News non­sense still a hoot

Sunday Territorian - - TRAVEL - AN­CHOR­MAN 2: THE LE­GEND CON­TIN­UES Di­rec­tor: Star­ring: Re­viewer:

119 min­utes (M)

Adam McKay ( An­chor­man: The Le­gend of Ron Bur­gundy)

Will Fer­rell, Christina Ap­ple­gate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koech­ner

Leigh Paatsch

½ ‘‘I’M go­ing to do the thing that God put Ron Bur­gundy on this Earth to do: have sa­lon qual­ity hair and read the news.’’ That’s right, com­edy fans, the se­quel you have been want­ing for al­most a decade is fi­nally here.

Ron Bur­gundy is back in the big- screen buf­foon­ery busi­ness.

Has it been worth the wait for An­chor­man 2: The Le­gend Con­tin­ues? Yeah, pretty much. Bear­ing in mind the orig­i­nal An­chor­man mined a rich vein of sur­re­al­ist hu­mour that saw it be­come a mod­ern clas­sic, this solid fol­low-up does not let the side down.

Yes, that win­ning for­mula is re­peated rather than re­vi­talised. Nev­er­the­less, there are enough big, bizarre laughs on of­fer to jus­tify jump­ing on the Bur­gundy band­wagon a se­cond time.

The first act of The Le­gend Con­tin­ues is all about reerect­ing scaf­fold­ing and re­new­ing ac­quain­tances.

As we be­gin, Ron Bur­gundy (Will Fer­rell) and Veron­ica Corn­ing­stone (Christina Ap­ple­gate) are the best mar­ried news­read­ing team in the busi­ness. Then Veron­ica is given a solo slot on a na­tional net­work, Ron is given the sack and that mar­riage is given the heave-ho.

Ron’s stocks sink so low he ends up com­per­ing a dolphin show at an aquatic theme park. Just as he about to quite lit­er­ally end it all, a life­line is dan­gled over­head. It is the dawn of the 1980s, and a his­tory-mak­ing 24-hour news chan­nel is about to launch. Does Ron want in? No need to an­swer that. One ridicu­lous road trip later, Team Bur­gundy is back in full force. Which means in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter Brian Fan­tana ( Paul Rudd) must sac­ri­fice his lu­cra­tive new post­ing as a cat pho­tog­ra­pher.

Sportscast­er Champ Kind (David Koech­ner) has to give up a fast-food fran­chise where fried bats are passed off as fried chicken. And dim weath­er­man Brick Tam­land (Steve Carell) must bounce back from his re­cent death.

Once in front of the cam­eras at the new GNN chan­nel, Ron sets about rein­vent­ing Amer­i­can news with a rad­i­cal mix of sto­ries and seg­ments never be­fore seen.

Bur­gundy and his team are also ar­rested for smok­ing co­caine at the news­desk.

Though true spon­tane­ity is not al­ways the strong suit of An­chor­man 2 — the im­pro­vised an­ar­chy of the orig­i­nal sur­faces only briefly — there is a re­lent­less pur­suit of stu­pid­ity for stu­pid­ity’s sake that is sim­ply a plea­sure to wit­ness. Ron goes blind. Ron raises a killer shark from birth. Ron pays for perms for ev­ery­one. Ron thinks that psy­chi­a­trists are psy­chics. You get the pic­ture. And you will get the jokes, of which there are hun­dreds ( which ex­plains the marathon two-hour run­ning time).

There are mo­ments deep into the fi­nal act — a plot line about Ron’s ab­sence from the life of his young son gets too much em­pha­sis for too lit­tle out­come — where the se­quel goes close to out­stay­ing its wel­come.

Hang in there. The best is yet to come: a bril­liant cameo­heavy reprise of the first film’s im­pec­ca­bly odd skir­mish be­tween news teams.

The rules of com­bat are warped into an­other di­men­sion with the ar­rival of au­tocue as­sas­sins spear­headed by the likes of Jim Car­rey, Sacha Baron Co­hen, Kanye West, Tina Fey and Liam Nee­son.

And Har­ri­son Ford mu­tates into a were-hyena.

It is an hi­lar­i­ous scene that guar­an­tees An­chor­man 2: The Le­gend Con­tin­ues leaves a legacy pre­served.

David Koech­ner is Champ Kind, Paul Rudd is Brian Fan­tana, Will Fer­rell is Ron Bur­gundy and Steve Carell is Brick Tam­land in An­chor­man 2: The Le­gend Con­tin­ues

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