You can’t turn on the T.V., listen to the news or go on the Internet without seeing, hearing or reading about anchorman Ron Burgundy and his latest gimmicks. If you haven’t caught his Dodge Durango endorsements, you’ve probably seen him on Conan, ESPN, CNN or even your local news. Or perhaps he was named dean for the day at your college, answering questions and giving advice to future journalism grads.
All this publicity to who WBC’s Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) calls “the worst anchorman I have ever seen.”
But in case you’ve somehow escaped the Ron Burgundy media blitz promoting his second film, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” you probably know his alter ego, comedian Will Ferrell, who co-created the character and the 2004 cult classic, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” with former SNL writer Adam McKay.
The sequel begins after San Diego co-anchors Ron (Ferrell) and his wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), were promoted to network news in New York. Veronica becomes the Katie Couric of this fictional storyline (she broke ground as the Jessica Savitch in the previous film); and Ron loses his job at the station, starting a depressing career emceeing for dolphins at Seaworld.
His lifeline comes in the form of GNN, a new global news network looking for enough talent to fill 24-hour of news. So Ron and his San Diego news team, including reporter Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and sports anchor Champ Kind (David Koechner), return to the television business, creating the dysfunctional format we see satirized nightly on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
What this means is gimmicky feel good stories about America, play-by-play disaster coverage, rampant speculation from talking heads and endless cute animal videos — which is not so different from the news today. This also means more jazz flute, animal attacks, news team fights and all the pageantry that made the first “Anchorman” film so memorable.
Funny or Die founders Adam McKay and Will Ferrell (whose collaboration has produced half a dozen films including “Step Brothers,” “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” and “The Campaign”) perfected a formula for comedy: put Will Ferrell in front of a camera and we’ll die laughing. Yes, his laughter is still infectious, but the jokes have gone a little stale from repetition.
“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is directed by Adam McKay and written by McKay and Will Ferrell.