new story. Ron is once again saddled with the same sexism challenges, but instead of just threatening his career, this time it also threatens his marriage to his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate).
In a bid to redeem himself, Ron puts his old crew back together. He finds Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner), and Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and brings them to work with him for new 24-hour news agency GNN.
And that's just the beginning of the introductions. This movie is full of characters. How many did you have to stand in for? Your job title explains so little, and you were the only one credited with it. That must have been exhausting. Can an overworked stand-in affect the performances of the cast? That could explain some of the inconsistency in _Anchorman 2. _As Chani, Brick's love interest, Kristen Wiig was awesome. On the other hand, I don't know if Harrison Ford was good, or if he was just well edited. The others…I don't want to give away too much, as the relentless pace of cameos is one of the film's sole consistent pleasures. But as a result, no one element is really given much time. Except for the careful setup early on involving an RV crash with scorpions and bowling balls and deep fryer. But most everyone saw that in the commercials. Otherwise, There's not much time for plot, not much time for characters, and there's not even much time for themes. We see the importance of parenting, Marshall McLuhan's media, respect in relationships, interracial relationships, all of which are dismissed as quickly as they are introduced.
And in the end, the movie is just a lot of things. A string of sketches. An uneven sequence of laughs. Like an ode to late 70s/early 80s dining culture, it's a buffet approach to comedy: Everyone can find something to enjoy. The guys next to me only laughed at the jokes about Filipinos and Blacks. One lady laughed at what I didn't even think was a joke. Who was right?
With a film this broad, it's the people who laugh that win. And that was pretty much everyone. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues desperately wants to be something to someone - surprising, or weird, or awkward, or silly. All of the jokes are in this movie, and at least one of them is going to get broadcast directly to your fun brain.