Movie Mind Says: Go To Movie Theater (and then Buy It)
If You Like This You Should Watch: Anchorman
Better Than: Step Brothers, Blades of Glory
Worse Than: Old School, Wedding Crashers
Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate
I’m not sure if you know this, but I’m kind of a big deal. I have many leather-bound books…I’m friends with Merlin Olsen and my apartment reeks of rich mahogany. No I’m not talking about The Movie Mind, I’m talking about the one and only, Ron Burgandy. I’m talking about one of the only movie characters that can get a group of friends together on a day’s notice to travel over multiple states to meet up to watch him. When I first heard that Burgandy was coming back to the big screen, I was equally excited and nervous. Excited for a new installment, almost a decade later, of one of the funniest modern-day comedies, and nervous over whether it would be a complete letdown. My nervousness was only exacerbated when the Hollywood marketing machine stuffed Burgandy down our throats for months before its December release. Was it going to be over-hyped and under-deliver? After going into this with extremely high expectations, I can wholeheartedly say, “Sweet Oden’s Raven”, Burgandy and Anchorman 2 crushed it! Whammy!!! Literally from the opening of the film through the last credit, I was laughing my ass off.
Ron is on top of the world at his 6pm timeslot in the mecca of news, New York City. He’s got a kid named Walter with his wife Ms. Veronica Corningstone, and all seems that he’s got life by the balls. Only Ron’s tenure at the station is short-lived. After Veronica’s promotion, Ron is dismissed, and his whole world falls apart. He doesn’t necessarily resort to drinking milk on a 90 degree day in sunny San Di-ah-go, but let’s just say dolphin and scotch are involved. Ron eventually gets an offer for a position at a ground-breaking 24-hours news station. After laughing and calling 24-hour news one of the stupidest ideas he’s ever heard of (one of the many hilarious back-handed homages to modern-day media), he accepts. “24 hour news? Like the station is never off? What a terrible idea!” This means it’s time to reassemble the old gang. It takes a little more work this time than a “News team assemble!” conch call, but eventually he convinces Champ, Brian, and Brick to come back onboard.
Ron makes some quick enemies at the station and we have our good old rivalry starting. The new addition to Anchorman 2 as Ron’s nemesis is James Marsden, and he plays a very convincing douche bag. One thing that was completely underrated about this script and should get more credit is how they take a jab at the tabloid nonsense that is the current-day news cycle. Ron decides the only way to win ratings is to give people the news they want to hear, not what they need to hear. He proceeds to show live car chases and cute cat videos and eventually overtakes the lead-dog role, even out-classing his former lover’s interview with Yasser Arifat.
There are a few lulls in the never-ending comedic adventures of Ron Burgandy, but they are few and far between. And for some reason, as stupid as some story lines get (Ron raises and bottle-feeds a shark), they manage to not take away from the hilarity of it all. Only Ferrell, and more specifically, Burgandy, can pull that off. New added dimensions like Ron as a father only add new layers for him to play on. The supporting cast is excellent as would be expected. They bring just enough of their old personas with a new flare based on their newfound “fame” to make them even more interesting. They have much less on-camera time this go around, but there’s enough of them to solidify the comedy around Ferrell.
This reboot is a lesson in how to properly do a comedy sequel. The most essential factor in doing it right is to get the entire cast back. They’re all here again from Carell to Rudd to Applegate. Even Vince Vaughn makes his cameo and as always, viciously defends the sanctity of Dorothy Mantooth! Just as important is to stick with what made it so good the first time around. In this case, it’s basically letting Ferrell turn into Ron Burgandy and run wild. There are so many Burgandy-isms, I’ll have to watch it multiple times in the theater as I did with the first installment. One thing that also helps is that Ferrell actually kicked up Ron a notch. You’ll notice his speech is more exaggerated and his mannerisms scream the character. No need for subtlety when you are playing Burgandy. When Ferrell was in promotion mode and Ron Burgandy was appearing on Dodge commercials, and interviewing Peyton Manning on ESPN, he always stayed true to the character. Sure they may have overexposed him, but if you just can’t get enough of this character then you will absolutely love this movie.
Interesting Cameo Appearance: Where to begin…let’s just say the big showdown in the park features a list of names of big-time actors who must have been clamoring for a way just to say they were in Anchorman 2. Here’s a partial list: Will Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, John. C. Reilly, Amy Poehler, Kanye West (does not count as an actor and was actually the one part of the entire film I despised).
Ron Burgundy: Who the hell is Julius Ceasar? You know I don’t follow the NBA!
Ron Burgundy: If you’ve got an ass like the North Star, wise men are gonna want to follow it.
Brick Tamland: I can always guess how many jelly beans are in a jelly bean jar, even if I’m wrong.
Ron Burgundy: By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John!
Ron Burgundy [speaking to Veronica about their 6-year old son]: I’m not trying to be funny, but are you sure he’s not a midget with a learning disability?
Champ Kind: I believe in two things: Chicken, and that the census is a way for the UN to make your children gay.
Ron Burgundy: Let me say it again loud and slow. I’m blind!
Ron Burgundy: I would eat dolphins if it were legal.