Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is absolutely ridiculous and nonsensical in every fashion, but I’ll be damned if there isn’t a funnier comedy sequel that’s been made in the past decade. Making a sequel to a comedy that gained notoriety over the years as one of the most quotable, outrageous comedies ever made cannot be an easy task, yet somehow Adam McKay and Will Ferrell prove that sticking with same characters, expanding upon the universe, and providing an increasing amount of absurdity is the way to go. Anchorman 2 picks up about a decade after the original, with Ron and his crew entering the 1980s and beginning to work at GNN, the first 24-hour news network. He meets a rival, Jack Lime (played by a game James Marsden), who works in primetime while the former Channel 4 News Team gets stuck with the graveyard shift. In doing so, they are allowed to cover any stories they desire, which leads Ron to an epiphany: what if they give the people what they want, and not what they need? They start airing car chases and sensationalist pieces of news, which makes the audience go crazy in adoration. Therein lies the heavy satire that the sequel delivers, more impactful than the original’s.
The most impressive element of the Anchorman universe is its insistence on cartoonish violence that holds no impact on the characters. From the Winnebago flip that leads to the newcasters being hit with bowling balls, scorpions, and fry oil (because why not?) to the insanely epic fight sequence near the end of the film that promises and delivers far more than you could ever expect, the movie is heaped in gleefully incoherent moments. Yet close to every one yield at least a chuckle, with the final fifteen minutes having so many peaks that I guarantee I missed a few laughs. I’ve never seen a film use “the ghost of Stonewall Jackson” as a joke in and of itself, followed by that ghost doing something horrifying. The cast is more excited than they have ever been, with additions like Harrison Ford, Meagan Good, and Greg Kinnear providing some deliriously out-of-whack performances. And even if I hold the original film so near and dear to my heart, I was expecting to be letdown by the sequel. Instead, it’s excessively funny, wholly unique, and over-the-top in every way imaginable.
Grade: ★★★★ (out of 5)