In Review: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

by Martyn Conterio on 16/12/2013


Things aren’t looking too good for Ron Burgundy. In the opening scene of Anchorman 2, the newsreader/living legend is fired and the missus, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), gets a top promotion. Burgundy, like a petulant child having a hissy fit in the supermarket, leaves his wife and embarks on the booze-soaked road to self-destruction. Not even faithful Baxter can lift his spirits. We next find him washed up at Sea World working as a sozzled compere with days-old puke on his jacket and who makes inappropriate comments about female colleagues and the dolphins in front of gathered families and tourists.

After a half-hearted suicide attempt, swiftly followed by a promising opportunity of work back in NYC, Ron is proving F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong and that American lives do have second acts. Not only does he have to reunite with confreres Brian Fantana, Champ Kind and Brick Tamland, Burgundy must learn to bond with Walter, his boy, and reconcile with Veronica. It’s a mighty tall order…

As you might be able to denote from the opening paragraphs, there’s actually a plot and even subplots in Anchorman 2. If the first film’s modest ambitions were to parody macho posturing, workplace sexism and regional news stations, director Adam McKay and star Ferrell set the bar very high indeed for the sequel. Ron and his crew, in a funky bit of revisionism, firmly plant themselves in the history books by virtue of an industry innovation: they dream up the worst format for television ever: Infotainment. Why, of course! The rest is, well, Fox News…

What makes the character so bloody funny is the complete failure to recognise hubris at any point in his life’s journey. He’s incapable of seeing the bigger picture or recognising he’s at fault. In a strange way, Burgundy is our generation’s Rocky Balboa figure: a dumb lug you can’t help but love and want to see succeed … despite said dumb lug being bumbling, insincere, self-centred, childish and extremely arrogant. He’s a true American son and the classic embodiment of the country’s will to rejuvenation and mythology. Anchorman 2 is also joyfully silly and a follow-up worthy of the cult classic original.

Martyn has awarded Anchorman 2 four Torches of Truth

4 torches

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