‘Anchorman 2’ lampoons TV news idiocy

  • By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:15pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

The one moment I cherished above all others in 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” was the newscaster rumble: a hand-to-hand fight between San Diego’s competing news teams.

It brought the movie’s scattered dopiness to a fine point.

Without giving away any celebrity cameos, let’s just say that the long-awaited sequel, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” also builds to an epic news team throw-down. This one is also hilarious, and some of the new faces are amazing indeed.

The sequence even has a point: that in the world of the 24-hour news cycle, there’s way, way too much useless faux-news filling the air. In this big fight, there are so many competing teams you pretty much want them all to lose.

But to back up. Things are changing for boorish nitwit Ron Burgundy (of course played by co-screenwriter Will Ferrell): his marriage to Veronica (Christina Applegate) goes on the rocks and he loses his New York anchorman job. Redemption comes in an unlikely form.

Somebody’s hatching the idea of an all-news network (this is 1980, remember), and Ron would be just perfect for the 2 a.m. shift that nobody watches.

He assembles his old team, once again played by the spirited crew of Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner.

They all have random comedy moments, and Carell’s barely brain-functioning weatherman gets a romance with a secretary (Kristen Wiig) at the new network.

Long sections are devoted to Ron’s anxiety about having a boss (Meagan Good) who is both female and black — an example of Ferrell and director Adam McKay pushing comedy past its limits even if it doesn’t seem to be clicking all that well, in the hopes that the pushing itself becomes the point.

There are some good non sequiturs, many of them barked out by Carell in his Tourette’s-like delivery. Some of the film’s sidetrips are admirable just for their sheer madness, including a sequence in which a Ron and his family adopt and nurture a shark.

And kudos to Ferrell &Co. for their subversive message about the inanity of so much TV news. Ron’s team scores its success by inventing a now-familiar formula of super patriotism, stories about cute animals, and live police-car chases.

Still, not quite a classic here — the movie’s too shaggy (and a little long) for that.

Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Ron Burgundy, but he’d better hurry with the next sequel. When TV news is already self-parody, there may be nothing left to spoof.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2½ stars)

The nitwit newscaster (Will Ferrell) from 2004’s “Anchorman” returns, ready to help found the first all-news TV network. A subversive swipe at the inanity of the 24-hour news cycle is folded within the movie’s wacky comic set pieces, some of which work, some don’t. Much of the main cast returns, including Steve Carell and Paul Rudd.

Rated: PG-13 for language, subject matter.

Showing: Alderwood Mall, Cinebarre, Everett Stadium, Galaxy Monroe, Marysville, Stanwood, Pacific Place, Carsity, Woodinville, Blue Fox, Cascade Mall, Oak Harbor.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Urban treats prove Switzerland is more than its pristine alpine meadows

For interesting art, colorful old towns and serene waterfront settings, be sure to stop in Zürich, Luzern and Lausanne.

ITA Airways lost my luggage. Why won’t it cover my expenses?

Jacqueline Bartolini spends $992 after ITA Airways loses her luggage. It wants to reimburse her for just $733.

Pleasant and progressive, Oslo puts its people first

Every time I come to Norway, I’m fascinated by their experiment in big government, and how little people are bothered by high taxes.

College kids home for the summer? Expect it to be a balancing act for all

They’ve tasted independence and some of the privileges of adulthood. So, how can parents make this an easier transition?

Denise McKenzie, who has been a bartenders at Kuhnle’s Tavern for many years, works behind the bar on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 106 years, Kuhnle’s Tavern in Marysville is closing

Come say farewell Sunday from noon to midnight at the historic bar with five beers on tap and a 50-cent pay phone.

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Hop on over to Whidbey Island for a garden tour on Saturday, then rock out with local bands in Everett on Saturday night.

Great Plant Pick: Sapphire indigo clematis

What: A profusion of royal purple flowers burst forth in early summer… Continue reading

Decorative floral violet background from a blooming Nepeta cataria catnip, catswort, catmint with bright bee.
Please pollinators with perennials like hyssop, catmint and cape fuschia

Newer cultivars of perennials simply bloom longer, quenching our cravings for color and extending the benefit to bees.

Mountlake Terrace maintenance crew Ty Burns begins demolishing “the bunkers” on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Eyesore no more: After decades, Mountlake Terrace bunkers bite the dust

The bunkers held a storehouse of history, much of it moldy, outdated and unwanted.

Subaru Forester Touring SUV (Photo provided by Subaru)
2025 Subaru Forester Touring

Don’t look now, the 2025 model year vehicles are beginning to hit… Continue reading

Hitting a homer is hard for most. On this machine, we all have a chance

This restored 1930s Jennings slot machine — with candy prizes for knocking it out of the park — sold for $3,840 at auction.

Airbnb host banned after spilling food in another host’s home

Airbnb bans River Roberts after he accidentally spills food on his host’s sofa. Will he ever be able to book another rental?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.